Tonight, Sean Doolittle only needed to throw one pitch to earn the save and preserve a 4-1 win for Max Scherzer who went 7.0 innings of shutout baseball. The offense was keyed by a 2-run bomb by Brian Dozier in the fourth inning which happened to have been his 1,000th career hit also. The Nats rolled in this game until Wander Suero struggled in the ninth inning which caused manager Davey Martinez to reluctantly call on Doolittle who was supposed to be off tonight.
In this game, Scherzer really chiefed it out after he took a hard comebacker off of the back of his leg early in the game. Scherzer’s last 4 starts have been fantastic while pitching a combined 27.0 innings allowing just 2 runs and a 0.67 ERA with 39 strikeouts. His season’s ERA dropped to 2.83 which put him at 10th in the Majors behind Ryu, Soroka, Odorizzi, Giolito, Morton, Castillo, Verlander, Davies, and Minor.
“He’s been pitching really well all year. He really has,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He’s just competing like he always does. I don’t see any difference from what he was doing in the beginning. Like I said, he’s Max, and he just goes out there and competes.”
The Nationals defense was near-flawless tonight as Scherzer gave up 6-hits of which 3 were in the infield. He exited at 101 pitches of which 71 were strikes. Tanner Rianey took the eighth inning and went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts. This win gets the Nats back on the path to start another run.