Tonight, the Washington Nationals got eight shutout innings from Max Scherzer as they snapped their four game losing streak
Coming into this game, the starting pitching matchup seemed like an obvious advantage for the Washington Nationals. Max Scherzer has settled into his All-Star form in the second half of this season while Ubaldo Jimenez has posted a 6.62 ERA. But, the game turned into a great pitcher’s duel for most of the night. The Nats eventually got the win 4-0 to snap their four game losing streak.
Both starting pitchers started off the game on a roll. In the top of the fourth, the Orioles led off the inning with a lead off double by Adam Jones. It was the first hit of the night against Scherzer. While he was in his first bit of trouble, Scherzer worked his way out of it by retiring the next there hitters.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Nats got their ace right-hander some run support. Jayson Werth led off the inning with a monster solo shot to center. Werth’s 17th home run of the season gave the Washington Nationals a 1-0 lead.
That home run by Werth would be the only run that Jimenez would give up. The Orioles right-hander went six innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out four, and walked one on 90 pitches (62 strikes) in the loss.
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Mark Trumbo ripped a single to center to start the eighth inning, which snapped a streak of 12 straight batters retired by Scherzer. As he did all game long, Scherzer continued to battle and worked out of it. He struck out the next two batters and got J.J. Hardy to fly out to center to end the inning.
Tonight was one of Scherzer’s best outings of the season on a night when the Washington Nationals needed it the most. He gave up two hits and struck out ten on 95 pitches (72 strikes) as he picked up his 14th win of the season.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Washington Nationals were able to pad their lead against Logan Ondrusek. Trea Turner and Werth led off the inning with back to back singles. Then, Daniel Murphy hit a RBI double down the right field line to give the Nats a 2-0 lead. Bryce Harper would double the Washington Nationals lead to four with a double of his own into the left field corner.
After Scherzer’s night was over, Mark Melancon came in to pitch for the first time since Saturday. He gave up a leadoff double to Hyun Soo Kim, but he was able to strand Kim at third base and preserve the shutout.
Next Game: Tomorrow night, the Washington Nationals (74-53) begin a three game series against the Colorado Rockies (60-67) at Nationals Park. Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 4.30 ERA) gets the ball for the Nats and will be opposed by Jeff Hoffman (0-1, 13.50) for the Rockies. You can catch the game on MASN2 at 7:05 p.m ET.