Max Scherzer put on yet another show for the Washington Nationals faithful. However, on this occasion, he was simply out-dueled by Aaron Nola.
Scherzer went seven innings, giving up five hits, four walks and he struck out ten. But he made one mistake to Odubel Herrera that was deposited over the fence and scored the only runs of the game.
Nola, on the other hand, was just a little better than the Nats ace. He went eight shutout innings, surrendering just five hits and a lone walk with nine strikeouts.
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It’s going to be fascinating to watch these two pitchers duke it out with Jacob deGrom for the Cy Young. They’re all seemingly nip and tuck as we get close to wrapping up August.
Max Scherzer though, may have the edge in any MVP debate given his hitting performance and clear intangibles. As per usual, a pitcher will always face an uphill battle to win and MVP, but Scherzer would be more than deserving in 2018.
Holland’s bounce-back continues
Greg Holland seemed like a great reclamation project when the Nats signed him. The right-handed reliever has exceeded everyone’s expectations as a National this summer.
Holland struck out the side in a lights-out ninth inning against the Phillies on Thursday. He did so on just 13 pitches and even got his fastball up at 95 mph in the inning.
A case could be made that both sides should seriously consider a reunion next season. With Holland pitching well, it’d be a good chance for him to prove himself as a valuable reliever again, and the Nats could do with another experienced veteran at the back of the bullpen next year.
Three players confirmed to have cleared waivers
It was reported by Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, during the game, that Gio Gonzalez, Matt Wieters, and Ryan Zimmerman cleared waivers. Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports reported that Mark Reynolds was claimed, but the Nationals pulled him back.
There is virtually no chance that Zimmerman goes anywhere, despite now being eligible for a trade. This is simply a procedural move, given there’s no risk in placing him on revocable waivers, just in case someone offers them a ludicrous deal.
Gonzalez and Wieters on the other hand could be moved before the month is over. With expiring contracts, the Nats will try to get what they can for them before they likely leave for nothing in the off-season.
The Washington Nationals now need to build off of an ok series result against the New York Mets. They manage to avoid their two aces, thankfully, so they stand a chance of pulling one a sweep out of the bag.