Max Scherzer threw his second career immaculate inning in the sixth. He picked up 13 Ks from the 28 batters he faced. Scherzer threw 99 pitches, 81 of them strikes, which is just ridiculous. He gave up two runs, but whatever.
Washington’s ace Max Scherzer is a golden god. 4-2 Nationals over the Rays in the first of two in the nation’s capital.
Scherzer vs the Rays: Max Scherzer struck out 12 of the 27 batters he faced in Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards last week, over eight scoreless on the mound against the O’s.
He extended his personal unbeaten streak to 10-straight starts in that outing as well, over which he’s put up a 1.97 ERA, 16 walks, 103 Ks, and a .157/.221/.298 line against in 68 2⁄3 IP.
At home in Nationals Park this season, Scherzer was (3-0) in five starts before tonight, with a 1.77 ERA, eight walks, 57 Ks, and a .192/.256/.449 line against in 35 2⁄3 innings.
He was up 2-0 after two, 4-0 after four, and up to 55 pitches after five scoreless innings in which he struck out six of 16 batters faced, holding the Tampa Bay Rays to just two hits.
Scherzer struck out five consecutive batters between the fifth and sixth, and set all three he faced in the sixth down in order in a nine-pitch frame, also known as an immaculate inning.
Congratulations to...— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 6, 2018
- Back-to-Back NL Cy Young Award Winner
- Back-to-Back NL Pitcher of the Month
- Current @MLB Strikeout Leader
...Max Scherzer on his SECOND CAREER immaculate inning. pic.twitter.com/IecwyY0Vul
Scherzer picked up his 10th K in a 1-2-3 seventh, reaching double digits in strikeouts for the 9th time in 13 starts in 2018.
Scherzer gave up back-to-back singles in the first two at bats of the eighth, then struck out two batters, but a two-out double drove in the Rays’ first runs before Scherzer picked up his third K of the inning and 13th of the game. 4-2 Nationals.
Max Scherzer’s Line: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 13 Ks, 99 P, 81 S, 5/1 GO/FO.
Eovaldi vs Nationals: Coming off rehab for Tommy John surgery and a second procedure to clean up his right elbow, Nathan Eovaldi tossed six hitless innings against the Oakland A’s in his 2018 debut last week.
“I would’ve liked to have stayed out there until I gave up a hit,” Eovaldi said, as quoted by Tampa Bay-Times writer Marc Topkin after the outing, “... but I understand the situation as well.”
Tonight in D.C., Eovaldi continued his hitless inning streak in the first, but a nine-pitch at bat against Matt Adams in the second ended with a solo home run to right by the Nats’ slugger, who crushed a 97 mph 3-2 fastball for his 13th home run of 2018 and a 1-0 Nationals’ lead.
Juan Soto and Michael A. Taylor followed with back-to-back singles that put runners on first and third in front of Wilmer Difo, who hit a chopper to first that brought run No. 2 in ahead of a throw home by Rays’ first baseman C.J. Cron, 2-0 Nats.
Soto worked back from an 0-2 count to draw a seven-pitch walk in the first at bat of the Nats’ fourth, and he scored from first one out later on a triple to the right-center gap by Wilmer Difo, 3-0. Difo scored from third on a passed ball, 4-0.
Nathan Eovaldi’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 86 P, 66 S, 7/1 GO/FO.
WILLLLLSON!!!: In seven seasons in Washington, former Nationals’ catcher Wilson Ramos put up a combined .268/.313/.430 line. Ramos left as a free agent after injuring his right knee late in the 2016 campaign, and signed a two-year deal with Tampa Bay.
He returned with the Rays tonight for the first time, with a .301/.346/.466 line, eight doubles and seven home runs in 46 games and 188 plate appearances, and in his first game against the organization that signed and developed him, Ramos received a standing ovation when he stepped up for the first time, and went 0 for 4 on the night.
BULLPEN ACTION: Wilmer Font took over on the mound for the Rays in the sixth, and set the Nationals down in order in the sixth and seventh innings to keep it a 4-0 game in the home team’s favor.
Ryan Stanek threw a scoreless bottom of the eighth after the Rays scored two on Scherzer in the top of the inning, 4-2.
Sean Doolittle got the ninth for the Nationals, and retired the Rays in order. Ballgame.
Final Score: 4-2 Nationals
Nationals now 34-25