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The Scoreboard is a new sports feature spotlighting the winners and losers, the champs and chumps, the highlights and lowlights, and anything in between, of sports in the D.C. area.
Simply the Best
Everyone knows that Nationals ace Max Scherzer is one of the best pitchers in the MLB and a contender for the league’s MVP award. To wit:
On June 26, Scherzer lowered his ERA to 2.04 through 17 games and he leads the league with 165 strikeouts. Earlier this month, against the Tampa Bay Rays, Scherzer threw 81 strikes out of 99 total pitches, including an immaculate sixth inning in which Scherzer threw nine strikes in nine pitches—the second time in his career he accomplished the feat. Only four other pitchers have thrown more than one immaculate inning. All of them are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“It’s hard to compare him to anybody really,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters after the game. “I’m around him every day. From the other side, you see him and you say, ‘Wow, every fifth day, he’s really good.’ But to see him every day, he’s the best. He really is.”
Gio Gonzalez, on the other hand, allowed six runs and lasted just three outs in the Nationals’ 11-0 loss to the Rays on June 25.
No Speed Limit
Two professional runners with local ties are doing their part to make track and field fun again. Noah Lyles and Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz both won titles at the U.S. outdoor championships in Des Moines, Iowa, this past weekend.
Centrowitz, a Maryland native who moved to Arlington earlier this year, captured his fifth U.S. outdoor title in the 1,500-meters, surging to the finish line in 3 minutes, 43.37 seconds. Lyles, a 20-year-old graduate of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, won the 100-meter in a personal best 9.88 seconds, the fastest mark in the world this year.
His personal bests in the 100-meter and 200-meter (19.69) are faster than Usain Bolt’s times at the same age.
The Capitals are still basking in the glow of their Stanley Cup trophy, but good things don’t last forever.
Just three weeks after Washington won its first Stanley Cup and reveled in booze-soaked celebrations, the team is already looking quite different. Coach Barry Trotz resigned and three days later was hired by the New York Islanders. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Brooks Orpik were traded to the Colorado Avalanche. Playoff hero Devante Smith-Pelly signed a one-year deal with the Caps despite not being given a qualifying offer earlier in the week.
At least defenseman John Carlson, who signed an eight-year, $64 million deal, will be sticking around for a while.
Dog Days of D.C.
The MLB All-Star roster won’t be determined until next month, but pizza-focused bistro Declaration, located near Nationals Park, has already revealed its “special line-up of foot-long hot dogs themed after five major baseball cities,” including D.C.
The menu from executive chef Demetrio Zavala is, um, interesting. The D.C. Dog, which might be better suited to Orioles fans, features a Maryland crab corn dog (???), remoulade sauce, and Old Bay mustard.
The Wizarding World of Ernie Grunfeld
With the No. 15 overall pick in last week’s NBA Draft, Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld earned the ire of fans by selecting Troy Brown Jr. out of Oregon. In the second round, the team chose Issuf Sanon, a relatively unknown Ukraine native who will continue to play and develop overseas. Maybe he can visit the team when they play the Knicks in London next year?