The Washington Nationals are back to .500 and guaranteed to be in a two-team tie atop the NL East at the end of play tonight. This 4-game winning streak came on one swing off the bat by Ryan Zimmerman who crushed a Trevor Rogers fastball for all of the Nats scoring, and Max Scherzer went the route of legends with a complete game 106 pitch outing with a 3-1 final score to sweep their first series of the season.
The team is 7-3 without Juan Soto, and of course they could use Soto but Yadiel Hernandez has been great in Soto’s place in the lineup. It also helps that the starting pitching has mostly been excellent in that span pitching to a 2.59 ERA. There won’t be any Wally Pipp situation when Soto returns, but you have to think Hernandez will stay on the roster when Soto is activated from the 10-day IL.
As we learned after the game, Scherzer’s wife is in labor with their third child. They had announced before that they are expecting a son. This should also allow the Nats to make a paternity leave roster move. Scherzer’s next start should be next Saturday.
“We have to continue to play good baseball,” manager Dave Martinez said about extending the winning streak.
This seemed like a game of both teams executing on the little things, and the Nats just did a better job of coming through. Obviously the Nats were an horrific 2-11 in RISP spots, but fortunately Zimmerman came through with a 430 foot homer to supply all of the scoring. Scherzer and his defense did the rest in holding the Marlins to only 4 RISP opportunities. Their only run came off of a solo home run in the 9th inning.
The team has a day-off tomorrow, and have the Braves traveling to Nats Park for a 3-game series starting on Tuesday. Martinez announced that Joe Ross will pitch on Tuesday, Erick Fedde on Wednesday, and Jon Lester on Thursday. That should set up Patrick Corbin on Friday and Scherzer on Saturday with an extra rest day.