Trea Turner and Josh Bell both hit two-run home runs in the top of the sixth inning in Miami, taking Marlins’ starter Sandy Alcantara deep for opposite field home runs to right and left, respectively, as the Washington Nationals broke up a 1-1 tie in the series finale with the Fish in loanDepot park.
Max Scherzer gave up one run on five hits and two walks in six strong, throwing 102 pitches in a winning effort as the Nationals split their four-game set with the Marlins with a 5-1 win.
Scherzer vs the Fish: Max Scherzer had allowed two earned runs or fewer in 12 of his 14 starts this season going into today’s outing, including one against the Marlins back on May 2nd, when he tossed a nine-inning complete game on 106 pitches, giving up five hits and one earned run (on a home run) in a 3-1 win at home in Nationals Park.
Going into his second start against the Fish in 2021 this afternoon, the 36-year-old right-hander had a 2.19 ERA, 18 walks, 112 Ks, and a .175/.233/.325 line against in 82 1⁄3 IP. Last time out before today, he threw 106 pitches in five innings on the road in Philadelphia, holding Phillies’ hitters to a run on two hits in a 3-2 win, though all the talk after that start ended up being about Philly skipper Joe Girardi essentially accusing the starter of using foreign substances.
This time out the Nationals needed Scherzer to be a stopper after they dropped two in a row to the Marlins.
Scherzer took the mound with a 1-0 lead, but gave it right back as Jazz Chisholm, Jr. tripled to start the Marlins’ first, and scored on a 1-out RBI double by Jesús Aguilar, 1-1.
After working around a HBP and a single in the second, and retiring the side in order in the third, Scherzer stranded back-to-back, two-out singles in a 14-pitch fourth that left him at 65 pitches total on the afternoon. He retired the side in order in a 10-pitch fifth, then came back out for the sixth with a 5-1 lead (courtesy of HRs by Trea Turner and Josh Bell), and he walked two batters around a groundout to put two on with one out and then recorded back-to-back Ks to end a 27-pitch frame in his final inning of work.
Max Scherzer, elevated 95mph Fastball. pic.twitter.com/LlfNjjff0s— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 27, 2021
Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 102 P, 70 S, 8/0 GO/FO.
Alcantara vs the Nationals: Following a blow-up against the LA Dodgers (7 H, 8 ER in 1 1⁄3 IP), Marlins’ righty Sandy Alcantara had given up two runs or fewer in six of his last seven outings heading into today’s start, with a 1.79 ERA, 10 walks, 39 Ks, and .198/.247/.280 line against in 50 1⁄3 IP over that stretch.
Last time out before tonight, the right-hander held the Toronto Blue Jays to a run on five hits in eight strong innings of work.
“I think everything was working tonight,” Alcantara told reporters, as quoted on MLB.com.
“I feel a little bit uncomfortable because the ball was drifting a little bit, but I was trying to do my job, throwing the ball and trying to throw strikes.”
Following up on that outing, Alcantara had an unearned run score in the first. A ground ball by Kyle Schwarber ate up third baseman Jon Berti (near second in the shift), and a one-out walk to Juan Soto moved Schwarber to second, before he took third on a Josh Bell fly ball to center, and scored on a two-out line drive single to left by Josh Harrison, 1-0.
Alcantara held the Nationals there through four, throwing 38 pitches in his first two innings of work on the mound, and 14 total in the next two.
A caught stealing after a two-out walk got Alcantara through five on 70 pitches, but he put Kyle Schwarber on with his third walk of the game in the first at bat of the top of the sixth, and Trea Turner followed with a two-run, opposite field homer on a 97 MPH 0-1 sinker that cleared the right field fence and made it a 3-1 game in the Nationals’ favor. Turner’s 12th of 2021.
Somehow Not an All-Star Finalist Trea Turner™ leads all NL shortstops in...— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 27, 2021
He's 2nd in fWAR (3.0). This is his 12th HR of the season.@treavturner // #NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/NFgQT6kOcO
Juan Soto singled in the next at bat, and scored on a monster shot to left-center off Josh Bell’s bat, and 419 feet over the wall, 5-1. Bell’s 11th.
After a single by Josh Harrison, for the fourth hit of the inning, and a hard-hit groundout by Starlin Castro, Marlins’ skipper Don Mattlingly went to the bullpen...
Sandy Alcantara’s Line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 90 P, 57 S, 7/3 GO/FO.
Turn-On: Nationals’ shortstop Trea Turner started the series finale in Miami 17 for 46 (.370 AVG) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, four RBIs, six walks, three steals, and 11 runs scored in his last 12 games, with the home run his only one in 37 games and 163 PAs after he hit 10 in his first 37 games and 161 PAs this season. He connected for his 12th of 2021 in the top of the sixth inning this afternoon, hitting an opposite field blast 400 feet to right field in loanDepot park with a runner on, putting the Nationals up 3-1 at that point in a tight game with the Fish.
Bullpen Action: Adam Cimber took over for the Marlins with a runner on third and one out after Josh Harrison singled, took second on a wild pitch, and third on a groundout, and he walked Alex Avila intentionally after falling behind 2-0, then dialed up an inning-ending DP off Max Scherzer’s bat. 5-1 Nats after six.
One-time Nationals’ starter Ross Detwiler hit Victor Robles (who left the game after testing his leg(s) — it caught his left thigh and then hit his right knee pretty squarely). Detwiler then dialed up a 4-6-3 DP and popped Trea Turner up to end the top of the seventh inning.
Tanner Rainey took over for the Nationals with a four-run lead in the bottom of the seventh and worked around a one-out walk in a scoreless, 19-pitch, eight-strike frame.
Marlins’ righty John Curtiss retired the Nationals in order in the top of the eighth.
Austin Voth gave up a leadoff single, then got a 5-4-3 DP and a swinging K in a 10-pitch eighth.
Zach Pop kept it a four-run game with a scoreless ninth.
Brad Hand came on in the bottom of the ninth and retired the side in order to end it.
Final Score: 5-1 Nationals
Nationals now 37-38