Nationals Game Notes: June 3 vs. Cincinnati Reds

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Washington Nationals (33-21) at Cincinnati Reds (19-35)
LHP Gio Gonzalez [3-3, 3.57] | LHP Brandon Finnegan [1-4, 4.14]
Friday, June 3 l Game #55 / Road # 29 l Great American Ball Park l Cincinnati, O.H. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

WHERE THINGS STAND
Moving to a season-high 12 games over .500 with a sweep of the Phillies, the Nationals will open a three-game set at Great American Ball Park Friday evening, their first meeting with the Reds this season…This is the second stop on the Nationals’ current three-city, nine-game, 11-day trek, which is the longest (by days) they’ll make this season.

  • At 33-21 (.611), the Nationals have the second-best record in MLB (Cubs, 37-15 (.712)).
  • The Nationals have played to an 18-10 (.643) record on the road thus far this season, again behind only the Chicago Cubs (17-8, .680) for the best mark in the National League.

TREA DELIVERY
The Nationals recalled INF Trea Turner on Friday morning and placed 1B Ryan Zimmerman on the Paternity List…Turner, the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball entering this season (according to Baseball America), earned the second MLB call-up of his career by hitting .310 with a .376 on-base percentage in 50 games at Triple-A…Turner leads the International League in runs (38) and stolen bases (17) while ranking second in hits (61) and fifth in average (.310).

  • Zimmerman and his wife, Heather, welcomed their second child on Thursday.

A RECORD-SETTING MONTH, HONORED APPROPRIATELY
After setting a franchise record for hits in a calendar month and leading the Major Leagues in batting average, Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy was named the National League Player of the Month for May on Thursday…Murphy ended the month of May leading Major League Baseball in batting average (.397), hits (77), and multi-hit games (26).

  • In May alone, Murphy hit .416 (47-for-113) with a .434 OBP and a .673 SLG in 29 games. He collected eight doubles, seven home runs, 32 singles, 23 RBI, two walks, 17 runs scored and 14 multi-hit games…Six of his 23 RBI were go-ahead tallies, and four were game-winners…He ended the month on a 10-game hitting streak, which he extended to 11 games by going 1-for-4 in his first June contest on Wednesday night at Philadelphia.
  • The 47 hits Murphy collected in May tied OF Al Oliver (August, 1982) and OF Marquis Grissom (June, 1994) for the franchise record (Nationals/Expos) for hits in a single month….Also a career high in a month for Murphy, his 47 hits were the most recorded by any NL player in any month since Melky Cabrera (51, 2012 San Francisco Giants).
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Murphy, who signed a three-year contract with WSH in January, is the first qualified player to post an average as high as .397 through the first two months of his first season with a new team since Roberto Alomar (.397, 1996 Orioles).
  • Murphy currently leads Major League Baseball in multi-hit games (26), batting average (.397) and hits (77)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (2nd, 1.062), slugging percentage (2nd, .634), on-base percentage (3rd, .428) and doubles (T11th, 15).
  • The Player of the Month honors were the first of Murphy’s career…He is the second National to earn POTM this season (also OF Bryce Harper, April)…They’re the first set of teammates to take home NL POTM in back-to-back months of the same season since Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick (June & July, 2009/STL), and the first NL teammates since the awards were established (1974) to sweep the season’s first two months.

BUFFALO STAMPEDE
With a 3-for-4 performance that included a home run, four RBI and a run scored on Wednesday night, Nationals C Wilson Ramos improved his batting average to .338 through the season’s first 54 games…Ramos leads all catchers (min. 150 PA) in batting average (.338), on-base percentage (.383), slugging percentage (.536), RBI (29), and fewest strikeouts (19).

  • After hitting .229 in 2015, Ramos and teammate 2B Daniel Murphy are the only players in MLB to have increased their batting average at least 100 points from last year to this year (min. 100 PA in 2016 / 500PA in 2015), per Elias…Murphy went from .281 (2015) to .394.

Flashback Friday: The Nationals meet the U.S. Men’s National Team

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In honor of the beginning of the Copa América Centenario, the soccer tournament commemorating the 100th anniversary of CONMEBOL and the Copa América, we’re flashing back to a few weeks ago when members of the Nationals had the chance to meet players from the U.S. Men’s National Team.

