Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Washington Nationals loaded the bases in front of Juan Soto, who lined a base-clearing single to right, with all three runners coming in on an error by Milwaukee Brewers’ right fielder Trent Grisham. 4-3 Nats. You gotta believe!!!!
Scherzer vs Milwaukee: Max Scherzer faced the Brewers on May 6th in Miller Park, giving up six hits, a walk, and two runs, one of them earned, while striking out 10 of 27 batters he faced in a 112-pitch outing in a 5-3 loss in which he received no decision.
Tonight, he was going up against Milwaukee in the nation’s capital, where he put up a 3.16 ERA, 23 walks, 130 Ks, and a .224/.272/.378 line against in 94 IP (vs the 2.64 ERA, 23 walks, 113 Ks, and .218/.258/.362 line against in 78 1⁄3 IP on the road) this season.
Going up against the Brewers for a second time this summer, with the season on the line, the 35-year-old right-hander walked the first batter he faced, Trent Grishman, then had a first-pitch fastball to Yasmani Grandal hit out to right field for a two-run home run, 2-0.
Eric Thames hit a 1-0 curve out to right in the first at bat of the second, hitting the second home run of the game off the Nationals’ starter to make it a 3-0 lead.
Scherzer held it there through three, and stranded a runner at third in the fourth after Juan Soto misplayed a one-out fly to left field by Thames into a double.
Scherzer walked two of the first three batters he faced in the fifth, but stranded them both at the end of a 26-pitch frame which ended his outing...
Max Scherzer’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 77 P, 46 S, 4/1 GO/FO.
Woodruff vs Washington: Brandon Woodruff gave up four hits and one run in six innings of work on the mound in Miller Park back in early May, striking out nine of 23 batters he faced, throwing 103 pitches in that outing, though that Nationals’ lineup was significantly different than the one he was facing tonight with the season on the line.
“He was pretty good,” Davey Martinez said that night in Milwaukee.
“His slider was really good, but his fastball was electric today. Used both sides of the plate well, and he pitched well.”
Brewers’ skipper Craig Counsell tabbed Woodruff for tonight’s start in spite of the fact that the right-hander had only made two starts after returning from an oblique strain which had kept him off of the mound since July.
Woodruff tossed two scoreless to start, as the Brewers jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but he left a fastball up for Trea Turner with two out in the third, and the Nationals’ shortstop hit it into the left field bullpen for a solo shot that got the home team on the board, 3-1.
That was all Woodruff gave up in four innings, and he was done for the night after a seven-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth inning.
Brandon Woodruff’s Line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 52 P, 34 S, 3/2 GO/FO.
Turn, Turn, Turner: Trea Turner ended the season with a 12-game hit streak, over which he was 19 for 54 (.352/.375/.741) with six doubles, five home runs, 10 RBIs, two walks, and 13 runs scored, and he got the Nationals on the board in the bottom of the third inning of the game tonight, taking a 98 MPH 2-2 fastball up high from Brandon Woodruff for a ride into the left field bullpen for a solo shot that got the Nationals on the board after the Brewers jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Postseason Baseball: When they claimed a Wild Card spot last week, the Nationals became the eighth team in 86 seasons of Major League Baseball in the nation’s capital to make it to the postseason, joining the 1924, 1925, and 1933 Senators, and the 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017 Nats’ teams.
Davey Martinez’s club was looking to become the first D.C.-based team in 86 years to play in a World Series (1933 Senators), and the first team in 95 years to win one (1924 Senators).
BULLPEN ACTION: The Brewers went to the bullpen after four strong by Woodruff, bringing on lefty Brent Suter against the Nationals’ 6-7-8 hitters in the bottom of the fifth, and he set the first two batters down before a two-out single by Victor Robles, which ended the night for Max Scherzer. Brian Dozier came on to pinch hit and sent a sharp grounder to third that Mike Moustakas snagged with a diving play, before throwing wide to first base, pulling Eric Thames off the bag. Trea Turner stepped in with two on and two out, and sent a fly to right to end a 27-pitch frame.
Stephen Strasburg got a 5-6-3 double play after a leadoff single in the top of the sixth, and picked up a K for out No. 3 of an eight-pitch frame.
Drew Pomeranz retired the Nationals in order in a 12-pitch bottom of the sixth.
Strasburg came back out for the top of the seventh inning, and retired the Brewers in order, striking out two in a 14-pitch frame. Still 3-1 Milwaukee.
Pomeranz came back out for another inning of work in the home half of the seventh, and set the side down in order again.
Strasburg gave up a two-out double to left by Keston Hiura in the top of the eighth, but got out No. 3 on a groundout to third by Ryan Braun to complete three scoreless on 34 pitches.
Josh Hader came on in the bottom of the eighth inning, and hit Michael A. Taylor on the hand with one out, then gave up a two-out single to center by Ryan Zimmerman.
Anthony Rendon stepped in with runners on the corners, got up 3-0, went to 3-2, and took a two-out walk to load the bases for Juan Soto, who lined a single to right that got by Brewers’ right fielder Trent Grisham, allowing all three runners to score, 4-3 Nationals.
Daniel Hudson came on for the Nationals in the ninth and worked around a one-out single to end it!
Final Score: 4-3 Nationals
Nationals move on to play LA in the NLDS!!!!