The Washington Nationals are 69-69, so there have been several nice comments made about this particular record. Bryce Harper led the way in a late comeback.
The Washington Nationals recorded a huge win on Labor Day to claw themselves back to .500 at 69-69. In the very nice win, Bryce Harper came to save the day late on Monday afternoon, sparking the victory.
Throughout the game, the St. Louis Cardinals wanted nothing to do with the Nats superstar. Heading into the ninth, with his team trailing by two, he was 0 for 1 with three walks, having seen just five strikes in four plate appearances.
It looked like that was the strategy again as closer Bud Norris was in a 3-1 count against the outfielder. Norris left a fastball over the heart of the plate. Harper didn’t miss it.
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Then in the very next inning, Harper came up with runners on first and third with one out, and he was able to knock a sac fly to left field to secure the walk-off win. He ended the day with three RBI, accounting for all but one of the team’s runs and continues to bounce back from a slow start.
Bryce Harper is now back up to 11th in the National League in OPS, while leading the league in walks and tied for second in home runs. Despite the low batting average, he’s still one of the most dangerous hitters in the league. If you need any more proof of that, just ask Cardinals manager Mike Schildt, who pitched around him all day and he still beat him.
Max filthy but ERA is rising
For once the Nationals managed to back up their ace, Max Scherzer, by getting him off the hook for the loss. He was filthy in this one, striking out 11 and allowing just four hits to the Cardinals, but did give up three runs and raised his ERA.
In the thick of the NL Cy Young race every inch counts, and while he is the undisputed strikeout king this year, he needs to impress across the board a bit more. Aaron Nola and Jacob deGrom both have the edge in ERA, pitching WAR and FIP, which are all key factors.
Scherzer’s next start will come against the Chicago Cubs over the weekend, a team he flat-out dominated last time he faced them in August. He still has a good chance to take home his third Cy Young in a row, but he’ll need to limit the runs better than he has recently.
The cavalry arrives on Tuesday
The Syracuse Chiefs season finished up on Monday, with the Nats’ Triple-A affiliate missing the playoffs. That means several of the Chiefs will be on their way to D.C. as part of the expanded September roster.
The headliner is definitely outfielder Victor Robles, who is the team’s top prospect. Manager Davey Martinez seemed adamant on getting Robles playing time by telling Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post “I wanna see him play”.
Some of the other notable call-ups that will take place before Tuesday’s game are Kyle McGowin, Joe Ross, and Austin Voth. Erick Fedde will also be activated from the 60 Day DL in order to make the start, taking the place of the now departed Gio Gonzalez.
Game Two of the series on Tuesday could be the start of the longer games this time of September. This is especially the case for the Washington Nationals who want to see several of their younger players play.