USMNT

Before their game against the Miami Marlins on May 20, several members of the Nationals met with players from the USMNT. Nationals OF Bryce Harper and 2B Daniel Murphy exchanged jerseys (Harper) and a bat (Murphy) with USMNT goalies Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. Manager Dusty Baker also got a chance to interact with Howard, one of the heroes of the 2014 World Cup.

USMNT2

Video of the visit can be seen below (fast forward to 2:00 for Nationals content).

Good luck to the USMNT tonight as they begin the tournament against Colombia in Santa Clara!

 

Nationals Game Notes: June 1 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

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Washington Nationals (32-21) at Philadelphia Phillies (26-26)
RHP Max Scherzer [5-4, 4.05] | LHP Adam Morgan [1-3, 6.67]
Wednesday, June 1 l Game #54 / Road # 28 l Citizens Bank Park l Philadelphia, P.A. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

SERIES SUCCESS
Behind strong pitching from RHP Joe Ross (7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) and four homers (OF Jayson Werth, 2B Daniel Murphy, SS Danny Espinosa and PH Stephen Drew), the Nationals won their third straight game and sealed the series victory on Tuesday night with a 5-1 defeat of the Phillies…The win pushed Washington to 7-1-1 this season in road series play thus far, the only series loss coming at the Chicago Cubs (May 5-8).

  • The Nationals’ current three-city, nine-game, 11-day trek is the longest (by days) they’ll make this season, matching the final regular-season trip of the year, to ATL, MIA & PIT.
  • The Nationals have played to a 17-10 (.630) record on the road thus far this season, tied with San Francisco for the second-best mark in the NL, behind only Chicago (17-8, .680).

INTO THE FRANCHISE ANNALS
Going 2-for-4 (with a home run and an infield single) Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy collected his 46th and 47th hits in May on Tuesday night, tying the franchise record (Nationals/Expos) for his in a single calendar month…Murphy, who had already set the Nationals record (2005-present) for hits in a month by soaring past the previous high of 40, joined OF Al Oliver (August, 1982) & OF Marquis Grissom (June, 1994) as the record holders.

  • Murphy finished the month of May with his MLB-best 26th multi-hit game, bringing his totals for the month (29 games) to 47-for-113 (.416), with eight doubles, seven HR, 32 singles, 23 RBI, two walks, 17 runs scored and 14 multi-hit games.
  • The 47 hits, a career high in a single month for Murphy (40, July 2011), are also the most recorded by any National League player in any calendar month since Melky Cabrera piled up 51 hits for the San Francisco Giants in May, 2012.
  • Murphy currently leads Major League Baseball in multi-hit games (26), batting average (.397) and hits (77)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (2nd, 1.062), slugging percentage (2nd, .634), on-base percentage (3rd, .428) and doubles (T11th, 15).
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last qualified player in his first season with a new team who possessed as high a batting average through May as Murphy was Roberto Alomar for the 1996 Baltimore Orioles (.397).
  • Having played in 51 of the Nationals’ 53 games, Murphy has at least two hits in half of the games he’s played in…He has also hit safely in 27 of his last 31 games (including 10 straight), going 50-for-121 (.413) with eight doubles, seven HR, 25 RBI and 19 runs scored.

LET’S TALK HOMERS
The Nationals’ rode a variety of home runs to the win on Tuesday night…OF Jayson Werth kicked things off with a first-inning blast…2B Daniel Murphy gave the Nationals the lead with a sixth-inning shot to right field…And in the ninth, SS Danny Espinosa crushed a two-run jack to right for some key insurance, his sixth of the season, while PH Stephen Drew immediately followed with an inside-the-parker.

  • Werth’s was his 10th home run at Citizens Bank Park as a member of the Nationals, his 62nd there in his career.
  • With nine HR through the season’s first two months, Murphy is on pace to demolish his previous career high of 14 longballs in a season (2015).
  • Espinosa and Drew produced the fifth set of back-to-back HR for the Nationals this year.
  • Drew’s pinch-hit inside-the-park home run (clocked at 17 seconds around the bases) was the second ITPHR for Washington this season, joining 1B Ryan Zimmerman (5/15 vs. MIA)…Via Elias, the Nationals are the first team with two ITPHRs in the same month since the Rockies did it in June, 2014 (both by Brandon Barnes)…It was the fourth ITPHR in Nationals history and Washington’s eighth pinch-hit home run of 2016, already matching the team record (2005-present) for PH HR in a season (2006).

