Mad Max: Fury Road.
Max Scherzer struck out 14 batters and the Washington Nationals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-1, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Scherzer (7-3) was sensational in one of the more dominant starts of the season for the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.
"I knew I had to come out with a lot of off-speed pitches to counteract their lefties," said Scherzer of the Dodgers' lineup. "I had a good feel for my slider. It's a pitch I can have great feel for. If I can find the zone early, it's an indication I can put it wherever I want it."
The right-hander allowed one unearned run on just three hits with two walks and 14 strikeouts in seven strong innings for the Nationals who have won seven of their last eight games on the road.
Scherzer's 14 strikeouts was the 55th time in his career that he recorded 10 or more strikeouts in a game, the most among active players. The two-time Cy Young Award winner also joined Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens as the only players in MLB history with five or more career games with at least 14 strikeouts and no earned runs.
"I knew I had nine strikeouts through three," said Scherzer of his strikeouts. "But after those walks, I knew my pitch count was up so I had to work more efficiently. I'm a strikeout pitcher, that's just who I am. So when you get in two strike situations I have to put them away."
Clayton Kershaw is second on that list, and has a chance to tie Scherzer's record when he takes the mound on Wednesday.
Brandon McCarthy nearly matched Scherzer, but was done in by Washington's speed and small-ball style of play.
"Scherzer's one of the best in the game," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of the pitching matchup. "When you get a performance like that from Mac [McCarthy] to match him, it's a tough one to lose."
Trea Turner started the game with an infield single and then promptly stole second and third before the Dodgers knew what hit them.
Two batters later, Turner would score on a sacrifice fly by Bryce Harper.
"Forgetting Trea Turner was on first and second and that he was going to steal at will and not doing all that I should do to hold him," McCarthy said of the most frustrating part of the game. "I have to do things to increase the odds in our favor and I didn't do any of those."
Harper himself scored on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead, as both Washinton runs came via the sacrifice fly.
McCarthy (5-3), was the hard-luck loser, allowing just two runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in seven solid innings of work. It was his first loss of the season at Dodger Stadium.
"I understand when Max is pitching like that the odds are long and it's going to be a tough fight," said McCarthy of the loss. "I understand it, but you'd like to be able to pull out a game like that."
Adrian Gonzalez knocked in the Dodgers only run of the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning.
Rookie Koda Glover pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save of the season.
Los Angeles struck out a season-high 17 times and have now lost three games in a row as they look to avoid their first series sweep of the season on Wednesday.
Clayton Kershaw will once again look to snap the skid when he takes the mound opposite Stephen Strasburg in a marquee pitching set for a matinee start time of 12:10PM PST.