Washington Nationals: 5 to watch in Cubs’ visit to D.C.

ddouglas
Jun 15, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth (28) talks with Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) during a challenge of Zobrist's tag of Werth at second base in the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Werth was ruled out on the challenge, and the Nationals won 5-4 in twelve innings. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth (28) talks with Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) during a challenge of Zobrist's tag of Werth at second base in the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Werth was ruled out on the challenge, and the Nationals won 5-4 in twelve innings. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Max Scherzer

Opposing Arrieta on Tuesday night will be Max Scherzer. This matchup features the last two National League Cy Young Award winners. Scherzer has picked up right where he left off after winning the Cy Young Award last season, leading the majors with a 2.09 ERA in 15 starts.

Scherzer’s last start was one of the most dominant of his career. His first six outs were all via the strikeout, and he brought a no-hitter into the eighth. He ended up throwing 121 pitches over eight innings, so it will be interesting to see how he fares on Tuesday. Most pitchers would most likely struggle after throwing 121 pitches in their previous outing, but Scherzer is a completely different animal.

Not many players on the Cubs’ active roster have fared well against Scherzer, which is to be expected. Anthony Rizzo appears to have Scherzer’s number, batting .375 with a homer in eight at-bats, but nobody else has really done much. Another notable Cub against Scherzer is the reigning NL MVP, Kris Bryant, who is 0-for-8 career.

June has been a phenomenal month for Scherzer so far. He has pitched to a 0.89 ERA in four starts, allowing just three earned runs on 12 hits. He has also gone at least seven innings in each start this month.

For a team with bullpen issues, pitching deep into games is extremely helpful. It means that the bullpen has fewer outs to get, but it also allows the bullpen to rest and reset.

Tuesday night will be Scherzer’s last start this month, and it should be fun to watch him attempt to close out June with yet another dominant outing.

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