Washington Nationals: Three Takeaways From Game 3 Against Toronto

Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals delivers a pitch. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals delivers a pitch. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

After losing the first two games of the series, the Nationals finally nabbed a win. What stood out the most?

Washington finally beat the Blue Jays in thanks to Asdrubal Cabrera’s bases-clearing triple in the tenth inning. Max Scherzer was lights out and the bullpen held the Blue Jays in check. Here are three takeaways from last night’s win.

Max Scherzer Bounced Back

After losing the season opener to the Yankees, Max Scherzer dominated the Blue Jays. The future Hall of Famer threw 7.1/3 scoreless innings before being pulled. He gave up three hits, walked three, and struck out 10. Scherzer was in total control, only running into a couple of jams, with the biggest came in the third. Scherzer allowed a one-out double, stuck out the next batter, and then walked Cavan Biggio. With two on and two out, Scherzer was able to get Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to ground out.

Scherzer was pulled in the eighth, after allowing two men to reach base and only recording one out. Daniel Hudson came in and thanks to a diving play by Trea Turner, the Nationals turned two and escaped the jam.

The Extra Inning Rule Works Out In the Nats Favor This Time

For the first time this season, the Nationals went into extra innings and dealt with the new rule of a runner starting on second. In the end, the Nationals were able to score four runs and go on to win the game. Toronto on the other hand was unable to take advantage of the new rule and ended up stranding two runners.

The new rule was implemented to speed up the game. It adds a new wrinkle of relying more on small ball, instead of just swinging for the fences. While many are torn about the rule, Washington was lucky this time, but will definetly be on the other side soon enough.

The Offense Is Still Lost

Through the first nine innings, the Nationals offense was lifeless–mustering up only three hits and stranding six runners. In the first inning, Adam Eaton earned a one-out walk and then stole second. With one out and a runner in scoring position, the offense was unable to come through. The Nats would then threaten again in the third, fourth, and seventh innings, but came up empty every time.

It wasn’t until the tenth inning that the offense was able to show some signs of life. The Nationals scored a run after a weird play.  Eaton hit a grounder that bounced off the mound and ricocheted to Cavan Biggio. Biggio then fielded the ball and dove into second base, but was beaten by the speedy Andrew Stevenson. After official review upheld the call, Asdrubal Cabrera followed this up by hitting a bases-clearing triple.