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One bad pitch doesn’t spoil Scherzer’s brilliant start

May 7, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

May 6, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) reacts after giving up a home run to Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (not shown) during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 7 - 5. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It would be easy to think of the hanging slider Max Scherzer threw Giancarlo Stanton in the eighth inning Wednesday afternoon as the lasting image of his start, because it was the last pitch he threw and because it landed well beyond the left-field wall and because it turned what looked like a blowout victory for the Nationals into something far less secure.

But that one pitch shouldn’t be the real takeaway from Scherzer’s outing, because everything he did up to that point was nothing short of brilliant.

Yes, Scherzer wound up charged with five earned runs on 10 hits over seven-plus innings. But he also struck out 10 Marlins without walking any, which is no small feat.

Indeed, that’s only the 14th time in Nationals history a pitcher has struck out 10 or more batters without a walk. And it’s only the third time any MLB pitcher has done that this season.

“I really thought everything was on today,” Scherzer said. “I really felt like I had command of all the pitches. I was really attacking the zone. I was able to locate the fastball to both sides, and so I can mix and match. That’s when I have success. I feel like that is the product of why I had so much success there through the first seven innings.”

Six starts into his Nationals career, Scherzer’s ability to keep opposing hitters from making contact while not handing out free passes has been perhaps his greatest achievement. He has notched 49 strikeouts while walking only five, a nearly 10-to-1 ratio that ranks among the best in baseball. He hasn’t issued a walk in three of his last four starts.

“I’m really happy with that,” the right-hander said. “That’s one of the first things you look at as a pitcher: How many walks you give up. When you have an outing where you don’t give up any walks in seven innings, that’s always going to put a smile on your face, because you know you are going after them and you’re not going to give in, in any situation.”

Now, about that Stanton homer…

Scherzer’s day easily could have been done after he struck out Reid Brignac to end the seventh inning. His pitch count sat at 101. He was due to lead off the bottom of the inning.

But with the Nationals ahead 7-2 at the time, with their bullpen overworked during this stretch of 16 consecutive days of baseball and with Scherzer telling his coaching staff beforehand he was good to throw up to 115 pitches in this game, he was allowed to continue.

Things didn’t go as well as hoped. Dee Gordon and Martin Prado each singled, setting the stage for Stanton’s big blast.

“As long as you’re out of ‘slam’ reach, for me anyway, then you go with your guy depending on where he’s at,” manager Matt Williams said of his decision to let Scherzer take the mound for the eighth. “And we know that Max is good to 115. So after he came off in the seventh, when we had the conversation on how he was feeling, he said: ‘I’m good to go.’ And then they got a couple of quick hits and Stanton took a good swing at that one. So that’s the way the game goes. But as long as we’re out of slam reach there, then we’re comfortable with not matching up in that regard.”

Scherzer nearly got out of the jam, but his 3-2 slider to Stanton hovered over the plate too much, and he paid the price for it.

“I was trying to break that slider into the zone,” he said. “And where I started, I just needed to finish it, and I didn’t finish it. It hung right there so he could hit it a country mile. It’s just something you live and learn and you get better at, even when you don’t have success. You go into next time realizing what you have to do to execute that pitch in that situation.”

Scherzer still received a standing ovation when he departed following that homer. And thanks to scoreless relief work from Tanner Roark and Drew Storen, he still emerged from the afternoon with a win.

So what if his final line suggested a less-impressive outing? Scherzer and the Nationals knew he pitched an exceptional game on this afternoon.

  1. Doc - May 7, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    My idea, and others obviously, of a pro.

    If this were a playoff game, we’d be jamming the comment pages with criticism of MW for leaving him in.

    • rayvil01 - May 7, 2015 at 7:30 AM

      If it were a playoff game the bullpen wouldn’t have been used 16 days in a row previous. Apples and oranges.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 7:38 AM

      5 run lead that can evaporate quickly. Starting the inning at 104 pitches, 6ID20 noted that Roark didn’t get up until after Gordon got his single. Roark should have been up as soon as the last out was recorded in the bottom of the 7th IMHO given the pitch count and where the Marlins were in their order.

      The way MW hooked Fister quickly after the double was instinctual but also protecting a 1 run lead. I applauded it at the time.

      Great job by Roark to Hold the lead and while Storen HBP’d Solano and gave up a quick single to Gordon, somehow Storen knuckled down and saved his own game.

