On Expos Day in the nation’s capital, the franchise that was once the Montreal Expos wore bleu, blanc, et rouge and tri-colour, pinwheel caps and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Expos inaugural season in 1969 with their 46th win of the 2019 campaign.
Max Scherzer tossed seven scoreless, stole the second base of his career, reached double digits in Ks for the fifth straight start and the ninth time this season, and finished strong in his final inning of work, striking out the side to wrap up his outing in what ended up a 6-0 win.
Scherzer vs the Royals: Max Scherzer took the mound this afternoon, after a short stay on the Paternity List, unbeaten in his last eight outings, over which he was (6-0) with a stingy 0.95 ERA, eight walks, 84 Ks, and a .174/.216/.271 line against in 59 innings pitched.
Scherzer struck out 14 of 28 batters last time out before today, reaching double digits in Ks for the fourth straight start, fifth in the last six, and eighth time in 18 starts overall in 2019.
Scherzer was up to seven Ks on the day after four scoreless against the Royals today, from a total of 16 batters faced, working his way around three hits and one walk to keep the visiting team off the board early.
After picking up his eighth K in a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth, Scherzer worked around a one-out hit by Alex Gordon in a 14-pitch sixth that left him at 91 total, then came back out for the top of the seventh and struck out the side in a 12-pitch frame which left him at 103 pitches total with 11 strikeouts. It was the fifth straight start and the ninth time this season he got double digits in Ks.
Max Scherzer struck out 10 on 6/14— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 6, 2019
Max Scherzer struck out 10 on 6/19
Max Scherzer struck out 10 on 6/25
Max Scherzer struck out 14 on 6/30
Max Scherzer has struck out 11 today.#Scherzday // #OnePursuit pic.twitter.com/Dnz2jL2yPa
Max Scherzer’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 Ks, 103 P, 75 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
Sparkman in D.C.: Royals’ righty Glenn Sparkman got knocked around last time out before today, giving up nine hits (three home runs) and eight runs total in just three innings in an 11-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays which left him (2-4) after 16 games (eight starts) in which he’d put up a 5.09 ERA, 15 walks, 31 Ks, and a .278/.328/.498 line against in 58 1⁄3 IP.
Kansas City’s 27-year-old starter gave up back-to-back hits in the bottom of the first inning this afternoon, with Trea Turner singling to center, taking third on an Adam Eaton double, and scoring on a one-out line drive to center field by Juan Soto. Eaton was thrown out at home on the play, but the home team took a 1-0 lead in the first.
Matt Adams walked to start the Nationals’ second, and the mistake was compounded when Kurt Suzuki hit a line drive to left to end a 10-pitch at bat with his 11th home run of 2019 and give the Nationals a 3-0 lead.
T W E N T Y— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 6, 2019
Kurt Suzuki's 2nd-inning blast extended our franchise-record HR streak to 2⃣0⃣ games. pic.twitter.com/DCTMkeIYz2
Victor Robles doubled to left in the at bat after Suzuki’s home run, took third on a single by Trea Turner one out later, and scored when Turner tried to steal second and got caught in a rundown, allowing Robles to break for home and beat the throw to the plate, 4-0.
Sparkman held the Nationals there through six, retiring the final eight batters he faced after a one-out single by Max Scherzer in the fourth.
Glenn Sparkman’s Line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 98 P, 65 S, 5/3 GO/FO.
Max Steals 2nd Career Base: Just because he’s that kind of ballplayer (not just a pitcher), Max Scherzer stole the second base of his career in the fourth.
Scherzer singled to right, and with Royals’ starter Glenn Sparkman ignoring him completely, got a big jump and stolen second standing up, without a throw.
It was the second stolen base of his career, and will probably be his favorite moment of the game. It’s a shame he didn’t get to show off his plus plus pop-up slide.
Nationals’ HR streak: Trea Turner’s leadoff home run last night extended the team’s home run streak to 19-straight games in which they’ve hit a ball out the yard. Turner’s home run was his seventh of the 2019 campaign and second as part of the streak.
The list of player who’s contributed homers is long, and they’d hit 33 total going into today’s game, with Matt Adams (7), Anthony Rendon (6), Juan Soto (5), Kurt Suzuki (4), Brian Dozier (3), Victor Robles (3), Trea Turner (2), Yan Gomes (1), Howie Kendrick (1) and Gerardo Parra (1) all chipping in.
Suzuki hit his 5th in the last 20, and his 11th of 2019 overall in the bottom of the second to put the Nationals up 3-0 and extend the streak to 20-straight games.
BULLPEN ACTION: Jorge López took over on the mound for the Royals in the seventh and gave up leadoff and one-out singles by Gerardo Parra and Adam Eaton, respectively, and Anthony Rendon stepped up with runners on the corners and hit a sac fly to bring Parra in from third and make it 5-0.
Eaton stole second with Juan Soto at the plate, and the Nationals’ 20-year-old slugger hit an RBI single to center to make it a 6-0 game.
Tanner Rainey got an inning-ending 4-6-3 DP after giving up a one-out walk and single in the top of the eighth.
López came back out for the bottom of the inning and struck out two in a 1-2-3 frame.
Matt Grace got the top of the ninth for the Nationals and worked around a one-out single for a scoreless frame. Ballgame.
Nationals now 46-42