By Michael Marzzacco
The Nationals nearly got swept this past weekend but a gem by Max Scherzer and two home runs from Bryce Harper Sunday night salvaged a game. Here’s what happened during the second and third game of the weekend series.
The Nationals fell 2-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night at Bush Stadium. Gio Gonzalez took the loss as his record dropped to 7-3. He went seven innings allowing one run on two hits with nine strikeouts.
Alex Mejia drove in both Cardinal runs. In the second he hit an RBI single and in the eighth he hit a solo shot off of reliever Sammy Solis. The Nats got a run in the ninth. Bryce Harper led off with a walk. Daniel Murphy would single. Anthony Rendon got on with a fielder’s choice while Murphy was out at second. With runners at the corners, Stephen Drew singled into left field to score Harper. The Nats would load the bases as Jose Lobaton walked but the rally would end when Adrian Sanchez struck out.
The Nationals avoided the sweep on Sunday Night Baseball thanks to two home runs by Bryce Harper and a dominant start by Max Scherzer in a 7-2 win. Harper’s home runs came in the first and third inning, both two-run shots that put the Nationals ahead 4-0.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the Busch. pic.twitter.com/JKpmPLogFs
— #VoteRendon (@Nationals) July 3, 2017
Anthony Rendon would plate another run in the inning with an RBI double. He needs your vote to make the All Star Game.
The Nationals added two more runs in the eighth with sacrifice flies from Wilmer Difo and Brian Goodwin.
Max Scherzer got the win going seven innings allowing only two hits while striking out 12. It was his 59th career 10+ strikeout game. Scherzer, along with Chris Sale are the NL and AL pitchers with 160 strikeouts before the All Star break. The last time two pitchers reached that many strikeouts? Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson.