For Max Scherzer, handing the ball over to the bullpen doesn't appear to be an option.
Scherzer, who was awarded the National League Pitcher of the Month for June prior to the start, has been on an exceptional run. After pitching into the ninth inning Thursday, Scherzer became the first pitcher in franchise history to complete eight innings in four consecutive starts.
Tied 1-1, Scherzer entered the ninth on 97 pitches. The right-hander allowed a single and a sacrifice bunt before Cameron Maybin drove home the winning run with a single to left field, handing Scherzer his first loss since June 9.
"It just [stinks]," Scherzer told reporters of the loss. "When you lose like that, an infield single, [Pedro] Ciriaco being able to beat it out and a ball that chops right over the third baseman, what are you gonna be mad about? I felt like I executed my pitches in those situations, they just got hits. Baseball is a funny game sometimes."
Scherzer has three complete games over his last four starts, after recording just one in his first 210, according to ESPN.