This was a Disney type of ending to this 14-inning game that was won by the Nationals as Max Scherzer got a pinch-hit single and scored from 1st base on a Wilmer Difo triple. They don’t get much bigger than this in the month of June. This was a signature win, and possibly a game you look back on later in the season as to the significance on the whole season.
How can we come up with more accolades about the reigning Pitcher of the Month — Max Scherzer who not only got the single to get the 14th inning going and then he ran the bases like a position player with “legit” speed going from first base to score on a gapper by Difo. That game winning run made Justin Miller into a deserving winning pitcher.
“If somebody else is doing good then you want to go out there and do the same thing,” Justin Miller said.
The Nationals bullpen went 7.0 innings of no-run baseball led by Justin Miller‘s 3-inning shutout 5-strikeout performance along with zeros from Ryan Madson, Sammy Solis, Shawn Kelley, Brandon Kintzler, and closer Sean Doolittle who closed out the game for his 14th save of the season.
“Incredible,” Dave Martinez said about Justin Miller. “Star of the game. He threw 52 pitches. He will be down for a while (laughing).”
The Nationals defense and pitching was fantastic today. Gio Gonzalez made one bad pitch the entire game, and Juan Soto got him off the hook with a solo home run in the 7th inning. Soto on the day was 3-for-5 and he had a strikeout on what was 100% clearly a check-swing.
The Nats got on the board early in the game with a 2-run home run by Michael Taylor, but the Nats struggled with a strike zone which was downright awful today which caused batters to expand. Trea Turner had a game in the batter’s box that he would like to forget, but he never carried it onto the defensive side of the field as he was fielding everything hit near him.
The bench was even shorter as Matt Adams fouled a ball off of his foot and came out of the game, and manager Dave Martinez said he was sore. With the short bench and not wanting to use Pedro Severino, it was Max Scherzer who got to pinch-hit for Justin Miller in the 14th inning.
“They came to me a couple innings before,” Max Scherzer said about pinch-hitting. “Getting loose in the cage running and hitting….Helping the team win.”
You knew when the Nationals went to a 4-man bench that Max Scherzer would get a chance to pinch-hit, and manager Dave Martinez again pushed all of the right buttoms. When it comes being a gamer, Max Scherzer is incredible, end of story.