The wheels seemed to come off in this one, and the Nats played like a flat tire with poor at-bats, key error, reliever meltdowns, double-steals, passed ball, crossed-up pitches, etc. Max Scherzer did all he could do in temperatures near 100°F on the field. But you aren’t going to win many games when you only score one run. The Nats got swept in 3 games by the Texas Rangers.
This is a team game, and when you are consistently leaning on your starters to win these games while going 7 or 8 innings with high pitch counts, you end up with what you saw today. Max Scherzer couldn’t save this game all by himself. According to the official f/x, the Profar walk was ball four that really ended Scherzer’s day, and the Nationals chances.
The game had two highlights: 1) Brian Goodwin’s lead-off home run 2) Max Scherzer’s 2,000th career strikeout
Max Scherzer took a 1-1 tie into the 8th inning which was to nobody’s surprise that he was back out there for that 8th inning which unraveled quickly. Jurickson Profar is a .114 hitter—yes, a .114 hitter. How do you walk him? The answer is simple that Max Scherzer was out of gas as he went 109 pitches in the game.
Scherzer did get the leadoff groundout to start the 8th inning which was followed by a fielding error on Anthony Rendon then the walk to Profar followed by a double steal. Oliver Perez relieved Scherzer and walked Choo on 4 pitches to load the bases. Dusty Baker called on Blake Treinen for a Houdini act to get a doubleplay to end the inning. It was not meant to be as a run immediately scored on a passed ball on a fast ball when Matt Wieters thought he was getting a slider. Andrus promptly tripled home 2 runs and then Mazara hit a sacrifice fly to finish the scoring at 5-1.
There were many fails today, and Max Scherzer deserved better. Joe Blanton pitched a scoreless 9th inning in his first inning back from the DL.