The Giants lost four games in a row heading into Saturday afternoon’s game against the Nationals. Sometimes, you need to get creative to get off the schneid.
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had doubled in the seventh inning against reliever Yusmeiro Petit to put runners on second and third with no outs for Wilson Ramos. After a first-pitch strike, Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco started jogging in towards the infield. Alertly, Ramos got Harper’s attention and told him to get back to the second base bag. Petit’s throw was a bit high but Harper would have gotten back safely no matter how good the throw was.
The Nationals ended up scoring three runs in the inning en route to a 9-3 victory, sending the Giants to their fifth straight loss.
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.