Max Scherzer left the mound in Nationals Park after twelves pitches tonight, with an as-yet-undisclosed injury, and the Washington Nationals’ bullpen had to take it from there in what ended up a 1-0 loss in the first of four with the San Francisco Giants.
Anthony DeSclafani tossed a complete game shutout vs the Nationals in the series opener, in another dominant performance for a starter against Washington.
Scherzer vs SF: Heading into tonight’s outing, Max Scherzer had a streak of seven-straight starts in which he’d allowed two earned runs or fewer, with a 1.72 ERA, nine walks, 66 Ks, and a .222/.270/.493 line against in 47 IP over that stretch, in which he’d given up 2 ER in three outings, 1 ER in three, and tossed five scoreless innings in one.
Last time out before tonight, Scherzer held the Phillies to a run on five hits and one walk in 7 2⁄3 IP, over which he threw 108 pitches total, in his longest outing, innings-wise, so far in his 14th big league campaign.
“He had a great outing, mixed in all his pitches, he threw some really good changeups when he needed to, but all his pitches were electric tonight,” manager Davey Martinez said after a 2-1 win in Citizens Bank Park.
Back in Nationals Park tonight, Scherzer threw 12 pitches and felt something was off. He stretched a bit on the mound, but the dugout noticed and team trainer Paul Lessard and manager Davey Martinez went out, and after one test pitch under their watchful eyes, Scherzer left the mound...
DeSclafani vs D.C.: Ten of the 26 runs Anthony DeSclafani has given up in 12 starts and 66 2⁄3 IP this season came in one start, with the LA Dodgers putting up 10 runs on nine hits and two walks when they faced the Giants’ right-hander on May 23rd.
Overall on the year, heading into tonight’s matchup with the Nationals in the nation’s capital, the 31-year-old starter had a 3.51 ERA, 20 walks, 58 Ks, and a .217/.275/.333 line against.
Tonight in Nationals Park, DeSclafani retired the first nine batters he faced before a single by Trea Turner broke up his nascent no-hit bid, but a swinging K from Juan Soto and a 6-3 DP off Josh Bell’s bat got the Giants’ starter through four on 49 pitches, and he got a 5-4-3 DP out of Yan Gomes after a leadoff walk in the fifth, and caught Starlin Castro looking for out No. 3 of a 15-pitch frame that pushed him up to 64 after five.
A quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth left DeSclafani at 76 pitches on the night, and he came back out for the seventh and gave up a ... long, one-out fly to left off Juan Soto’s bat that Mike Tauchman caught at the top of the left field wall, pulling it back over for out No. 2 before the Giants’ starter stranded a two-out double and completed his seventh scoreless frame.
DeSclafani returned to the mound in Nationals Park in the eighth and struck out two in a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 inning.
Anthony DeSclafani’s Line: 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 103 P, 71 S, 7/2 GO/FO.
Road Soto [ed. note - “Again?”]: Juan Soto had hits in seven of the nine games on the Nats’ recently-completed road trip, and he reached base safely in all nine games on the trip (and the last 11 overall). Soto went 10 for 30 (.333 AVG) with one triple, four home runs, 11 RBIs, 11 walks, and 10 runs scored on the trip, but tonight he returned to Nationals Park, where he’d put up a .214/.378/.243 line so far in 2021, as opposed to his .326/.439/.621 line on the road, where he’d hit all of his eight home runs this season as well.
Would a return to Nationals Park bring an end to Soto’s on-base streak? He was 0 for 2 with a K through six, and had a home run pulled back over the fence in the seventh, 0 for 3.
Bullpen Action: Paolo Espino took over for Max Scherzer with one out in the top of the first, and got two outs around a single, then he retired the Giants in order in the second and third innings, throwing 31 pitches total in 2 2⁄3 IP.
Espino’s 37th pitch, an 0-1 slider to Buster Posey, ended up in the visitor’s bullpen in left, for Posey’s 11th of 2021 and a 1-0 lead for the Giants in the fourth.
If you’re counting, that’s number 11 for Buster pic.twitter.com/X5CK4nfIq6— SFGiants (@SFGiants) June 12, 2021
After a single by Brandon Crawford, and a called third strike on Steven Duggar, Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez went to the pen again for Kyle McGowin vs Donovan Solano.
McGowin gave up a single to right by Solano, but a swinging K from Mike Tauchman ended the threat. Still 1-0 Giants.
McGowin tossed an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth.
Wander Suero was next out of the bullpen for the Nationals, retiring the side in order in a 12-pitch sixth.
Ryne Harper got the top of the seventh and retired the side in order in a 15-pitch frame.
It was still 1-0 Giants when he came back out in the eighth and set three straight down in a quick, nine-pitch inning.
Sam Clay kept it close, with a scoreless top of the ninth, but the Nationals came up empty in the bottom of the inning and lost...
Final Score: 1-0 Giants
Nationals now 25-34