With the Nationals and Braves sending their aces to the mound today, it was Max Scherzer who got the win today, and he was helped by amazing defense and 4 runs of support in a 6-2 Nationals win that included two long rain delays.
Picking one star would be difficult, and Bryce Harper stood above the rest with 2 RBIs in a 2-4 game that included a home run and a RISP single and a key outfield assist where he threw out the speedy Acuña at 2nd base. Every Washington Nationals starter had at least one hit except for Matt Wieters on a day where the Nationals tallied 15-hits and 3 walks.
“This was a good very clean game,” manager Dave Martinez said. “We have to continue to play good fundamental baseball.”
Other exceptional defensive plays were made by Adam Eaton on a ball over his head and Michael Taylor who was inserted as a pinch-hitter in the 6th inning and stayed in after the second rain delay for defense and he quickly made an impact playing skying up against the centerfield wall to rob an extra base hit.
The bullpen threw a shutout but they were tagged for 6-hits in 3 innings which gives you an idea of how stressful it was as the lead was only 2-runs when Matt Grace and Ryan Madson entered in the 7th inning. Kelvin Herrera had a 5-out save to close the game out.
Rookie Juan Soto continued to impress at the plate. He was 3-4 with two opposite field doubles plus a single and a walk. The 19-year-old raised his batting average to .311 and his OPS to an impressive .968 to lead all rookies.
With the 1:35PM start time, the game did not end until one minute short of 7 hours later with the 3 hours and 33 minutes of rain delays on top of the 3 hours and 26 minutes of game time. The game was a sell-out of over 39,000 fans, but by the end after the rain delays there was maybe 1,000 fans remaining which is typical of what happens in these rain shortened games. Even before the game began, the Nationals made a nice concession to the fans allowing them to exchange their game tickets for a future game even before there was a determination on whether the game would be played.
“I had a lot of help today,” Scherzer said. “And anytime you get that on the mound, it just makes for a great team win, because we played really good baseball today.”
This was a game the Nationals really needed to win and they jumped out to a 3-run lead in the 1st inning and Scherzer gave back two runs of which one was to the Braves number eight hitter when the pitcher was on-deck and first base open. Other than that, the Nationals made all the plays today.