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

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.