Max Scherzer was unbeaten in four starts this month before he took the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers last time out in Miller Park and gave up five hits (two home runs), three walks and five runs total in six innings of work in what ended up a 3-2 loss.
In five June starts, before tonight's in the series finale of the three-game set with the New York Mets, the 31-year-old right-hander was (3-1) with a 2.38 ERA, six walks and 48 Ks in 34 innings, over which he'd held opposing hitters to a combined .172/.211/.328 line.
Scherzer started strong in the nation's capital tonight, striking out seven of the first fourteen NY batters he faced, and completing four scoreless on 62 pitches with eight-straight retired after a one-out walk in the second.
He was up to eleven straight outs after he set the Mets down in order in the fifth, fourteen after a 1-2-3 sixth and a 1-2-3 seventh gave him seventeen in a row set down, with 10 Ks total on the night.
A one-out single by Mets' left fielder Brandon Nimmo in the eighth ended Scherzer's streak of retired batters and his outing as Dusty Baker went to the pen for Oliver Perez.
Perez gave up a single to center by Curtis Granderson, then handed it over to Blake Treinen, who got a grounder to third from Travis d'Arnaud for out No. 2 before Shawn Kelley came on to face Alejandro De Aza and struck. him. out.
Max Scherzer's Line: 7.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 Ks, 108 P, 75 S, 3/4 GO/FO.
Kelley came back out for the ninth and gave up a single and a two-run home run by James Loney, 4-2, and a two-out double to right by Kelly Johnson... before he was able to lock down the ninth.
As for the Nationals' runs? Here's how they scored...
Daniel Murphy got hold of a hanging 1-1 curve in the Nationals' half of the second and sent a solo shot into the second deck in right field for a 1-0 lead over the Mets. #FWAHHH!!
Danny Espinosa doubled to left on a full-count fastball from Mets' starter Logan Verrett in the first at bat of the Nats' third. Scherzer bunted him over and Jayson Werth brought him home with a sac fly to center that made it 2-0.
Verrett was out after five innings, with Antonio Bastardo holding Washington off the board through the seventh after the Nationals scored two early.
Bryce Harper had as many walks as hits on the year after a free pass in the Nats' eighth and Daniel Murphy made the Mets pay for the walk with a two-run home run to right that made it a 4-0 game. Murphy's second tonight, 14th on the season. #FWAHHH!!
Nationals win, 4-2 final. Ballgame. Sweep. Other fun stuff. #FWAHHH!!
Nationals now 47-32
- Last night's loss was the New York Mets' third straight and their sixth in the last ten games, and Washington's 5-0 win was NY's eighth shutout loss.
- Mets' hitters have hit 14 home runs in their last eight games in Nationals Park, including six in five games in D.C. this season, but they haven't hit any yet in this series.
- Washington's 46-32 record after their three-straight wins is the NL's third best record, behind only the San Francisco Giants (49-30) and Chicago Cubs (50-26).
- Washington and New York were tied at 82-82 in their all-time series entering the 2014 campaign, but the Nationals have gone 28-18 against the Mets since then.
- In today's Mets-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Yoenis Cespedes is 24 for 68 (.353 AVG) with three home runs and eight runs batted in... over his last 18 games, over which he has a .416 OBP and nine multi-hit games.
- Mets' starter Logan Verrett was making his fifth start of the year tonight, (1-2) with a 5.79 ERA as a starter in his previous four starts.
- Nationals' starter Max Scherzer was (1-3) with a 2.00 ERA in five starts for the Nationals against the Mets since he signed on in D.C. last season... of course, he also no-hit them.
- Mets' closer Jeurys Familia has a major-league leading 26 saves in 26 opportunities this season and 42 consecutive saves going back to last August.
Nationals now 47-32