The Reds improved to 4-0 after taking down the Cardinals on Friday night. They took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth on a Todd Frazier sacrifice fly. Aroldis Chapman set down the Cardinals with little trouble in the ninth inning to nail down the win for his second save of the season.
With the win, the Reds became the first team since 1912 to win each of their first four games in their final at-bat, Joel Luckhaupt pointed out on Twitter. Here’s how the first three went down:
- Game 1 vs. PIT: Todd Frazier clubs a go-ahead three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth, Chapman gets the save for a 5-2 win
- Game 2 vs. PIT: Joey Votto hits a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 11th for a 5-4 win
- Game 3 vs. PIT: Frazier scores the winning run on Gregory Polanco’s error in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-2 win
In Friday’s game against the Cardinals, Votto continued to hit well, swatting a pair of two-run home runs. Billy Hamilton walked twice and stole his seventh base of the season, making him 7-for-7 on the season.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.