Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Wilson Ramos Saves Day In 5-4 Win Over Diamondbacks

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Aug 4, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher

Max Scherzer

(31) throws to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Scherzer Battles, But Still Shows Command Issues

For the first time since July 12, Max Scherzer threw over 110 pitches in a start last night. However, after showing near pinpoint command for the majority of the season, Scherzer has walked eight hitters in his last four games.

Last night, the Nats’ ace went six innings, gave up three runs on four hits, struck out nine, and walked three on 114 pitches (76 strikes). It is the second straight start in which Scherzer has walked three batters.

Unlike his last outing on July 30 against the Marlins, Scherzer was not able to get the big double play ball when he needed it. The command problems began in the third inning when he walked the opposing pitcher at the time, Josh Collmenter. Collmenter would go on to walk him one inning later.

However, the fourth inning was when it got ugly. After Scherzer struck out Paul Goldschmidt for the second time, he walked David Peralta after getting ahead 1-2 in the count. After a Jake Lamb single, Jarrod Saltamacchia got ahead 3-1 in the count and hit a 96 mile per hour fastball to right for a base hit that scored Peralta. Then, Chris Owings came through for Arizona by hitting a 1-2 slider down the line in left for a game tying double. Ian Desmond had the chance to get Saltalamacchia at the plate, but made a bad relay throw home.

While the Nationals’ ace did not have his best stuff last night, he was able to battle throughout the game and give his team a chance to win, despite blowing a 3-0 lead. On the plus side, Scherzer did strike out nine batters, which was the most K’s he has had in his last six starts (nine on July 2 at Atlanta).

Next: Ramos Starting To Find Confidence?