This game was mostly about Max Scherzer‘s birthday dominance until the teenager Juan Soto bashed his 13th home run along with a triple and a single elevating his OPS back over 1.000 as his sample size went over the 200 at-bat mark. Soto was a double shy of a cycle. These two players were just spectacular. Scherzer gave up no earned runs and pushed his ERA down to 2.30 while notching his 200th strikeout in his 7th consecutive season which matched Walter Johnson and Roger Clemens while only Tom Seaver is ahead of that mark with 9 consecutive seasons of at least 200 strikeouts.
“His cutter was really filthy,” manager Dave Martinez said about Scherzer. “He was really good tonight.”
Scherzer had no-hit stuff tonight, but the Marlins were able to get a few off of him eventually as they managed to tally three in 8.0 innings off of the Nats’ ace. Scherzer had 11 strikeouts on 106 pitches on his way to earning his 14th win of the season.
“It’s just awesome to watch,” Martinez said. “When [Scherzer] gets a hit, you watch him round that base and he’s jacked up.”
Scherzer also did it with the bat and was 1-2 in the game and also got down a sacrifice bunt. Scherzer boosted his batting average on the season to an impressive .277 which ranks him in front of many of his teammates who play daily. It’s a reminder that you can play once every 5-days and still hit.
As of today, Scherzer now ranks 1st in the Majors in wins (14), innings pitched (148 2/3), and in the NL he is 1st in WHIP at 0.90. The question comes down to how much is too much. With an 8-run lead, was it really necessary for Max to come out for the 8th inning with a pitch count in the 90’s? With the extra rest day on Monday, maybe it’s okay in these “must win” games to keep the bullpen fresh.
While the Nationals won this game 9-1, they finally have put together a winning streak. Yes, it’s only 3-games in a row — but it’s a start. You must have 3 to get to 4, and tomorrow is another game to add to it. For now, the Nationals could be scoreboard watching and hoping for some help against their division rivals.
Every Nats player in the starting line-up reached base safely, and the Nationals piled up 16-hits and 5-walks in this game. Matt Adams had a 3-hit night including two RISP hits, and Daniel Murphy was 3-for-4 while Trea Turner and Bryce Harper each had 2-hits. Juan Soto had 3-hits while also homering for his 3rd consecutive game.