Max Scherzer looked amply ready to start on opening day for Washington, striking out nine in six shutout innings during the Nationals' 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
Nationals manager Matt Williams recently announced that the newly acquired Scherzer would make his first career start in an opener. Washington begins at home against the New York Mets on April 6.
Making his fifth start of the spring, the former AL Cy Young Award winner allowed only three hits. He didn't walk anyone and hit Matt Carpenter with a pitch.
Carpenter left the game after the second inning for precautionary reasons with what the Cardinals called a bruise on his right quadriceps.
Cardinals starter Michael Wacha also enjoyed a strong outing, giving up four hits in 5 2-3 innings and striking out four.
Ty Kelly hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the only run.
Link to box score: St. Louis (10-7-1) 1, Washington 0