Nationals Game Notes: May 31 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

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Washington Nationals (31-21) at Philadelphia Phillies (26-25)
RHP Joe Ross [4-4, 2.52] | RHP Aaron Nola [4-3, 2.86]
Tuesday, May 31 l Game #53 / Road # 27 l Citizens Bank Park l Philadelphia, P.A. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
The Nationals opened this three-city, nine-game, 11-day road trip to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago (White Sox) on Monday night with a 4-3 victory over the Phillies…Trailing, 2-1, entering the eighth inning, the Nationals put together a three-run, two-out rally to take the lead…SS Danny Espinosa, OF Ben Revere, and OF Chris Heisey worked key walks while OF Jayson Werth (game-tying single) and 2B Daniel Murphy (go-ahead two-run single) came through with the big hits…RHP Jonathan Papelbon earned his 14th save of the season.

  • This trek is the longest (by days) the Nationals will make this season, matching the final regular-season trip of the year, to Atlanta, Miami, and Pittsburgh.
  • The Nationals have played to a 16-10 (.600) record on the road thus far this season, tied with San Francisco for the second-best mark in the NL, behind only Chicago (17-8, .680).

CLOSING IN ON THE RECORD
2B Daniel Murphy has already set and re-set the Nationals record (2005-present) for hits in a month, soaring past the previous high of 40 on Saturday night…Now, with 45 hits in May entering the month’s final day, Murphy is well within striking distance of the franchise record (Nationals/Expos) of 47 for hits in a single month…The franchise record, which has stood for more than 33 years, is held by OF Al Oliver (August, 1982) & OF Marquis Grissom (June, 1994).

  • Murphy was 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBI and a run scored on Monday night, bringing his current totals for May to 45-for-109 (.413), with eight doubles, six HR, two walks, 16 runs scored and 22 RBI.
  • The 45 hits, a career high in a single month for Murphy (40, July 2011), are also the most recorded by any National League player in any calendar month since Melky Cabrera piled up 51 hits for the San Francisco Giants in May, 2012.
  • Murphy currently leads Major League Baseball in multi-hit games (25), batting average (.395) and hits (T1st, 75)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (2nd, 1.048), slugging percentage (2nd, .621), on-base percentage (3rd, .426) and doubles (T11th, 15).
  • Having played in 50 of the Nationals’ 52 games, Murphy has at least two hits in half of the games he’s played in…He has also hit safely in 26 of his last 30 games (including nine straight), going 48-for-117 (.410) with eight doubles, six HR, 24 RBI and 18 runs scored.

#ZIM
Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman continued his May revival with his first triple in more than a calendar year (April 15, 2015) on Monday night in Philadelphia…Zimmerman, who hit the first inside-the-park home run of his career on May 15 and posted his first four-hit game since 2014 on May 28, is enjoying the season’s second month…Since May 1, Zimmerman is hitting .262 with a .319 on-base percentage and a .553 slugging percentage…He’s hit seven doubles to go with his seven home runs and one triple, walked eight times, driven in 17 runs, scored 15, and stolen one base…Seven of those 17 RBI have given the Nationals the lead.

  • Zimmerman posted the 11th four-hit game of his career on Saturday night, clubbing two home runs, adding two singles and matching a career high with the 4-for-4 evening…He also picked up the 16th multi-homer game of his career (2nd of the season)…It was his first four-hit game since July 5, 2014 vs. the Chicago Cubs.
  • Zimmerman now has seven home runs in May after clubbing just one in April.

Today in Nationals’ History: Team sets single-inning run record in 2010

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May 31, 2008 – Jason Bergmann took the loss at Arizona, but in doing so, snapped MLB’s longest complete-game drought (261 games between complete games) by becoming the first National to go the distance since Pedro Astacio turned the trick against ATL on August 15, 2006 at RFK.

Morgan

May 31, 2010 – Nationals (2005-) set club single-inning record via nine-run seventh inning in 14-4 victory at HOU. The nine-run frame was the largest registered by a DC-based big league club since the Senators plated nine in the fourth inning of a 9-5 win, June 22, 1969 at DET. The record still stands.

