August 8, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 33 Review: Offense lights up Arizona

Everything came up Nats in the first game of a seven-game west coast swing as the Washington Nationals plated 10 runs before the end of the second inning and Max Scherzer pitch seven solid innings to register an 11-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks before a paltry crowd at Chase Field.

The Nats (18-15) have won five straight and climb to within 2 1/2 games of the first place New York Mets.

The Nats didn’t waste any time getting started in this one. Denard Span led off against D’backs starter Josh Collmenter with a no-doubt homer, his third of the year. Yunel Escobar followed with a flare single to right and Jayson Werth walked, bringing up the current N.L. Player of the Week Bryce Harper. The red-hot Harper worked the count to 3-1 before launching a high fly ball down the right field line, but died rightup against the fence, where Ender Inciarte pulled it in.

No matter though, as the next batter, Ryan Zimmerman, crushed 2-1 offering from Collmenter off the facing of the deck in left center. Just like that, it was 4-0 before Max Scherzer ever threw a pitch.

After Scherzer set Arizona down 1-2-3 on seven pitches, the bats went back to work.

Danny Espinosa and Scherzer had back-to-back infield hits, then Span bounced a single through the middle to bring home Espinosa to push the lead to 5-0. Escobar shot a hard grounder past first base to load the bases, and Werth lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Scherzer. Harper then lined a single over the second baseman’s head and it was 7-0 after one out in the second.

Harper’s single mercifully ended Collmenter’s night.

It didn’t get any better for Arizona. Reliever Vidal Nuno greeted Zimmerman with a five-pitch walk, and Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a double into the left field corner to make it 10-o Nats.

The Nats picked up their 11th run of the game in the fifth. Espinosa singled with one out and went to second on Scherzer’s second hit of the game. After Span flied out, Escobar singled to center to score Espinosa.

The rest was up to Scherzer. The big righty was dominant, needing 94 pitches to plow through seven innings. He made one mistake — a 3-2 slider that got a little too much of the plate the Jordan Pacheco clobbered to the stands in left for his second homer of the season. He gave up five hits and walked one, striking out six.

HERO: Yunel Escobar went 5 for 5 with two runs scored, his second five-hit game in the past week. Honorable mention to Max Scherzer, who just went out and did his job after being staked to a huge early lead — plus his two-hit night at the plate.

GOAT: Josh Collmenter. Poor guy was up there slinging 83-mph “fastballs” and the Nats just clobbered ‘em all over the park.

NATS NOTES:

  • Walkin’ Man: Bryce Harper drew his 28th walk of the season, which leads the National League.
  • All the hits: With Escobar’s five-hit game, the Nats now own three of the four in the N.L. this season. Denard Span had a five-hit game as well.
  • Needed relief: Blake Treinen came on for Scherzer and tossed two scoreless innings of relief. He gave up one hit and one walk and struck out one.

NEXT GAME: Tuesday at 9:40 pm at Arizona. Stephen Strasburg (2-3, 4.73) faces Rubby De la Rosa (3-2, 4.38).

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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