Max Scherzer did not get off to a Max Scherzer type of season. But, Max Scherzer arrived today for the Nationals, tossing 7 shutout innings, scattering just 4 hits, while fanning 9 Cardinal batters. That mound performance led the Nats to a 6-1 win as they completed their franchise sweep of the Cards in St. Louis. Scherzer was so good today that he never allowed a single runner past first base.
Scherzer didn’t just contribute on the mound. He was also 2 for 2 at the plate, raising his season batting average to .308.
The game remained scoreless through the first five innings as Scherzer and St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez dominated on the mound. Matt den Dekker broke the scoreless game with an RBI single in the sixth inning that scored Jose Lobaton. That 1-0 lead lasted one inning. The Nationals would score three runs in the seventh inning on back to back home runs. First, Clint Robinson swatted his first of the season, a two run shot that also brought in Jayson Werth. Danny Espinosa followed with a solo shot that gave the Nats a 4-0 lead through seven innings.
Daniel Murphy doubled in the eight inning driving in Anthony Rendon. It was Murphy’s 8th double of the season. That Nats would get one more one pinch hit home run by Chris Heisey. It was Heisey’s second pinch hit home run of the season.
With the series sweep, the Nat improved to 17-7 on the season and with a Mets loss today, the Nats increased their division lead to 1.5 games. They now stay on the road for a three game series against the slumping Kansas City Royals, who have lost five straight. Gio Gonzalez takes the mound for the Nats tomorrow, facing off against Edinson Volquez.