In Time of Desperation, Nationals Turn to Their Aces

MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Stephen Strasburg
MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Stephen Strasburg /

After losing the first two of a four-game series to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Washington Nationals turn to their aces to salvage a series split.

For the Washington Nationals, April could not end soon enough. Washington capped off a 12-16 month of April last night with a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, in which once again their offense could not hit with runners on base.

After that loss, Washington has dropped eight out of their last 11 games and has the second worst National League record in their last ten games at 3-7. Currently, the Nationals sit tied for the second-worst record in the entire National League and the only team who has less than 12 wins is the Miami Marlins at 8-21.

It is safe to say things are not going well in our Nation’s Capitol, and the Nationals begin May in a very similar position to last season. In 2018 Washington went 13-16 in March/April, but the team rebounded in a big way with a 20-7 month of May.

For this Nationals team, May may be arguably the toughest month of their schedule as they face just one team who is not a true playoff contender (Miami).

Washington begins a 10-game road trip Friday against the Philidelphia Phillies that likely will play a huge role in deciding how their season ultimately winds up. But before that, the Nationals still have two games remaining against St. Louis that they desperately cannot afford to lose.

Lucky for the Nationals, in this time of desperation they can turn to their two aces to hopefully right the ship. Tonight, Max Scherzer takes the mound after arguably his best outing of the season last time out. Max went seven and struck out 10 against San Diego and looked as electric as we have seen him all year.

On Thursday, Washington turns to big right-hander Stephen Strasburg who has been absolutely dominant his last two starts. Strasburg started with an eight inning, two-hit, 11 strikeout performance on Easter against the Miami Marlins, and followed it up with a very solid seven inning, nine strikeout game against San Diego last Saturday.

You would think with how dominant these starters have been in their last three times out the Nationals would be at least 2-1 in those games, but they are 0-3. With the way their offense is playing Washington cannot afford to give away games in which their starter pitched very well, and with their two aces on the mound the next two days they need to find a way to win both of these games.

When the Nationals aces get any time of run support, they are almost unbeatable. When Max Scherzer gets three to five runs of support in his career he is 62-27 with a 3.14 E.R.A. and Stephen Strasburg is even better at 41-14 with a 2.50 E.R.A.

Plain and simple, if the Nationals offense scores runs their aces likely will win the game for them. Scherzer and Strasburg also both have had success against St. Louis in their career going 2-4 with a 2.84 E.R.A. and 2-2 with a 2.56 E.R.A. respectively.

Next. 16 Consecutive Scoreless Innings For Bullpen. dark

These next two games will be crucial for the Washington Nationals to build momentum before their biggest road trip of the year. Thankfully for them, they have to like their chances with their two aces on the mound.