Streak over: A Nationals starter allowed a run for the first time in 48 innings

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Max Scherzer’s bid for a Vander Meer — throwing back-to-back no-hitters — overshadowed another impressive piece of Nationals-related trivia as they prepared to take on the Phillies: the starting rotation’s collective scoreless innings streak.

Joe Ross, on June 19, was the last Nationals starter to yield a run, doing so in the second inning when Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco hit an RBI single to right field.

Scherzer lost his bid for a perfect game with one out in the sixth inning on a Freddy Galvis double to right field, but he was stranded. In the seventh, Cesar Hernandez led off with a double and eventually came around to score on Domonic Brown’s double to left-center. That ended a streak of 48 consecutive scoreless innings for the Nats’ rotation, as Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington noted on Twitter:

Here’s what the Nationals’ starting pitching has looked like lately:

  • Joe Ross, June 19 vs. Pirates: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K
  • Max Scherzer, June 20 vs. Pirates: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB (1 HBP), 10 K
  • Gio Gonzalez, June 21 vs. Pirates: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Stephen Strasburg, June 23 vs. Braves: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
  • Jordan Zimmermann, June 24 vs. Braves: 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
  • Doug Fister, June 25 vs. Braves: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
  • Max Scherzer, June 26 @ Phillies: 8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
  • Total: 51.1 IP, 29 H, 3 ER (0.53 ERA), 5 BB, 45 K

Indians designate Carlos Gonzalez for assignment

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The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.

A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.

If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.