After an average first month of the season, Scherzer got his May off to a good start last Sunday against the Cardinals. In that game, Scherzer went seven innings, gave up no runs on four hits, and struck out nine on 105 pitches in the win.
In this game, Scherzer had much better command of his fastball. He threw 73 of his 105 pitches for strikes and threw 17 first pitch strikes to the 25 hitters that he faced. Plus, his nine strikeouts were a season-high.
Against the Cubs, the Nats’ ace is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three career outings. Last season, at Wrigley Field (May 27), Scherzer threw seven shutout innings, gave up five hits, and struck out 13 in a 3-0 win. Dexter Fowler is 4-for-16 against him with a double and three RBI’s.
This offseason, the Cubs gave Lackey a two-year, $32 million contract as Lackey left the Cubs’ archrivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. Even though Lackey is 37 years old, the veteran right-hander brings big game experience to the Cubs’ rotation along with Jon Lester.
So far this season, Lackey has given up two runs or fewer in three of his five starts. But, in the other two starts, he gave up six runs in each. In his last game against the Braves on Sunday, he went eight innings, gave up two earned runs on three hits, struck out two, and walked three in a no-decision.
In four career starts against the Nationals, Lackey is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA. In two starts last year, Lackey had a 4.63 ERA and did not pick up a decision. Jayson Werth is 7-for-14 with four doubles, a home run, and three RBI’s.
Prediction: This game should be a good battle between two veteran right-handers, but I think Scherzer is going to start get on a roll after a strong outing against the Cardinals. He will pitch a little better than Lackey and the Nats will pick up their first win of the series.
Next: Saturday's Matchup