Max Scherzer tossed six scoreless against the Miami Marlins and extended his personal unbeaten streak to eight straight starts in an 8-2 Washington Nationals’ win in the series opener in the nation’s capital.
Scherzer vs the Fish: Max Scherzer took the mound tonight unbeaten in his last seven starts with a (5-0) record, a 2.25 ERA, 10 walks, 53 strikeouts, and a .195/.243/.362 line against in 48 innings pitched over that stretch.
One of the wins came in an outing on the mound in Miami, which saw him hold Marlins’ hitters to three hits and an unearned run over eight innings.
“We didn’t hit a lot of balls on the nose,” Fish skipper Don Mattingly told reporters after what ended up a 9-1 loss in that game.
“He looked like he was on both edges. Guys were coming back shaking their heads, but as we’re checking in-between innings, they were strikes.”
Mattingly’s squad connected for two hits in the first four innings as Scherzer held the Fish off the board, and the veteran skipper got himself tossed arguing with home plate umpire Ben May after Derek Dietrich K’d looking at a 3-2 cutter for out No. 3 of the 4th and the 5th strikeout for the Nationals’ starter.
Scherzer, who reached on a fielder’s choice and scored in the second, doubled in the home half of the fourth inning, with the Nats already up 3-0, and scored again on an RBI double by Adam Eaton, 4-0.
"I've got the best pop-up slide in baseball." - Max Scherzer pic.twitter.com/KtlLpcETvY— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 18, 2018
After working around a single in an 18-pitch sixth, Scherzer was up to 96 pitches total after six scoreless and done for the night...
Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 96 P, 62 S, 4/1 GO/FO.
We had to make an adjustment to our pitching line graphic. pic.twitter.com/2S3nkPmtDC— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 18, 2018
Straily vs the Nationals: Marlins’ starter Dan Straily made two starts against the Nationals in July, giving up 10 hits, six walks, and five earned runs in 11 2⁄3 IP, in which Washington hitters put up a combined .238/.333/.405 line against the right-hander.
Straily was winless in four starts going into tonight’s game, with one of the losses to the Nationals, and a 6.05 ERA and a .288/.409/.548 line against in 19 1⁄3 IP in that stretch.
He fell behind early tonight, in the series opener in the nation’s capital.
Ryan Zimmerman crushed a 90 mph 1-0 fastball with two down in the second, sending a solo shot out to left field for a 1-0 lead and his 10th HR of 2018.
Max Scherzer reached base on a fielder’s choice in the Nationals’ half of the third, moved up on a bunt single by Adam Eaton, and scored from second base on a two-out RBI single to right field by Bryce Harper, beating a throw to the plate to make it 2-0 over the Marlins.
Matt Wieters homered for the fifth time this season and Scherzer doubled with two down in the fourth, before scoring from second on a line drive to left-center off of Adam Eaton’s bat that Magneuris Sierra got to but couldn’t catch, 4-0.
Bryce Harper was 2 for 3 on the night after he doubled to start the Nationals’ fifth (No. 23), and took third on a wild pitch before scoring on a sac fly to left by Anthony Rendon, 5-0.
Dan Straily’s Line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HRs, 101 P, 65 S, 7/6 GO/FO.
#TKCHZ: Ryan Zimmerman has been swinging it well since shortly after he came off a 58-game DL stint for an oblique injury, with a .333 AVG (20 for 60), .414 OBP, .650 SLG, seven doubles, and four home runs in 19 games and 70 plate appearances over that stretch, and in a smaller sample size of 13 games and 44 PAs in August, had a .351/.432/.703 line, four of his seven second-half doubles, and three of his four homers.
Zimmerman hit his 10th of the 2018 campaign in the bottom of the second inning tonight, taking a 1-0 fastball from Dan Straily for a ride to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead early.
No. 10 for No. 1⃣1⃣ pic.twitter.com/sZZ5Su6ZsT— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 17, 2018
Mr. 500!! ... meaningless RBIs: Bryce Harper entered tonight’s game with 498 career RBIs and he picked up No. 499 with an RBI single in the third inning, then collected his 500th RBI in the seventh on his third hit, driving Adam Eaton to put the Nationals up 6-2. Harper was 3 for 4 on the night.
Congrats, Bryce Harper! pic.twitter.com/2ihN4alOyM— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 18, 2018
BULLPEN ACTION: Trevor Gott took over for Max Scherzer in the top of the seventh with a 5-0 lead and gave up a one-out homer to left by Austin Dean, who connected for hit No. 1, and his first home run in the majors. Congrats. 5-1 Nationals.
J.T. Riddle singled in the next at bat, and scored on a two-out single by pinch hitter Miguel Rojas to make it a 5-2 game.
Matt Grace took over for Scherzer at that point, and got out No. 3 to preserve the three-run lead.
Jarlin Garcia got the ball for the Marlins in the bottom of the seventh. Adam Eaton reached on an infield single, and took third on an errant pick attempt, and scored on an RBI single off of Bryce Harper’s bat. Harper collected his 500th career RBI on the hit.
Tayron Guerrero came on for Garcia. Harper scored from third on an errant throw that went into the Miami dugout on a single by Anthony Rendon, 7-2, and Rendon scored on an single to left by Juan Soto, 8-2.
Rendon singles, Bryce scores, and the #Nats lead 7-2 in the 7th! pic.twitter.com/hrwOdSaSMH— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 18, 2018
Wander Suero needed 18 pitches to get through a scoreless eighth and Greg Holland finished the Marlins off in the ninth.
Final Score: 8-2 Nationals
Nationals now 62-61