It’s Michael A. Taylor’s world. We’re all just living in it. Luckily, that means we get to enjoy the continued development of Washington’s 26-year-old outfielder.
Taylor has put together one heck of a season filling in for the injured Adam Eaton after the Nationals’ Opening Day center fielder was hurt way back in April.
In another impressive game, Taylor singled, stole a base, and scored in the second, hit an inside-the-park grand slam in the Nats’ half third, picked up his eighth outfield assist in the seventh inning, cutting down a runner at home to keep the Nationals up by three runs at that point, then tripled in a run in what ended up an 11-10 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Taylor finished the night 4 for 5 with two runs scored and five RBIs, stealing the spotlight from Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer, who gave up three runs early in Nationals Park, but settled in for a solid start.
Nationals now 87-54
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Max Scherzer issued back-to-back walks to Odubel Herrera and Rhys Hoskins in the top of the first, then served up a three-run home run on an 0-1 fastball to Phillies’ right fielder Nick Williams, who hit a no-doubter over the out-of-town scoreboard for a 3-0 lead early in Nationals Park. Scherzer issued a third walk before he completed a 28-pitch opening frame. He was not happy.
• Howie Kendrick fouled off five pitches after falling behind 0-2, and lined a 1-2 fastball from Jake Thompson to center for a one-out single in the Nationals’ first. Kendrick was aggressive in taking third base on a single to left field by Daniel Murphy, and he scored on the third straight hit, an RBI liner to center by Ryan Zimmerman, 3-1.
• Michael A. Taylor singled to left and stole his 14th base of the season in the Nationals’ half of the second, then moved up on a groundout before scoring on a two-out RBI single by Trea Turner, who connected on an 0-2 fastball and shot it out to left, 3-2.
• Daniel Murphy singled and took second on an error when Cesar Hernandez botched a tailor-made double play ball off Ryan Zimmerman’s bat, leaving both players safe. Both runners moved up on a groundout by Anthony Rendon, and a walk to Matt Wieters set Michael A. Taylor up with a bases-loaded opportunity he cashed in with a line drive to center that Odubel Herrera misjudged into an inside-the-park grand slam. GTFO. MAT! 6-3 Nats.
Us: A sac fly will tie it.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 9, 2017
• Trea Turner singled to start the Nationals’ fourth, took third on another error by the Phillies on a Howie Kendrick grounder, and scored on a Daniel Murphy sac fly, 7-3 Nats.
• Scherzer gave up a single (but got a double play), double, HBP, and a two-out RBI liner to right in the sixth as the Phils added a fourth run, 7-4.
• Jake Thompson’s Line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 85 P, 54 S, 12/3 GO/FO.
• Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 104 P, 71 S, 3/4 GO/FO.
• Andrew Stevenson lined a single to right with one out in the sixth and scored on a no-doubter of a line drive homer to left field by Trea Turner, who sent a 2-0 fastball from Yacksel Rios screaming 421 feet to left-center field, 9-4 Nats.
Howie Kendrick followed with a single, and Odubel Herrera leapt for but failed to catch a “double” off Daniel Murphy’s bat as the Nats put runners on second and third with one out in the sixth, and Ryan Zimmerman lined an RBI single over a drawn-in infield for a 10-4 lead.
• Oliver Perez gave up back-to-back singles and a three-run home run by Rhys Hoskins, who hit his 13th this season out to left on a 2-1 sinker from the Nats’ left-hander, 10-7 Nationals. The Phillies’ fourth hit of the inning, a single by Nick Williams, ended Perez’s outing.
• Matt Albers got a groundout to the mound for the first out of the Phillies’ seventh, and got help from Michael A. Taylor, who picked up his 8th outfield assist on the year when he threw Williams out at home as the Phillies’ right fielder tried to score on a single to center field by Hyun Soo Kim. 10-7 Nationals after six and a half in D.C.
• Brandon Kintzler tossed a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth.
• Anthony Rendon doubled and scored on an RBI triple by Michael A. Taylor on MAT’s 4th hit of the night, 11-7.
• Shawn Kelley got the ninth in a non-save situation and gave up back-to-back singles to start the frame... and a three-run home run by Maikel Franco made it a one-run game, 11-10.
• Sean Doolittle took over in what was now a save situation and earned his 17th save in 17 opportunities with the Nationals. Ballgame. Final Score: 11-10 Nationals.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington’s win last night left them 112-123 in the all-time series with Philadelphia, though the Nationals are 73-52 against the Phillies since 2011 and 8-5 against their NL East rivals this season.
- Washington’s 86-54 record after last night’s win is the third-best record in the majors, behind only the Houston Astros (86-53) and LA Dodgers (92-48).
- With a 17-8 record in their last 25 games, the Nationals have gone from a 14.0 to a 19.0-game lead in the NL East.
- Washington’s starting staff has a 2.40 ERA in their last 29 games and 179 2⁄3 innings pitched, and Nationals’ starters have an MLB-low .229 BAA, an NL-leading 874 Ks, the lowest opponents’ slugging percentage in the majors, and second-lowest OBP (.297) and ERA (3.42).
- Washington’s relief corps has posted a 3.15 ERA since the All-Star Break, the lowest collective ERA In the NL over that stretch.
- Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL in SLG (.455), runs scored (730), and OPS (.790), the Nationals were ranked second in AVG (.269), and extra-base hits (489).
- Max Scherzer started the night with an (8-1) record and a 2.34 ERA in 13 career starts against the Phillies.
Nationals now 87-54