Nationals Game Notes: May 17 vs. New York Mets

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Washington Nationals (23-15) at New York Mets (21-16)
RHP Max Scherzer [4-2, 4.15] | RHP Noah Syndergaard [3-2, 2.53]
Tuesday, May 17 l Game #39 / Road #20 l Citi Field l New York, N.Y. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

The Nationals head back out on the road for six games, visiting New York for three against the Mets and then traveling to Miami for a weekend set…The Nationals have played to an 11-8 record on the road in 2016…Since the start of the 2014 season, Washington is 14-6 at Citi Field.

Nationals RHP Max Scherzer joined an exclusive club on Wednesday night vs. the Detroit Tigers as he became just the fourth pitcher in Major League history to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning game…Scherzer joined Randy Johnson (May 8, 2001), Kerry Wood (May 6, 1998) and Roger Clemens (Sept. 18, 1996 & April 29, 1986) in the elite group…Scherzer’s 20 K’s are a Nationals record (2005-pres.), a franchise record (Nationals/Expos) and the most in D.C.-baseball history since Tom Cheney struck out 21 batters on Sept. 12, 1962 at Baltimore, but in 16 innings…In Scherzer’s three historic performances with WSH (two no-hitters, 20-K game), he has combined for 47 strikeouts and no walks.

  • Making his first start since striking out 20, Scherzer’s encore will be closely watched…Via ESPN Stats & Information, three of the previous four pitchers to strikeout 20 batters in a game followed it up with a double-digit strikeout total in the next outing…Wood currently owns the modern MLB record for strikeouts in a two-game span with 33…CLE RHP Corey Kluber holds the record among active players with 30.
  • Scherzer, who in 2015 became just the fifth pitcher in MLB history to throw two no-hitters in the same regular season, now joins Randy Johnson as the only pitchers in MLB history to have a no-hitter and a 20-strikeout game on his resume.
  • Perhaps most remarkable about Scherzer’s performance on Wednesday was his strike efficiency…Of the 119 pitches he threw, 96 were strikes (80.7%)…Per Elias, that is the highest percentage of pitches that were strikes in an outing of at least 110 pitches since 94 of 114 (82.5%) of Curt Schilling’s pitches were in the zone on Sept. 20, 2002 vs. COL.
  • The 23 total balls (of his 119 pitches) were the fewest ever thrown in a 20-strikeout game, nine fewer than Randy Johnson’s 32: Scherzer: 23; Johnson: 32; Wood: 38 ; Clemens (2nd): 50; Clemens: 41…Scherzer had nearly as many swings against pitches out of the strike zone (19) as he had total balls in the game.
  • In addition, Scherzer’s complete game win over Detroit gave him at least one win over all 30 teams in Major League Baseball…He joins RHP John Lackey as the only active players to accomplish that feat.

Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy is leading the Major Leagues with 19 multi-hit games this season…Having played in 37 of the Nationals’ 38 games, Murphy has at least two hits in more than half of the games he’s played in…He has also hit safely in 14 of his last 17 games, going 29-for-67 (.432) with six doubles, three homers, 14 RBI and 12 runs scored in that stretch.

  • Murphy leads Major League Baseball in batting average (.400), hits (56), and multi-hit games (19)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (4th, 1.062), slugging percentage (6th, .629), doubles (T7th, 13), and on-base percentage (7th, .433).
  • On the season, Murphy has hit safely in 31 of his 37 games played.

Nationals RF Bryce Harper walked in the first inning on Sunday, giving him 10 straight games with at least one four-ball pass to first base…The 10-game stretch matches a career-high for Harper (April 15-25, 2015) and a Nationals high (2005-pres.)…The record for consecutive games with a walk in franchise history is 11 (Peter Bergeron, 4/5-16, 2002)…In addition, Harper’s is the longest streak in MLB this year behind Mets 3B David Wright (11, 4/27-5/12).

  • Harper smashed his 11th home run of the season on Friday night, breaking a 2-2 tie and putting the Nationals ahead, 4-2…Harper is tied for first in the Major Leagues with nine go-ahead RBI this year, and tied for third with five game-winning RBI…Per the Elias Sports Bureau, it was Harper’s MLB-best fourth home run this season on a full-count pitch.
  • Harper leads the National League in OPS (1.066), on-base percentage (.456), walks (41) and intentional walks (11)…He also ranks in the NL in home runs (T3rd, 11), RBI (T4th, 29) and slugging percentage (6th, .611).
  • In 11 games dating to May 4 at Kansas City, Harper is hitting .304 (7-for-23) with two homers, five RBI, 24 walks, one stolen base and eight runs scored…He has posted a .653 OBP in this stretch and has reached base safely in all 11 games.

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