  2. Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    Charlie and Dave after Bryce’s 3rd HR named the club of Soriano, Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman as the 3 HR players in a game club for the Nats with the added trivia that the Nats lost the game when RZim hit his 3 taters. That stayed in the back of my mind as Stanton stepped in against Scherzer. Luckily the day was Bryce’s and the Nats won.

    Baseball is a funny game, Scherzer wins a game in his worst statistical start but loses 3 games this year where he gave up 0 earned, 1 earned and 2 earned runs. Go figure.

    Cool aside, Joc Pederson hit 2 HRs last night and his last 7 hits are all HRs. In Joc’s postgame interview he said that Bryce Harper had sent him a text earlier to “keep it up” but he fell short of Bryce’s 3 HRs. Bryce has 8 HRs now and Joc has 9.

    The time we need the Oreos to win they get swept by the Mutts.

    In other crazy news, Andrew McCutcheon batting .188. Heck, if I told you Werth was .012 points behind McCutcheon most of you would be happy if Cutch was batting his usual.

    • adcwonk - May 7, 2015 at 9:18 AM

      Great factoids in that post — thanks, Ghost!

      his last 7 hits are all HRs

      and that’s incredible — I wonder what the record for that is?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 9:20 AM

        Has to be close to a record! Joc can play defense too! He was kind of the forgotten rookie admist all the Kris Bryant hoopla.

        Funny factoid is both are older than Bryce.

  3. manassasnatsfan - May 7, 2015 at 8:07 AM

    Remember one game at a time, one series at a time.

    Win every series and we will runaway with it.

    Don’t think to far ahead one game at a time.

    • scnatsfan - May 7, 2015 at 8:59 AM

      I agree. That’s what killed me about the way the season opened, not that we were losing games but we were losing every series.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 7, 2015 at 1:04 PM

        Hopefully we have righted that ship.

  4. Hiram Hover - May 7, 2015 at 8:08 AM

    Baseball is a funny game, Scherzer wins a game in his worst statistical start but loses 3 games this year where he gave up 0 earned, 1 earned and 2 earned runs. Go figure.

    Just more fuel for the “kill the win” crowd.

    As a team statistic, the win is everything. As an individual statistic, it’s pretty much useless–except for when it’s actually misleading.

    • Section 222 - May 7, 2015 at 8:22 AM

      No more fuel is needed, but yes. Kill the win!

      On the other hand, in fantasy baseball it’s a fun twist because even a reliever can luck into a win sometimes.

      And Max has pitched some very good games this year and got nothing in the win category. So this was payback.

      • sec105rowwseat28 - May 7, 2015 at 9:15 AM

        No need to kill the win. It’s a very useful statistic for quantifying reality when taken in context with other stats like ERA, K/BB rate, WHIP, etc. In isolation, it really doesn’t tell you much. But in isolation, none of those other stats tell you much either.

        What is a pitcher win, anyway? It’s not a measurable “counting stat” like a hit or a walk or a strikeout. It’s not a “rate stat” like WHIP or OBP or K/BB. It’s not even really a stat. It’s a formula-based concept, a number created by aggregating a bunch of events and running them through an algorithm. It’s a pretty simple algorithm, I’ll grant you that, but it’s an algorithm nonetheless. And what else is an algorithm or formula-based concept that’s intended to be a “catch-all” way to describe player performance? Yes, that’s right – WAR. That darling stat of the smug SABR crowd and their demigod Brian Kenny. So if you’re going to kill the win, then you also need to kill WAR.

      • Section 222 - May 7, 2015 at 9:27 AM

        If you really think wins and WAR are equally meaningful ways to describe pitcher performance, there is really nothing else to say. I doubt you do. More likely, you just enjoy being a troll. But it’s a free country.

      • Hiram Hover - May 7, 2015 at 9:46 AM

        I think you hit that nail on the head, deuces.

      • sec105rowwseat28 - May 7, 2015 at 10:08 AM

        Actually, I don’t think the pitcher win and WAR are equally meaningful, because I happen to think WAR is meaningless while the pitcher win is not.

        A ten year old can comprehend and explain the formula behind a pitcher win, while no one, not even the demigod Brian Kenny, has ever been able to explain the formula behind WAR in a way that makes it it comprehensible. So just because WAR is unexplainable, people accept it and believe it’s right? Okay, that makes a LOT of sense. As long as you think whoever invented WAR is a genius on the level of Einstein or Stephen Hawking, that is.

