Washington Nationals: 5 to watch in visit to San Francisco

Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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washington nationals
Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Max Scherzer

After a rough outing in Atlanta, Scherzer calmed some of the concerns surrounding him on Friday night against the Padres. The Nats ace went 8.2 innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out 13, and walked two on 108 pitches in a 5-1 win.

Scherzer has thrown 100 or more pitches in five straight games and has given up a total of ten earned runs during that stretch. The home runs continue to be an issue as he’s given up one in six of his last seven outings, but he has found a way to still be one of the elite starters in the game.

Heading into AT&T Park on Wednesday night, the one thing that might help Scherzer is that he will pitch in a ballpark where it is tough to hit home runs. Also, he has some good numbers on the road this year. In five road starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA and opponents are hitting .161 against him.

Against the Giants last year, Scherzer won his lone starts as he gave up one run on five hits along with six strikeouts over seven innings. However, he has a 5.52 ERA in six career starts vs. San Francisco and a 4.80 ERA in three starts at AT&T Park. Denard Span is 6-for-22 against him with a home run and four RBI’s.

Scherzer will go up against Matt Cain in the series finale. Cain gave up only one run over seven innings in his last start against the Braves and still took the loss. Despite having a 4.45 ERA, he has given up two runs or fewer in seven of his ten starts this year. If Cain has that kind of outing Wednesday, the fans could be in for a pitcher’s duel.