Scherzer etched his name alongside Ryan's in the record books Monday night - but not in a way that anyone could have anticipated. In the seventh inning at Nationals Park, the 32-year-old singled off Atlanta Braves reliever Peter Moylan - and then, to the crowd's surprise and delight, swiped second uncontested for his first career stolen base.
After the dust had settled on his steal, Scherzer returned to the mound and completed his two-hit, 10-strikeout shutout of Atlanta. That put him in rarefied air alongside Ryan as the only two pitchers in baseball's live-ball era (since 1920) to have thrown a shutout, struck out 10-plus batters, and stolen a base in the same game.
Ryan pulled it off on May 16, 1984 while pitching for the Houston Astros against Pittsburgh; he struck out 11 in a five-hit shutout at Three Rivers Stadium, and also notched the third (and last) stolen base of his career.
The Nationals recovered second base for an elated Scherzer after the game. Despite having thrown his fifth career shutout and ninth complete game, all the right-hander could think about was that milestone steal.
"Finally! I've been yelling at (former Nationals managers) Matt Williams and I've been yelling at Dusty Baker, like, 'Let me go!'" he told reporters, including Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, afterward. "There's obviously situations where I feel like I'm fast enough. If (Jayson Werth) can steal a base, so can I."
In addition to matching Ryan's feat, Scherzer also became the first pitcher to steal a base and throw a shutout in the same game since Andrew Cashner - then a member of the San Diego Padres - did it against the Pirates on Sept. 16, 2013.