        Felix Hernandez doesn’t get the Cy Young because his score in a totally-understandable stat is low, and people say that’s a travesty. Mike Trout gets the MVP because his score in an incomprehensible stat is high, and people call that justice. In reality, as I said in my original comment, neither the pitcher win nor WAR is worth much of anything when used in isolation. But when taken in context with other stats, they can both serve to provide some amplification of what’s going on in a very complex reality. Although personally I can’t think of a single instance when WAR has told me something I couldn’t already deduce from looking at other stats. The pitcher win OTOH does provide a window into how a pitcher’s performance interfaces with the performance of his teammates to produce success or failure in what is ultimately a team sport.

      • Hiram Hover - May 7, 2015 at 10:46 AM

        Pet, meet peeve!

    • nats128 - May 7, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      Great quote and I dont think you kill the W, you just have to be skeptical of W’s and L’s on a pitchers record. The reason that year that King Felix won the 2010 Cy Young with a lousy W/L % (13-12).

  5. natsjackinfl - May 7, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    There was no problem leaving Scherzer. That’s why he’s here.

    The only problem was that he had to throw 9 pitches to Stanton in that final at bat.

    Stanton fouled off great pitches with the count 3 and 2. That’s when I turned to Gator John and said, “he’s wasted 3 good pitches from Max and Max is bound to make a mistake sometime”.

    Sure enough, Max made the mistake and Stanton didn’t miss it.

    • NatsLady - May 7, 2015 at 8:25 AM

      Yeah, when Stanton was fouling off pitches and Charlie&Dave said Roark was ready, I thought, this is the time to take Scherzer out in the middle of an at-bat. Won’t happen, of course. But even on the radio I sensed Scherzer didn’t have the “reach back” this time–or if he did, he’d already used it.

    • ehay2k - May 7, 2015 at 8:33 AM

      And despite hanging one, Scherzer didn’t beat up himself or anything in the dugout. He has that “It’s baseball” perspective that helps keep him even keeled. Boz’s WaPO article today talks about Max’ relationship with, and effect on, Harper. (link below) I am hoping a lot of Max rubs off on our team.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/nationals-should-be-all-in-on-this-pair/2015/05/06/90f76236-f427-11e4-bcc4-e8141e5eb0c9_story.html

      GYFNG! Nice to have a day off though. All this hot and heavy DC sports action is killing me!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 9:03 AM

        From Boz, “Each clearly recognizes his role, watches and talks to the other, especially Harper picking Scherzer’s brain about how pitchers think and attack.”

        “It’s impressive. From where he was at the beginning of the season and where he is now, he keeps getting better and better in my eyes,” Scherzer said. “He’s doing a great job of taking his walks and understanding what the pitcher is doing. We’re seeing him grow right in front of our eyes.”

        “The older I get, the more I need to be patient. You’re going to get one pitch an at-bat, half-a-pitch an at-bat” to hit, said Harper. “I’ve talked to Maxie a bunch of times about it. When you’re taking pitches . . . one or two inches off and they’re calling it a ball, you know that makes the pitcher freak out a little bit.

        “There are times when I’m still missing my pitch. That’s why Nelson Cruz is so good . . . Mike Trout . . . Robinson Cano. They don’t miss their pitch. I’m still trying to get to that point.”

      • ehay2k - May 7, 2015 at 9:13 AM

        Inside the organization, Bryce has always had a reputation of being a good student of the game. (Remember how he talked to DJ – or was it Rizzo? — about how he thought Halliday would likely to pitch to him, before he ever faced him? And that was what happened?) Nice to see that validated by a new set of eyes.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 9:17 AM

        He’s still so young that when he popped the ball up on that 3-0 jam pitch the other day it was a reminder of how he is still learning.

      • adcwonk - May 7, 2015 at 9:24 AM

        And despite hanging one, Scherzer didn’t beat up himself or anything in the dugout. He has that “It’s baseball” perspective that helps keep him even keeled.

        And this even keel is *essential* when playing a skill sport, like baseball, golf, archery, what have you.

