Max Scherzer is an excellent pitcher. His stats are really good, with a 2.85 ERA and 11.32 K/9 coming into todays game you could probably come to the conclusion the outcome of this game with reasonable certainty. The Diamondbacks lost this game by 5 runs, some of it was due to Max Scherzer pitching well, but most of it was due to the D-backs just beating themselves.
Zack Godley actually did pretty well through the first 5 innings. He struck out 5 Nationals batters, and limited the damage to a solo home run by Trea Turner. He kept things close and gave the D-backs a chance to win the game, which is quite a rare occurrence these days. But then things fell apart, like they are prone to do when you are flirting with 100 losses on the year.
There were signs that Godley was faltering. He was approaching 90 pitches, something he hasn't done all year at the MLB level. Balls were hit hard, with Harper lining a bullet right at Bourn in CF. Daniel Murphy followed and tattoo'd a ball to right field for a home run, giving the Nats a 2-1 lead. Rendon and Espinosa followed with singles and after a HBP to load the bases with 2 outs, Scherzer stepped to the plate. Easy out right? I mean, Scherzer isn't exactly Greinke out there at the plate and it showed early in the at-bat with Max doing his best Yasmany Tomas impression, swinging at everything. But with 2 strikes, Godley went away from his curveball and served a fatty fastball that Max hit to CF, driving home 2 runs and making it 4-1.
The D-backs did their best to make history early on, going 4 innings without a hit. Peralta put an end to that with a hustle double down the left field line to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. A wild pitch advanced him to third, and Drury dumped a single to short right, barely making it out of the infield and out of the diving grab of Harper. The 6th saw the D-backs respond, as Jake Lamb hit a dinger into the pool, cutting the lead at 4-2. Tomas jumped on a hanging breaking ball in the 7th, cutting the lead to 4-3 and giving D-backs fans hope of a rare home victory. The bullpen made sure that would not be the case.
In the 9th with just a 1-run deficit, Hale called upon his de facto closer, Jake Barrett to shut the Nats down and he started well, getting two quick outs. But as quick as he got those outs he gave it up. A Murphy infield single and Rendon walk gave the Nationals an opportunity at insurance runs, one they would not squander. Espinosa hit a ground rule double to score one, and back to back walks scored another. The second walk was the clincher for Barrett with Evan Marshall relieving him. Pinch hitter Clint Robinson, batting .209 on the season, singled to right center, driving in two more to push the lead 8-3, all but securing the Nationals victory with Mark Melancon coming in to close things in the 9th. David Peralta threatened with a 1-out double, but that was it, giving the Nationals a series sweep on the road. Onto the Gamegraph.
Broom - David Peralta (+7.7%)
Using your foot - Zack Godley (-19.9%)
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Like the D-backs, not many fans showing up these days, especially on Wednesday matinee games. No comment of the thread. Off-day tomorrow. Might we see a shake-up on the horizon?