Nationals Game Notes: May 30 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

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Washington Nationals (30-21) at Philadelphia Phillies (26-24)
RHP Tanner Roark [3-4, 2.71] | RHP Jeremy Hellickson [4-3, 3.97]
Monday, May 30 l Game #52 / Road # 26 l Citizens Bank Park l Philadelphia, P.A. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

ON THE ROAD AGAIN…

The Nationals open a three-city, nine-game, 11-day road trip to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago (White Sox) on Monday night against the Phillies…The trek is the longest (by days) the Nationals will make this season, matching the final regular-season trip of the year, to Atlanta, Miami, and Pittsburgh.

  • The Nationals have played to a 15-10 (.600) record on the road thus far this season, the third-best mark in the NL, behind only Chicago (17-8, .680) and San Francisco (16-9, .640).

GRAND IN A PINCH

With the bases loaded in the seventh inning on Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals, Nationals manager Dusty Baker summoned Jayson Werth as a pinch hitter against LHP Dean Kiekhefer…Werth smashed the second pitch he saw 428 feet into straightaway center field for the first pinch-hit grand slam of his career.

  • The home run was the sixth grand slam of Werth’s career and his fourth career pinch-hit home run…It was Werth’s first pinch-hit home run since Sept. 20, 2007.
  • It was also just the second pinch-hit grand slam in Nationals history (2005-present), joining Justin Maxwell, who clubbed the first on Sept. 11, 2007 at the Florida Marlins.

STREAKING STRAS

Earning the win in the Nationals’ 10-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg extended his winning streak to a franchise record (Nationals/Expos) 12 games, dating to Sept. 15, 2015…The record, which is among starting pitchers, surpassed the 11-game winning streaks of RHP Livan Hernandez (4/4-7/1/05) and RHP Dennis Martinez (5/9-7/29/89).

  • In addition, Strasburg’s 9-0 record to start a season topped the 1997 8-0 start of Hall of Fame RHP Pedro Martinez (4/15-5/23/97) for a new franchise record (Nationals/Expos).
  • The Nationals are 15-0 in Strasburg’s last 15 starts (also dating to Sept. 15, 2015)…The 15 straight team wins is also a franchise record (Nationals/Expos), and is the second-longest active streak in MLB (CHI RHP Jake Arrietta, 23 games).

FEELING RIGHT AT HOME

Nationals OF Bryce Harper returns to Philadelphia Monday night riding a six-game home run streak (7 HR) at Citizens Bank Park…When the Nationals visited Philly in April, Harper joined Ernie Banks (1955) as the only visiting players to homer in six straight games IN Philadelphia.

  • In 31 career games at Citizens Bank Park, Harper is now hitting .325 with four doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 23 RBI,12 walks, 21 runs scored and four stolen bases.
  • Harper also tied the MLB record for any visiting player at any stadium with his sixth straight HR game at CBP…Via the Elias Sports Bureau, the most recent player with HRs six straight road games at one venue was MIA OF Giancarlo Stanton at Coors Field (2011-2012).

Nationals Game Notes: May 29 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

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 St. Louis Cardinals (26-24) vs. Washington Nationals (29-21)
RHP Michael Wacha [2-5, 5.04] | RHP Stephen Strasburg [8-0, 2.79]
Sunday, May 29 l Game #51 / Home # 26 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 1:35 P.M.
Television: MASN/WUSA9 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

SHIPPING OUT

Sunday afternoon marks the Nationals’ final home game until June 10 as they’ll wrap up this four-game set with the Cardinals and depart on a three-city, nine-game, 11-day road trip to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago (White Sox).

  • The trek is the longest (by days) the Nationals will make this season, matching the final regular-season trip of the year, to Atlanta, Miami, and Pittsburgh.

SHOW OF POWER

Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman turned in the 11th four-hit game of his career on Saturday night, clubbing two home runs, adding two singles and continuing his solid month of May at the plate…Zimmerman matched a career high with the 4-for-4 evening and picked up the 16th multi-homer game of his career (his second this season)…It was the first time the Nationals’ first baseman has posted a four-hit game since July 5, 2014 vs. the Chicago Cubs.

