Washington Nationals: Max Scherzer is human after all
By Blake Finney
Despite being other-worldly in 2018 so far, Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer proved he really is human, but still managed to get the 9-5 win.
The Washington Nationals took the series opener against the Miami Marlins by a score of 9-5. They managed to grind it out despite their ace, Max Scherzer, being nowhere near his best in this one.
Scherzer wound up with six innings of four-run ball, giving up seven hits, two walks, and struck out just four. Probably the least Max Scherzer line by the man himself so far this season.
He didn’t have his best command, leaving too many pitches out over the plate. The seven hits he gave up were a season high, and he hasn’t given up more since July 21st last season.
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And the two hits that came back to haunt him the most were left over the heart of the plate to Miguel Rojas for a 2 RBI base hit, then a two-run home run by Derek Dietrich.
Once again, manager Davey Martinez let him get all the way up to 114 pitches in this one. Although this is fine more often than not, he’ll need to have a quicker hook on him in future.
If Scherzer keeps going well past the century mark every start, he may not be able to perform at his best come September and October when he’s needed most.
Murphy and Goodwin rehab assignment
In news off the field on Friday, Martinez announced that the cavalry is slowly coming back. Brian Goodwin and Daniel Murphy will begin their rehab assignments with the Harrisburg Senators on Saturday against the Altoona Curve.
It’s been a long time coming for Murphy in particular, who has yet to play in a full game since Game 5 of the NLDS last year. Given that, the Nationals may opt for a cautious approach and use most of the 20 day limit for a rehab assignment in order to ensure Murphy is healthy.
Goodwin on the other hand may need a little less, and with the Nats depleted depth in the outfield, it’ll be a huge boost when he gets back. After a breakout year last year, it will be interesting to see how Goodwin’s playing time shakes out moving forward after the promotion of Juan Soto.
Stay hot Michael Taylor
After a gruesome start to 2018, Michael Taylor has been swinging a hot bat of late. The center-fielder broke the deadlock in the second inning with a two-run bomb to deep left-field. Then in the seventh inning he hustled hard on a line drive to center-field, and wound up scoring the go-ahead run.
In the last four games he’s now 5 for 16 with the two hits today, and also the memorable walk-off base hit against the San Diego Padres. Remember, the one where he really couldn’t contain his excitement.
Taylor also dazzled with the glove by robbing Lewis Brinson of an extra-base hit in the third inning. But with the likes of Goodwin and Adam Eaton getting closer to full health, Taylor has to keep performing to keep his regular playing time in the outfield.
Next: Building Blocks or Busts
The Washington Nationals will be hoping to wrap up their sixth series win this month on Saturday. The much-improved Tanner Roark will face off against Wei-Yin Chen at Marlins Park in this one.