Every ace has their day, and the Atlanta Braves took advantage of the miscues of Washington Nationals star pitcher Max Scherzer.
The Nationals head home to Washington with a 4-2 road record and went from invincible to struggling, but the home Opening Day should give the team a jolt.
Here’s how the team lined up for the last game of the series:
Adam Eaton LF
Anthony Rendon 3B
Bryce Harper RF
Matt Adams 1B
Trea Turner SS
Michael Taylor CF
Wilmer Difo 2B
Pedro Severino C
Max Scherzer P
Scherzer and Mike Foltynewicz squared off on the mound and Foltynewicz won the battle. Scherzer got bounced around early with a Preston Tucker three-run home run in the first, and he never quite recovered. He did not have his usual command and exited the fifth inning with 110 pitches. He averaged 22 pitches per inning and fell behind in the count more often than he would have liked.
Along with Scherzer’s rare poor pitching appearance, the Nats bats were cold. Despite being able to get on base and have them loaded in multiple innings, they were not able to capitalize. On the contrary, the Braves hit everything and in the past two games have cashed in 20 runs.
It’s early in the season, and though this team is primed for success, there is always much to learn. For instance, in today’s game during the sixth inning, there was a pinch-hitting at bat and the young manager burned an already short bench. Brian Goodwin went out, then Martinez decided he wanted to use Ryan Zimmerman, which made Howie Kendrick the last bench guy unused.
He also has used Matt Grace out of the bullpen for four of the past five days. This would make one assume he will be unavailable tomorrow, but as Grace is your most reliable long inning guy, it would make sense to keep him fresh. Watching Martinez’s development over the course of the season will be interesting as he has a lot to learn and apply to the game.
The Nationals lost this one 7-1 and head home to take on the New York Mets. Jacob DeGrom vs Stephen Strasburg should be quite the rubber match and the Nationals should be able to use the home crowd energy to generate some runs. Next game time is tomorrow April 5 at 1:05 pm.
(Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)