Happy handshakes tonight for the Nationals in this 8-2 win behind Max Scherzer who did it all tonight throwing 6.0 innings of shutout baseball while he scored two runs with some impressive hustle, and he smashed a double off the outfield wall raising his batting average to .296. Bryce Harper had another 3-hit night raising his batting average to .248 and collecting his 500th RBI in his career.
This is what you are supposed to do to bad teams — beat ’em and don’t let them back in the game.
“My teammates have put me in some good spots here in the second half [of the season],” Bryce Harper said. Every time I go out there I have a chance to be a good ballplayer. I have the confidence in myself and in my ability to go in there every single day and be one of the best ballplayers in baseball. I got a lot of guys in that clubhouse that really have my back and vice versa. I have a lot of confidence in everyone’s ability in there, and they do as well as me. It’s just fun to come here to play ballgames and enjoy it with everybody. It’s a great clubhouse in there — a great team… We have one of the best fanbases in baseball. I’m excited to be where we’re at right now…Be hot going into the playoffs. Let’s do it!”
With Harper hitting, this offense goes. He can carry this team if you put a runner on base and that is what Max Scherzer did for him tonight and Bryce drove him in. He is no longer swinging for the fences. The former MVP is swinging for RBIs.
“Harper is playing baseball all the way around,” Dave Martinez said. “Baserunning. Hitting. He’s not worried about hitting home runs…It’s fun to watch him now play.”
Manager Dave Martinez actually pulled Scherzer after the 6th inning before he reached 100 pitches (96 officially) as Max looked tired with all of that running he did on the bases. Scherzer earned his 16th win of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.11.
“He just attacked the strike zone like he always does,” Dave Martinez said about Scherzer. “It was hot. He was tired. We gave him a little blow going into his next start he gets a little rest.”
Hopefully Stephen Strasburg will be joining Max Scherzer in the rotation here soon to create that dynamic duo.
“When I’m at the plate, I just want to compete, I just want to make it a competitive at-bat,” Scherzer said. “If it’s bunting or trying to find a way to move a runner, or just hit, it’s going up there and making a competitive at-bat and trying to make it as hard as possible on the pitcher. Look, I know I’m not a great hitter, but I can just go out there to do what I can do at the plate to just help out any way I can to help the team.”
It sure is comforting that on this night Max could call it a night with a 5-run lead. He saw what happened to Tanner Roark yesterday when he almost blew his lead himself. While Trevor Gott struggled, Wander Suero closed it out for the home team.
Quotable: "That's why I put in the work, run in between days so I can run the bases and pitch," Scherzer said. "For me, that's part of the game." pic.twitter.com/E1Vzwa0fCT
— Talk Nats ⚾ (@TalkNats2) August 18, 2018