Max Scherzer was dominant again, striking out 10 of the 29 batters he faced, and giving up just five hits and one earned run in eight innings, over which he threw just 94 pitches in the Washington Nationals’ 6-1 win in the series opener with the Miami Marlins in South Florida.
It was Scherzer’s 89th career 10+ strikeout game, his 7th of the 2019 campaign, and his 3rd in a row. He also snapped a streak of 12-straight starts with 100+ pitches...
Scherzer vs the Marlins: Max Scherzer took the mound tonight unbeaten in his previous six starts, with 0.88 ERA, eight walks, 59 Ks, and a .179/.230/.278 line against in 41 IP over that stretch.
One of the six starts was against the same Marlins he was facing tonight in Miami. Scherzer held the Fish to a run on seven hits in six innings in that game, receiving no decision in the Nationals’ 3-2 loss at home in Washington, D.C.
Tonight in Marlins Park, the right-hander struck out six of the first eleven Marlins’ batters in three scoreless innings, working around a single and hit-by-pitch as the Nationals jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
Leadoff and two-out singles by Brian Anderson and Curtis Granderson, respectively, in the top of the fourth got the Marlins on the board, down 6-1.
Scherzer needed 16 pitches total to get through the fifth and sixth, leaving him at 68 overall on the night, with strikeouts from eight of 23 batters, and he added another K in a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh inning.
Scherzer picked up his 10th K (from 28 batters) after giving up a leadoff single in the eighth, and got an inning-ending double play in what ended up being a 14-pitch frame that ended his outing.
Max Scherzer’s Line: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 Ks, 94 P, 71 S, 7/3 GO/FO.
Richards vs the Nationals: In spite of the fact that he gave up just one run in two of his last three starts before tonight’s, Marlins’ righty Trevor Richards was winless in those outings at (0-2), with a 3.57 ERA, six walks, 14 Ks, and a .270/.342/.349 line against over 17 2⁄3 innings pitched.
Richards was facing the Nationals for the second time this season, after giving up six hits, two walks, and three earned runs in 6 1⁄3 IP in a 5-0 loss in Nationals Park back on April 21st.
He tossed two scoreless to start tonight’s series opener, but the Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the top of the third, setting Juan Soto up with an RBI opportunity he cashed in with a two-run single to center field that put the visiting team on top, 2-0.
Howie Kendrick grounded into a force at second in the next at bat, bringing in run No. 3, 3-0.
Victor Robles singled with one out in the top of the fourth, moved up when Max Scherzer reached on a botched play by the Marlins on a bunt, and scored when Trea Turner hit one out to left-center on a first-pitch changeup up in the zone from Richards, 6-0. Turner’s 6th.
Trevor Richards’ Line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 93 P, 63 S, 6/3 GO/FO.
Soto is Streaking Again: Juan Soto started tonight’s game against the Marlins with a nine-game hit streak going, over which the 20-year-old slugger was 14 for 32 (.438/.500/.813) with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, four walks, and five Ks.
Soto walked the first time up, and was stranded, but he singled in his second trip to the plate, driving in two runs with the bases loaded hit and extending his hit streak. 10!!!
BULLPEN ACTION: Adam Conley took over for Miami in the top of the sixth, with the Marlins trailing by five, 6-1, and retired the side in order, striking out two, and he picked up two Ks in a 1-2-3 top of the seventh as well.
Conley picked up three more Ks (for seven total) in the top of the eighth, working around a two-out single by Kurt Suzuki for another scoreless frame.
Austin Brice tossed a scoreless top of the ninth for the Fish, and Fernando Rodney handled the bottom of the inning for the Nats, working around a leadoff walk for a quick frame that ended the game. 6-1 final. Ballgame.
Nationals now 38-40