Scherzer gets bombed giving up 4 & Espinosa leaves 6 on-base in 3 ABs (all K’s): Postgame

The Nationals lost this game 4-3, and now are in a must-win situation tomorrow with Tanner Roark pitching.

If you knew Clayton Kershaw would struggle and give up 3 runs over only 5 innings, you would like the Nationals chances, but Max Scherzer gave up 4 runs over 6 innings on giving up 2 home runs. Both bullpens did not allow a run.

All Nationals position players got on-base safely via a hit or walk except Danny Espinosa, and the Nationals had 12 baserunners during the game, but innings stalled during Espinosa’s 3 at-bats as he struck out all 3 times with a chance to break the game open as he left six men on-base.

Dusty Baker did eventually pinch-hit for Espinosa but he did it with bases empty in the 8th inning. Alternative thinking as mentioned in the comments section is seeing the opportunity to get back in the game and pinch-hit earlier for Danny when runners were in scoring position. The Nats have a bench of 6 and with Trea Turner’s positional flexibility the Nats have three players who can play shortstop other than Espinosa: Trea Turner, Stephen Drew and Wilmer Difo.

Max Scherzer never got above 96.5 mph on his fastball and many fastballs were in the 92 to 93 mph range. It appeared the wear of the season had caught up with Scherzer on Sunday against the Marlins, and it was a much tougher outing tonight. Max averaged 95.5 mph on his fastball in the month of September compared to  averaging 94.3 tonight. He never had his reachback fastball as a weapon tonight.

“The big hit escaped us,” Dusty Baker said, and possibly he forgot about Anthony Rendon’s two-RBI single, but the fact is it did most of the night as the Nationals were 1-10 in RISP spots.

“Espinosa can turn around and hit the next pitch out of the park,” Dusty Baker said. “That’s what’s kind of frustrating…his swing was long tonight.”

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