  • Zimmerman now has seven home runs in May after clubbing just one in April.
  • Since the start of the season’s second month, Zimmerman is hitting .263 with a .324 on-base percetnage and a .547 slugging percentage…He’s hit six doubles to go with his seven home runs, walked eight times, driven in 17 runs, scored 14, and stolen one base…Seven of those 17 RBI have given the Nationals the lead.

IT’S OFFICIAL: MAY IS MURPHY’S MONTH

With a single in the second inning on Saturday night, Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy set a new Nationals record (2005-present) for hits in one calendar month with 41…The previous mark of 40, reached by several players, was last attained by Denard Span in August of 2014…The franchise record (Nationals/Expos) for hits in one month is 47, held by OF Al Oliver (August, 1982) and OF Marquis Grissom (June, 1994).

  • During May, Murphy is 41-for-101, with seven doubles, five home runs, two walks, 15 runs scored and 19 RBI…The 41 hits are also a career high in a single month for Murphy, who posted 40 hits in July, 2011.
  • Murphy currently leads Major League Baseball in multi-hit games (24), batting average (.390) and hits (T1st, 70)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (3rd, 1.028), slugging percentage (4th, .604), on-base percentage (5th, .423) and doubles (T13th, 14).
  • Having played in 48 of the Nationals’ 50 games, Murphy has at least two hits in half of the games he’s played in…He has also hit safely in 24 of his last 28 games, going 44-for-109 (.403) with seven doubles, five homers, 21 RBI and 17 runs scored.

ALL GOOD THINGS…

Nationals relievers did not allow a single inherited runner to score from May 9 through May 28, a span in which they inherited 24 runners and kept them all on the bases…That streak ended in the eighth inning on Saturday night vs. STL…No other team in MLB inherited 12 or more runners in that stretch without any scoring…Only the Brewers (11 IR, 0 IRS) relievers joined the Nationals in keeping all of their inherited runners since May 9 from crossing the plate.

  • Nationals relievers have posted a 1.47 ERA (8 ER/49.0 IP) since May 9 (18 games)…In that time, the Nationals’ ‘pen has struck out 9.73 batters per nine innings, posted a 4.42 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and surrendered just nine extra base hits (6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR)…That is far-and-away the best bullpen ERA in MLB in that stretch (2nd: KCR, 1.94)

Nationals Game Notes: May 28 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

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St. Louis Cardinals (25-24) vs. Washington Nationals (29-20)
RHP Adam Wainwright [4-3, 5.77] | LHP Gio Gonzalez [3-2, 2.87]
Saturday, May 28 l Game #50 / Home # 25 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:15 P.M.
Television: FOX l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

SETTING THE SCENE

The Nationals and Cardinals split the first two games of this four-game set and will settle the series with two more, starting Saturday night in the District and concluding Sunday afternoon of this holiday weekend.

  • The Nationals topped the Cardinals, 2-1, on Thursday night for the 1,700th victory of Dusty Baker’s managerial career…Baker is the 17th all-time winningest manager in MLB history, and the second active manager, behind only San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy (1,732 victories)…Baker is 69 wins behind Jim Leyland for the 15th spot on the list.
  • The victory, which matched career win No. 1 for Baker as his 1993 San Francisco Giants topped the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1, on April 6, 1993, was Washington’s fifth straight over STL…The five-game winning streak over the Cardinals matched a Nationals record (2005-present) vs. STL (also June 14, 2011-Aug. 31, 2012).

MOVING RIGHT ALONG

The Nationals will wrap up this homestand and then depart on a three-city, nine-game, 11-day road trip to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago (White Sox).

  • At 29-20 (.604), the Nationals have the fifth-best record in the National League behind the Chicago Cubs (31-14; .689), San Francisco Giants (30-19; .612) and New York Mets & Pittsburgh Pirates (both 28-19, .596).
  • WSH has posted a +48 run differential, the second-best mark in the NL (Cubs: +123).

CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP

With a single in the sixth inning on Friday night, Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy tied the Nationals record (2005-present) for hits in a month with 40…Murphy currently leads Major League Baseball in multi-hit games (24), batting average (.393) and hits (70)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (2nd, 1.039), slugging percentage (4th, .612), on-base percentage (4th, .427) and doubles (T12th, 14).

  • Having played in 47 of the Nationals’ 49 games, Murphy has at least two hits in more than half of the games he’s played in…He has also hit safely in 23 of his last 27 games, going 43-for-105 (.409) with seven doubles, five homers, 21 RBI and 16 runs scored.

