Nationals Game Notes: September 21 at Miami Marlins

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Washington Nationals (88-63) at Miami Marlins (76-75)
RHP Max Scherzer [17-7, 2.78] | RHP Tom Koehler [9-11, 3.96]
Wednesday, September 21 l Game #152 / Road #78 l Marlins Park l Miami, FL l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

WHERE THINGS STAND
Nationals RHP Max Scherzer takes the ball on Wednesday night with an eye on halting Washington’s four-game skid…Scherzer has started eight games for the Nationals following a loss this season, and Washington is 5-3 in those games…History is on his side, too, as the Nationals have endured only three losing streaks of four games or more this year, and only one of those three went past the fourth game.

  • At 88-63 (.583), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (96-55, .636).
  • The Nationals’ current .545 (42-35) road winning percentage is the second-best in Nationals history (2005-pres.) behind the 2012 Nationals (48-33, .593), and third-best in MLB.
  • With 11 games remaining in the regular season, Washington’s “magic number” to clinch the National League East division title is down to four, meaning any combination of four Nationals wins or Mets losses will secure Washington’s third division crown in the last five years.

DYNAMIC DUO
Despite taking the hard-luck loss on Tuesday, Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (15-9) turned in his 18th outing of 7.0 innings or more, as well as his 12th start tossing at least 7.0 innings while allowing one run or fewer (the second-most such starts in the Major Leagues behind CHI LHP Jon Lester’s 13)…For Roark, whose only blemish on Tuesday was a solo home run off the bat of MIA RF Giancarlo Stanton, the 7.0 innings pushed him across the 200-inning threshold for the first time in his career (200.1 IP), topping the 198.2 regular-season innings he compiled in 2014.

  • Along with RHP Max Scherzer, the Nationals’ two right-handers have combined to throw at least 7.0 innings while allowing two runs or fewer 33 times this season…Of the 22 pitchers who’ve put together outings of 7.0 (or more) IP with two runs allowed (or fewer), no team has a pair that has compiled more such starts…SFG has three pitchers in that group (Johnny Cueto, Madison Bumgarner, and Jeff Samardzija), giving them 36 of these games.

FINDING HIS WAY INTO NATIONALS HISTORY
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy’s season-long 14 game hitting streak came to an end on Monday as he flew out to the warning track as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning…During the streak, Murphy hit .415 (22-for-53) with nine doubles, six RBI, four walks, two stolen bases and seven runs scored.

  • With a double in the third inning on Saturday, Murphy tied two Nationals (2005-pres.) single-season records: with 184 hits, Murphy tied Denard Span’s record for hits in a season (2014) and with 47 doubles, he tied Ryan Zimmerman’s record (2006).
  • Murphy has recorded four hitting streaks of at least 11 games this season, tied for the most in Major League Baseball (also: BOS 2B Dustin Pedroia).
  • Murphy leads the National League in slugging percentage (.596), OPS (.987), doubles (47), and multi-hit games (T1st, 56)….He ranks second among NL hitters in batting average (.347), extra-base hits (T2nd, 77) and RBI (T2nd, 104).

1 Comment

It is no secret that historically the Nats “team” batting average has ranged from mediocre to miserable. That’s Mike Rizzo’s fault, as he has always placed a greater emphasis on obtaining pitching than good hitting position players. It is also no secret that the teams that the Nats have had the most trouble with are those whose team batting average is close to or in the .300 range. You would think that a General Manager who places such great emphasis on being “Double Deep” in pitching would also see the need for that in hitting. In that regard, he is not the brilliant GM that he has been portrayed as.

Harold G. Pavel

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