Old Timers’ Day! Max Scherzer, 36, tossed a complete game against Miami’s Marlins on just 106 pitches, finally giving up one run in the ninth to fall short of a shutout, and Ryan Zimmerman, also 36, hit a three-run blast in the third, providing all the runs the Washington Nationals needed in a 3-1 win which gave them a sweep of their three-game set in the nation’s capital.
Scherzer vs the Fish: After giving up four runs (on four solo home runs) in his 2021 debut, Max Scherzer gave up one run over the three starts and 19 IP that followed, building up to 17.0 scoreless innings over those appearances. He added two innings to that total before giving up four runs in the third inning of his outing against the Toronto Blue Jays last week in Dunedin, FL, and ended up allowing seven runs (5 ER) in five innings of work in his fifth start of the season.
“I made some good pitches tonight, and they fouled it off,” Scherzer said in assessing his outing, “... and I made a bad pitch and they’d crush it.
“Make a mistake and you get beat in this league, so I tip my hat to them, they did a great job tonight.”
Looking to bounce back, Scherzer got off to strong start with three scoreless innings on 35 pitches this afternoon in D.C., striking out four of the first nine he faced, and he came out for the fourth with a 3-0 lead, and retired the side in order in a five-pitch frame, then worked his way out of a 2-on, 2-out jam in a 14-pitch fifth which left him at 54 total after five.
Max Scherzer, 95mph Fastball and 86mph Changeup, Overlay pic.twitter.com/MISmKPObwd— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 2, 2021
A six-pitch sixth, in which he worked around a one-out single, left Scherzer at 60 total in six scoreless, and a 15-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh pushed him up to 75 pitches overall.
Scherzer gave up a one-out single by Monte Harrison in the top of the eighth, but Harrison was tagged out trying to steal second base when he slipped off the bag for out No. 2 of the inning, and the Nationals’ ace got out No. 3 with a 96 MPH 2-2 fastball Adam Duvall missed.
Scherzer’s 17-pitch eighth left him at 92 pitches total, and he returned for the top of the ninth inning and gave up a leadoff home run on an 0-1 fastball to Isan Díaz, whose first homer of the season broke up the Nationals’ starter’s shutout bid, 3-1. No shutout... but that was it for the Fish...
Max Scherzer’s Line: 9.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 1 HR, 106 P, 76 S, 11/3 GO/FO.
Rogers vs the Nats: Marlins’ left-hander Trevor Rogers took the mound this afternoon (3-1) in five starts this season with a 1.29 ERA, 2.00 FIP, 10 walks, 38 Ks, and a .188/.271/.260 line against in 28 IP.
Rogers, 23, and a 2017 1st Round pick by the Fish, was coming off back-to-back scoreless starts in which he walked one and struck out 15 in 13 IP.
This afternoon in the nation’s capital, Rogers was facing a Nationals’ roster that started the day with a .312/.387/.478 line against left-handers this season, good for 1st/1st/2nd among National League teams.
Rogers tossed two scoreless to start today’s game, working around a leadoff double by Victor Robles in the first, and a two-out walk by Yadiel Hernández in the second, but he didn’t get out of the third unscathed.
Ryan Zimmerman stepped in with two on and two out, after a botched double steal attempt looked like it might cost the Nats another run-scoring opportunity, and hit an 0-2 fastball all the way out to center field for a two-out, three-run home run that made it a 3-0 game in the home team’s favor. Zimmerman’s 4th. #TKCHZ
Rogers held the Nationals there through five, and was up to 77 pitches overall when the Fish decided to go to the bullpen...
Trevor Rogers’ Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 77 P, 48 S, 5/1 GO/FO.
Sweet Sweep Action?: Going into the series finale with the Fish, the Nationals were looking for their first series sweep of the season, and their first sweep since September 7-8, 2020 vs Tampa Bay.
Their last three-game sweep, the Nationals’ noted in their pregame notes, was all the way back on Sept. 27-29, 2019 vs Cleveland, and the Nationals had last swept the Fish back in 2019 as well, Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Nationals Park.
Bullpen Action: Righty Zach Pop was first out of the bullpen for the Marlins, and he worked around a two-out single by Yan Gomes for a scoreless bottom of the sixth. Still 3-0 Nats.
Pop returned to the mound in the bottom of the seventh and gave up a leadoff double by Jordy Mercer, a two-out walk to Josh Harrison, and then committed a throwing error on a ground ball back to the mound off Trea Turner’s bat. Ryan Zimmerman stepped in with the bases loaded and a new pitcher on the mound. John Curtiss took over and struck Zim out for the final out of the inning.
Adam Cimber tossed a scoreless bottom of the eighth, to keep it a three-run game, but the Marlins only got one off Max Scherzer in the ninth, which wasn’t enough. Ballgame.
Final Score: 3-1 Nationals
Nationals now 12-12