The Nationals won 5-1, but what was a laugher to begin the top of the 9th inning became a bases loaded situation and Max Scherzer was pulled with two outs—one out from the rare complete game. Chris Speier who is filling in as the manager for the weekend for Dusty Baker had an easy go to his Nats managerial debut until that 9th inning and the key move of the game was going straight to Koda Glover instead of Oliver Perez who also was warm and ready in the bullpen.
If Perez came in, he would have had to face the rookie power stud Hunter Renfroe who entered the game as the right-handed pinch-hitter. Glover struck the rookie out on 4 pitches to close-out the game and secure the 5-1 win for the Nationals and Max Scherzer. The reigning Cy Young winner had a season-high 13 strikeouts and was just over 100 pitches in a pitch efficient start which looked like a slam dunk complete game for Max until it began to unravel with a hit, a walk, and a HBP. To the rescue was the young Koda Glover who threw 4 pitches to secure his 4th save of the season.
The scoring started in the bottom of the 1st inning with a lead-off blast by Trea Turner over the centerfield wall. The Nationals had a chance to widen the lead with bases loaded but couldn’t push across a run, and in the top of the next inning Ryan Schimpf hit a game tying home run. Michael Taylor countered with a 2-run blast to leftfield and the final runs were scored on a third-deck blast from Bryce Harper.
Acting manager Chris Speier said he didn’t have to make any managerial decisions in the game and frankly the only one was really just pulling Scherzer from the game. Koda Glover made Speier look smart, and that’s how it’s supposed to work.
The Nationals were also able to win this game while resting both Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman. Maybe the stat of the day is the Nationals are now 11-3 when Wilmer Difo starts for the Nationals this year. Michael Taylor‘s 3-game starts streak with no strikeouts ended tonight. Trea Turner was 2-4 in the game with a home run and a hustle double, but he also had a two-bagger ruled an error which could be changed to a hit and an error. Turner has now reached base 3 times in the past week on balls that have been ruled errors and every play could have been ruled a hit.
Enjoy this video on the dozen swing & miss strikeouts by Scherzer of his season-high 13 K’s. The K Street promotion from the Nationals seems to be going as planned!