We all knew Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer has excellent velocity on the mound, but we had no idea that also applied to his base-running. During Scherzer’s dominant complete game shutout of the Atlanta Braves on Monday, the pitcher pulled off a career-first: He stole second base.
The most surprising part: He did it easily.
While catcher Kurt Suzuki didn’t have a great handle on the errant pitch from Peter Moylan, it appeared Scherzer would have stolen the base even with a throw.
How the heck did that happen? Scherzer got a hilariously large lead at first, and Moylan never thought to check him.
How did Max Scherzer's steal second base just now?
A 33.6 ft secondary lead certainly helps. That's huge. Avg. on a steal of 2B is ~20 ft.
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) April 10, 2018
Scherzer’s steal may have been unexpected, but his pitching performance was excellent as usual. Scherzer allowed just two hits during a complete game shutout over the Braves. He struck out 10 and did not allow any walks during the start. It took Scherzer just 102 pitches to finish off Atlanta.
But, hey, that’s old hat by now. Scherzer has notched eight complete games since joining the Nationals. This was the first stolen base of his career.
Because of that, Scherzer’s steal remained the focus after the game. Nationals manager Dave Martinez didn’t give Scherzer the game ball following the performance. He gave him second base.
Dave Martinez said he presented Max Scherzer with second base after the game.
— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) April 10, 2018
The performance could not have come at a better time for the Nationals. Prior to Monday, the team was mired in a five-game losing streak. They needed Scherzer to lift them in a big way.
It’s fair to say he delivered … in more ways than one.
– – – – – – –
Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik
More from Yahoo Sports: