Of the Washington Nationals seven wins this season, four of them (57.1%) have been by one run margins. Today’s win was a 1-0 final score and the 176th win of Max Scherzer‘s career. He improved his ERA to 1.80 for the season which ranks him 6th in the NL. Over Scherzer’s last three starts, his ERA is a miniscule 0.47 in that span. The one run scored by the Nats was from an RBI double from Max’s battery mate Alex Avila who actually had two doubles in the game which is the first time he has done that in nearly four years.
While the Nats are playing without Juan Soto who is on the 10-day IL, it is not a surprise that the team is struggling to plate runs. But the team showed that you can win by only scoring one run.
It took a perfect outing by the bullpen to secure this and Tanner Rainey and Daniel Hudson both had holds, and Brad Hand got his third save of this young season. He is 24-for-24 on his current save streak dating to last year.
For Scherzer, he had bases loaded in the first inning and struggled to put up a zero. On the outing, he threw 109 pitches and notched 9 strikeouts and passed Mike Mussina for 21st on the all-time strikeout list. Scherzer is now at 2,817 with his career strikeouts and 15 from tying Mickey Lolich who is 20th on the list.
“I don’t want to be 7-9, that’s below .500,” Scherzer said. “Obviously as a team you want to be better than that. … We’re starting to play better baseball. … Everything it takes to win, we’re starting to see that. Hopefully we continue to player better, and we continue to play better to our competition.”
The team improved to 7-9 with this much needed win before the team travels to New York for a weekend series.