Washington Nationals Recap: Nats Dominate D’backs 11-1 to Begin West Coast Trip

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The Washington Nationals had arguably their most dominant victory of the 2015 season on Monday night.  The Nats took the lead right from the get go against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field and never relinquished it in a game that showcased the recent hot streak their lineup has put together.  Max Scherzer contributed an excellent pitching performance, as the Nats won 11-1.

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The Nats took the lead right off of the bat in this game.  Facing D’backs opening day starter Josh Collmenter (3-4), Denard Span lined the second pitch of the game into the right field seats for his third home run of the year.  It was the third lead off home run of the year for the team, as Yunel Escobar and Michael Taylor have also started a game with a blast in 2015.  Yunel Escobar, as part of his second five hit game of 2015, dunked the very next pitch into right center field for a base hit. Jayson Werth followed with a five pitch walk to bring up Bryce Harper, who was named NL Player of the Week prior to the game.

Harper attempted to continue his recent long ball binge, but his blast to right came up a few feet short and in the glove of the right fielder, Ender Inciarte.  Ryan Zimmerman would make sure to one up Bryce, drilling a Collmenter cutter over 400 feet deep into the left center field seats for a home run and an early 4-0 Nats lead.  The blast was Zim’s fourth of the year, and brought up his RBI total to 25, placing him fourth in the National League.

The very next inning, Danny Espinosa and Max Scherzer would collect infield singles to bring up Span, who scalded a ground ball up the middle to score Espinosa for a 5-0 lead.  After an Escobar single and a Werth sac fly scored another run, Harper increased the lead to 7-0 with a laser of a base hit to right to score Span.  Harper’s hit also ended the night for Collmenter, who finished with nine earned runs allowed while just inducing four outs.  The final runs charged to Collmenter would come courtesy of Wilson Ramos, who followed up a Zimmerman walk with a bases clearing double off of D’backs reliever Vidal Nuno. With that hit, Ramos extended his hit streak to 14 games.   The Nats would tack on their 11th run of the night in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Escobar.

On the mound, Max Scherzer (3-3) was just as dominating as the lineup behind him.  The Nats’ prized righty got off to a strong start, shutting down the D’backs in order in the first inning on just seven pitches.  Scherzer would give up one run in seven innings of work. He struck out six and walked one in the win.

Scherzer’s only blemish came in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Jordan Pacheco, who came into the game for Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth, hammered a pitch to left field for a solo home run.  The start lowered Scherzer’s ERA to a pristine 1.99. Blake Treinen would give up one hit over the final two innings while striking out one.

Next Game:  The Washington Nationals (18-15) will continue their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks (14-17) at 9:40 pm ET at Chase Field. You can catch the game on MASN2. Stephen Strasburg (2-3, 4.73) will take on D’backs righty Rubby De La Rosa (3-2, 4.38) in the second game of the series. The start will be Strasburg’s first after he departed his last outing with a back issue.

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