There will come a time when Max Scherzer will reach his peak, and the inevitable downhill slide that eventually conquers all professional athletes, Hall of Fame-caliber or not, will emerge to sap his powers. He just doesn’t think he is there yet. Not after consecutive Cy Young Awards. Not after five straight seasons of 200-plus innings. Not after leading the National League in strikeouts each of the past two years. “I don’t know,” Scherzer said. “I may be better in 2018.” How? Well, Scherzer won’t divulge those details, afraid word will spread through the media to opposing clubhouses. But he is certain there are areas for growth. Five months shy of his 34th birthday, he believes the peak hasn’t been reached. Scherzer’s quest for improvement and a third consecutive Cy Young unofficially officially began at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, when he slung a fastball by the Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuña, the consensus top prospect in baseball, for strike one. After getting Acuña to ground out up the middle into an infield shift, Scherzer missed his spot with a 1-0 fastball and Dansby Swanson swatted it over the wall. He wasn’t fretting over it. “That’s good,” Scherzer said. “Get those solo shots out of the way now. You can hit as many home runs as you want in spring training.” Swanson’s long ball was the only damage inflicted in Scherzer’s two innings in the Nationals’ 9-3 win. He threw just 23 pitches. He struck out three and didn’t issue a walk. He pounded the strike zone with his entire repertoire, and his fastball sat at 93 mph, according to the television broadcast’s radar gun. He emerged satisfied. Manager Dave Martinez, after getting his first in-game glimpse of Scherzer in the same uniform, called Scherzer’s performance “awesome.” “You really have no adrenaline whatsoever here in a spring start for the first one out,” Scherzer said. “So I was able to at least put a foundation of establishing off-speed in the zone and working off of that.”