Washington Nationals: Three Takeaways From NLDS Game 5
By Ricky Keeler
Scherzer’s Great Effort Gets No Offensive Support
When the Washington Nationals signed Max Scherzer a couple offseasons ago, they got him to pitch in these kinds of ballgames. While Scherzer didn’t get the win last night, he kept the Nats in the game and was dominant at times. He went six innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out seven, and walked two on 99 pitches (65 strikes).
Another question about last night’s game was how long Dusty Baker should’ve let Scherzer stay in the game. Baker let Scherzer pitch to Pederson, who had three strikeouts in four at-bats against left-handers, and that decision came back to bite him. Pederson hit a first pitch fastball over the wall in left.
Even at 99 pitches, I would’ve let Scherzer stay in the game to face Yasmani Grandal. Grandal went 2-for-16 in the series and his best at-bat of the night at that point was a walk against Scherzer in the third. Marc Rzepczynski came in to face Grandal and he ended up walking him.
Despite getting a no-decision, Scherzer had his changeup working in this game. According to Brooks Baseball, the right-hander threw 16 of his 23 changeups for strikes and got nine swings and misses.
Scherzer didn’t give up a hit until the fifth inning (Josh Reddick single), but Justin Turner’s 13-pitch at-bat that resulted in a walk in the fourth inning ended up hurting Scherzer down the road. He didn’t get the win, but the ace of the Washington Nationals was able to rise to the occasion. If the Washington Nationals could’ve got more timely hitting, the result would have been better for Scherzer.