In his last start before today’s, Max Scherzer gave up back-to-back-to-back home runs to start the bottom of the first inning of his outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chase Field.
This afternoon in the nation’s capital, in the series finale with the Milwaukee Brewers, Scherzer walked to start the home half of the third, scored on a two-run home run to right off Brian Goodwin’s bat, then sat back and watched as Wilmer Difo, Bryce Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman followed Goodwin with what ended up being back-to-back-to-back-to-back blasts, four straight, as Washington blew the game open with a ridiculous power display.
One out later, Anthony Rendon hit the fifth home run in six at bats in the third, as the Nationals jumped out to an 8-0 lead on the Brewers, and they scored six more runs in the fourth inning of what ended up being a 15-2 win in which Nats’ hitters hit eight home runs total.
“What a birthday gift,” Scherzer said of the run support he received on his 33rd birthday.
“I think I said coming I want to get a win and a knock, so the guys showed up today, put up an ungodly amount of runs up there, 15 runs, that’s just, aww man, what a pitcher’s best friend.”
As for giving up three straight in one start and seeing his teammates hit four in a row today?
“I think [Matt] Wieters had the perfect line for that,” Scherzer said, “it was like, ‘Anybody can give up back-to-back-to-back, that’s special to go four in a row.’”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that,” Dusty Baker told reporters after the win.
“I’ve seen back-to-back-to-back, but not four in a row and it’s like you almost can’t believe it. We’ll take it. The guys — that was some kind of inning, and then the next inning also. We had a big offensive barrage today, gave Max a birthday present, and he’ll always take that and we preserved our bullpen so it was just a good day overall.
“I think it just kind of got a little fast on me there,” Brewers’ righty Michael Blazek told reporters after giving up seven hits, six of them home runs, and eight runs total in 2 1⁄3 innings.
“I felt like I made some decent pitches,” Blazek said, “but they were just locked in on everything. I threw all of the different pitches I had, and they were just hitting it, so it was tough.”
Daniel Murphy ended the streak of consecutive homers, flying out before Rendon hit the fifth blast of the third, and he heard some mock boos from the crowd on his way to the dugout.
“I heard the people booing him,” Baker said, “which is pretty amazing, but people like us are greedy I guess.”
Scherzer said he thought Murphy was going to make it five in a row.
“I did, actually. Once you start seeing everybody - Difo goes deep, Bryce goes deep, and then Zim goes deep, you’re like man, ‘If anybody can make it five, it’s Murphy.”
“When you see the offense swinging the bats like that,” Scherzer added, “you just go out there and want to attack and just keep going, that’s what makes us so dangerous.
“We have power all the way through the lineup, and if you miss your spots as a pitcher, man, we can — as an offense — we can really do some damage.”