Just a little piece inside of them wanted Max Scherzer to get an extra shot at his 21st strikeout, which would have set a new major-league record.
"We were just joking, he gets to one strike on the last guy and then he gets a ground ball, maybe he (Rendon) just boots it on purpose or takes his time, throws and the guy's safe," Ross told Alex Putterman of MLB.com.
Scherzer, for his part, was quite enthralled by his performance, which tied the existing record for a nine-inning game held by Kerry Wood, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson.
"That's some serious company," he said. "It won't sink in right now, but it's an amazing accomplishment. I mean, the strikeouts are sexy. And to be able to punch out 20, it's sexy."
The 31-year-old did acknowledge he had a little extra pep in his arm facing the Tigers, where he pitched for five seasons before signing a mega-deal with the Nationals. Striking out his former teammates 20 times may have made the event all the more special.
"Tonight was an emotional game, facing a former team and all those guys I have so much respect for and how they play the game and how they compete," Scherzer said. "I really think the world how they go out there and play the game. And so to have a game like this against that caliber of hitters on their side, that really puts a feather in my cap because I really respect and really admire how they go about the game."
Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who's been around the game in some capacity since 1967, had only the highest of praise for his ace.
"That was the best performance I've seen in person," he said.
(Video courtesy: MLB.com)
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