ESPI POWER

Nationals SS Danny Espinosa clubbed his second home run in as many nights on Friday…The blast, a solo shot off Jaime Garcia, was Espinosa’s 19th career home run hit as a right-handed batter (compared to 54 as a LHB).

  • This is the eighth time in Espinosa’s career he’s hit home runs in back-to-back games, his first since Aug. 14 & 15, 2015 at San Francisco.

Nationals Game Notes: May 27 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

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St. Louis Cardinals (24-24) vs. Washington Nationals (29-19)
LHP Jaime Garcia [3-4, 3.59] | RHP Max Scherzer [5-3, 3.80]
Friday, May 27 l Game #49 / Home # 24 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN/WUSA9 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

A LANDMARK VICTORY
The Nationals topped the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1, on Thursday night, the 1,700th victory of Dusty Baker’s managerial career…Baker is the 17th all-time winningest manager in MLB history, and the second active manager, behind only San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy (1,732 victories)…Baker is 69 wins behind Jim Leyland for the 15th spot on the list.

  • The victory, which matched career win No. 1 for Baker as his 1993 San Francisco Giants topped the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1, on April 6, 1993, was Washington’s fifth straight over STL…The five-game winning streak over the Cardinals matches a Nationals record (2005-present) vs. STL (also June 14, 2011-Aug. 31, 2012).

AT THE HOT CORNER
Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon went 2-for-3 Thursday night, continuing his scorching hot stretch…In 16 games dating to May 10, Rendon 20-for-56 (.357) with five doubles, one triple, one home run, nine RBI, 11 walks, two stolen bases and nine runs scored…He has posted eight multi-hit efforts over that stretch.

INHERITANCE TAX
Nationals relievers have posted a miniscule 0.84 ERA (4 ER/42.2 IP) since May 9 (17 games)…In that stretch, the Nationals’ ‘pen has struck out 9.49 batters per nine innings, posted a 4.09 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and surrendered just five extra base hits (4 2B, 1 HR)…That is far-and-away the best bullpen ERA in MLB in that stretch (2nd: MIL, 1.70)

  • Nationals relievers have also not allowed a single inherited runner to score during this run (22 IR, 0 IRS)…No other team that’s inherited 10 or more runners in that span has kept all of them from scoring…Only the Brewers (8 IR, 0 IRS) relievers have joined the Nationals in keeping all of their runners inherited since May 9 from crossing the plate.

IT STARTS WITH THE STARTERS
Nationals RHP Joe Ross picked up his fourth win of the season on Thursday night, holding STL to one run over 7.0 IP…Ross, whose lone run allowed came on a solo home run by Aldemys Diaz in the fourth inning, struck out four, allowed six hits and walked one batter.

  • The Nationals’ pitching staff, as a whole, leads MLB with 449 strikeouts and ranks second in MLB with a 2.82 ERA…The staff also ranks in MLB in opp. slugging percentage (3rd, .347), opp. OPS (3rd, .636), WHIP (3rd, 1.12), hits/9.0 innings (3rd, 7.40), opp. average (3rd, .224), and opp. OBP (3rd, .289).

Max Scherzer: Making friends everywhere he goes

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How did Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer build a soft spot into the hearts of two die-hard Mets fans last week? With a simple game of catch, of course.

Joe La Rocca and his son, Joe, were taking in what seemed like a routine round of batting practice at Citi Field on May 18 when Scherzer turned it into a lifelong memory. After seeing a ball hit Scherzer’s way in the outfield, the younger Joe shouted down from the stands and complimented the righty on his performance the night before.

As Joe found out, Scherzer was pretty grateful.

“Want to have a catch?” Scherzer asked.

The answer was easy.

And luckily, thanks to the elder Joe La Rocca, this great moment was captured on video for the rest of us to enjoy. 

“You know, seeing what Bryce Harper did (giving away a bat to fans in the stands during the same series in New York) and what Scherzer did, it’s hard,” La Rocca told The Junkies on 106.7 The Fan. “It’s hard to hate them. But I have to be a Met fan. My dad was a Brooklyn Dodger fan; I’m a Met fan. But we are definitely Scherzer fans. And I have to get him a Scherzer jersey, for sure.”

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