Nationals Game Notes: June 8 at Chicago White Sox

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Washington Nationals (35-23) at Chicago White Sox (29-29)
RHP Max Scherzer [6-4, 3.87] | RHP James Shields [2-7, 4.28]
Wednesday, June 8 l Game #59 / Road #33 l U.S. Cellular Field l Chicago, I.L. l 7:10 P.M. CT
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

The Nationals topped the White Sox, 10-5, on Tuesday night in the opener of this three-game Interleague set…Washington piled up 12 hits (six for extra bases) and six walks, putting up a 10-spot on the scoreboard for the second consecutive game…Tuesday’s victory, coupled with Sunday’s 10-9 triumph at Cincinnati, marks the first time since April 28 & 29, 2015 that the Nationals have scored 10 runs in back-to-back games…In Nationals history (2005-present) only one team (2012) has posted 10 or more runs in three straight games (June 26-28).

  • At 35-23 (.603), the Nationals have the third best record in Major League Baseball behind the Chicago Cubs (40-17, .702) and Texas Rangers (36-22, .621).
  • The Nationals have played to a 20-12 (.625) record on the road thus far this season, behind only the Cubs (18-9, .667) and Seattle Mariners (19-11, .633) in MLB.
  • Chicago is the third and final stop on the Nationals’ current three-city, nine-game, 11-day trek, which is the longest (by days) they’ll make this season…Washington opens a six-game homestand on Friday evening but then will head back out on the road for 11 days starting June 16 in San Diego.

Leading the charge for the Nationals’ offensive attack on Tuesday night was 3B Anthony Rendon, who went 3-for-5 with a double, home run, three RBI and two runs scored…Rendon’s RBI-double got the Nationals on the board in the second inning, and his two-run homer in the fourth helped put the team in position to assume the lead the following frame.

  • Since May 10, Rendon’s .348 batting average ranks fourth in the National League, his .442 on-base percentage ranks second, and his .596 slugging percentage is good for 10th.
  • In the month of June Rendon is hitting .389 (7-for-18) with two doubles, two homers, five RBI, and three walks (.476 OBP, .833 SLG).

In eight games dating to May 29, Nationals C Wilson Ramos is 13-for-27 (.481) with two doubles, three homers, 11 RBI, three walks and nine runs scored…Ramos leads all catchers (min. 170 PA) in batting average (.348), on-base percentage (.392), slugging percentage (.561), RBI (32), and fewest strikeouts (21).

  • After hitting .229 in 2015 is the only player in MLB to have increased his batting average at least 100 points from last year to this year (min. 100 PA in 2016 / 500PA in 2015), per the Elias Sports Bureau.
  • Ramos is outpacing his 2015 offensive numbers by more than 100 points in all three major categories…In addition to going from a .229 average (2015) to currently hitting .348, his 2015 on-base percentage was .258 and is currently .392, while his 2015 slugging percentage was .358 and he’s slugging .561 this season.

The Nationals’ bullpen has been taxed with the third-fewest innings in Major League Baseball, their 162.2 IP slotting in behind only the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays (149.1 IP)…However, when they’re relied upon, the Nationals’ bullpen has excelled…WSH has the third-best bullpen ERA in MLB (2.88), the fourth-lowest batting average against (.216), and the fourth-highest save percentage (80%).

  • Since embarking on this current road trip (May 30), the Nationals’ bullpen has been asked to throw the second-fewest innings in the National League (20.2), despite needing 11.0 IP from the relief corps in the last two games alone.
  • That, of course, means the Nationals’ starting pitching staff has been carrying quite a load themselves…Washington’s starters currently lead MLB in strikeouts (378), and rank fourth in innings pitched (362.0)…The Nationals’ rotation is also holding opposing batters to the fourth-lowest average in MLB (.232).

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