It is like the annual letdown on the Sunday game after the Dream Foundation Gala. Whatever happens, it is year after year that the team falls flat and lack energy on the game after the Gala. Today, the Nationals got shutout 2-to-0 sticking a loss on Max Scherzer. Maybe if the Nationals were facing an ace pitcher you could understand it, but this was not a pitcher’s duel.
For Max’s part, he made one fatal pitch in his 7-innings today and it was a meatball to Brandon Crawford, but the Nationals win these types of games almost every time. In fact before today, the Nationals were 24-and-2 in games where the opposing team scored 2-runs or less.
On this day, it is even more frustrating as the opposing pitcher, Derek Holland, came into the game with a 4.91 ERA and the Nationals managed 3-hits and 2-walks off of him.
Once again, it has to be questioned why Michael Taylor is swinging away with no outs and runners on 2nd base and 1st base. Taylor not only is at a career high of 5 doubleplays but his K-rate is 34% with RISP. Why not bunt and move up runners and possibly get the bonus program where you get a single or cause an error. The Nationals put no pressure on the Giants today. Like clockwork, Taylor hits into a doubleplay to kill any possible rally.
Taylor did have one of the Nationals 3-hits on the day, and Juan Soto and Mark Reynolds had the other two singles in the game. The other rally killer was when Taylor did get his single he attempted to steal 2nd base which was a great idea, but he over-slid the base and was tagged out.