By Lewis Gould
The Nats lost to to Dodgers yesterday in LA.
And the subplot was juicy.
Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer have won three Cy Young Awards and one World Series ring apiece since their spectacular careers both began in 2008. Entering this season, they even had exactly 175 victories each.
Kershaw has nudged slightly ahead of his friendly rival in that last category, thanks to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ superb start to the season — and one fortunate break in the outfield Sunday when these two veteran aces went head to head.
Kershaw pitched six innings of five-hit ball to win an outstanding duel with Scherzer, and rookie Zach McKinstry drove in all three runs in the defending champion Dodgers’ 3-0 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Kershaw (2-1) struck out six with no walks in his first home start since winning his first title. The Dodgers’ longtime star barely came out ahead in the fourth career matchup between two of the greatest pitchers of their generation.
“I have a ton of respect for him and everything he’s done in this game,” Kershaw said of Scherzer. “You try not to attack it any differently. You always want to put zeros on the board. But after we got that early run, you want to make it stand up since Max probably isn’t going to be giving up many more runs.”
The difference between Kershaw and Scherzer was one long fly ball: McKinstry drove in Max Muncy in the second inning when Victor Robles lost it in the hazy LA afternoon sun.
Otherwise, Scherzer (0-1) was just as good as Kershaw, pitching six innings of three-hit ball with five strikeouts and a walk. But his Nats were shut out for the third time in four games, including twice in this three-game series sweep by LA.