Goodbye San Francisco and goodbye to that 4-game losing streak. The Nats won today by a final score of 15-2. Max Scherzer wins another as the Nationals stopper extraordinaire, and the Nats bats came alive starting with Andrew Stevenson, Trea Turner, and Matt Adams. That trio combined for 12-for-16 with 12 RBIs. The Nationals did all of this with only 3 regular starters in the line-up, and 14 of the 15 runs scored with 2 outs.
This offensive explosion has to feel good for a team who could not get hits to fall during the losing streak, and this line-up looked like something concocted for a late February split-squad game. We already knew the Nats had a good chance of winning given Max’s previous 5-and-1 record when being a stopper with losing streaks of 4 or more games. Max’s record of course is now 6-and-1 as the “long losing streak” stopper. Max had to stop a 5-game losing streak earlier in this season on April 9th.
For the offense, how can you pick just one player-of-the-game? Andrew Stevenson hit a two-run double in the 1st inning for what turned out to be the game winning RBIs, and he had 4-hits on the day. Matt Adams had a 2-out single in the first inning to get the scoring started and seemed to put the game out of reach with a 3-run home run to make the game 6-to-1 in the fourth inning. For the game, Adams drove in 6-runs and was a triple short of hitting for the cycle. He finished the game with an .897 OPS. Trea Turner set the table with 5-hits including 2 doubles and the MLB leading 10th stolen base in the game.
“He worked diligently on his swing in Spring Training,” Dave Martinez said about Andrew Stevenson. “He hit the ball all of Spring Training, and he is still doing it. He’s a good kid. Loves to play the game.”
“Just trying to take advantage of every opportunity that I’m given,” Andew Stevenson said of his 4-hit day. “This year I have a better idea of what I need to do.”
The Nats finished with 18-hits, 6 walks, and 1 HBP, and they were 7-for-19 in RISP.
“We know that this is what the offense is capable of doing,” Matt Adams said. “If we keep going out there and having quality [at-bats] like we have been, things are going to start falling, and they did today.”
Hopefully this offensive assault will carry forward into the weekend series with the Diamondbacks who will be pitching three very good pitchers with Zack Godley, Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray. The Nats will counter with Stephen Strasburg on Friday, Jeremy Hellickson on Saturday and Gio Gonzalez on Sunday. The Nationals starters will all be pitching on an extra day’s rest due to a scheduled day-off tomorrow.
In crazy-talk stats, Max Scherzer moved to 5-and-1 on the season to lead the Majors, and he is on a 30+ win pace which seems like an impossibility with a 5-man rotation and has never been accomplished before. The last time baseball had a 30 game winner was Denny McLain as part of the Tigers 1968 4-man rotation. With this game completed, Max moved up as the most valuable pitcher in baseball at a +1.6 WAR. The early season list is very interesting including the name at the 4th spot on the list.