        And this is why it drives me nuts when during a losing streak (for example the beginning of the season) when some folks here were complaining that the Nats didn’t seem angry enough, that they didn’t care, what have you. Being angry doesn’t help you swing or pitch better. Being angry leads to Ian Desmond-like swings, or “overthrowing”.

        (yes, I’m using “what have you” in honor of Bryce today. I guess I ought to use it three times. Question: does it’s use in this very parenthetical count as the third time? 😉 )

        nice catch, 2k!

  6. Section 222 - May 7, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    By day, Bryce is hitting multiple bombs. By night, he’s at the Caps game and sending encouraging texts to Joc Pederson. It’s pretty fun being Bryce Harper.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 8:43 AM

      Normally Bryce is home watching Sports Center and studying video and relaxing. I think the only reason he went to the Caps game is because Thursday was an off-day.

      Supposedly he doesn’t go out much but he certainly deserved to treat himself.

      Other cool story I heard was that Bryce went into his closet at his apartment and pulled out one of his favorite beaten up bats from 2014 to use in the game and batted without batting gloves.

      May 6th is also a big day in history for the HR crowd —– Willie Mays birthday and the 100th Anniversary of Babe Ruth’s 1st HR

      • Section 222 - May 7, 2015 at 10:13 AM

        The only reason Bryce went is that he has an off day the next day? Um, maybe the fact that it was game 4 of a playoff series had something to do it?

        Bryce is a big kid and a big sports fan. Good for him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 10:16 AM

        He’s a very disciplined kid. It’s a reason for his success. Good for him!

  7. laddieblahblah - May 7, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    OT. You have got to hand it to Billy Beane and the problem he has created for himself as Coco Crisp is about to come off the DL:

    http://blog.sfgate.com/athletics/2015/05/05/big-decision-looms-for-as-keep-billy-burns-or-not/

    With Werth performing at a sub-par level with that cranky shoulder, I’ll bet Mike would like to have that problem.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 8:50 AM

      Burnsy has had a real good 4 games.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 7, 2015 at 9:05 AM

        Burns also had the most hits in MLB in the ‘It’s only spring training.” And has had a great spring in Nashville.He has really learned how to get hits from the left side. I think that the A’s will send him back down, but he is proving a lot of people wrong as to whether he is going to be a ML player. And I still think trading him for Jerry Blevins was a dumb move.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 9:10 AM

        A few of you said it was a bad trade. I like toolsy guys which is what Burns is and I liked him in that Bernadina role which the team really needs.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 7, 2015 at 9:08 AM

        And it wasn’t just because i was a Burns fan, it was because I was not a fan of Blevins. I understood that Burns’ way was blocked, but I thought he was undersold.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 9:11 AM

        I can join you in that. I was not a fan of Blevins. He was not good for the bullpen but he also wasn’t used properly IMO.

      • Section 222 - May 7, 2015 at 10:17 AM

        Wait, we got Matt den Dekker for Blevins right?

        Ok, never mind. 🙂

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 10:18 AM

        Yah, exactly. (chuckle)

      • masterfishkeeper - May 7, 2015 at 10:24 AM

        Even after his hot streak, Burns’ OPS+ is 92. He would not be an improvement over Den Dekker.

    • ehay2k - May 7, 2015 at 9:03 AM

      Rizzo may have to make a tough choice when Rendon comes back. What to do with Uggla? Espi will definitely be the utility guy. Or does MAT go down, to make room for Uggla to PH? That would seem to be leaving us short a serviceable replacement for 2 OF positions.

      • ICYMI - May 7, 2015 at 11:27 AM

        Tyler Moore could go, or Clint Robinson. They are both 5th OF/backup 1b/PH. Completely redundant parts. No need for both of them. Clint being LH may make him the keeper.

      • ehay2k - May 7, 2015 at 4:29 PM

        Moore is out of options, which makes it harder to deal with him. Rizzo wont just DFA him.

  8. bowdenball - May 7, 2015 at 8:45 AM

    I don’t really understand the concern about the bullpen being taxed. They were six outs away from their second-longest schedule break of the entire season. They had plenty of relievers who hadn’t pitched the day before, including Grace, Roark and Storen. Two other guys had thrown 15-16 pitches the day before. What exactly was the concern?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 8:49 AM

      Solis was the only reliever not available. You’re correct and Thursday was a day-off.

      • bowdenball - May 7, 2015 at 8:53 AM

        Yup. And not just a day off, but a day off after a 1 PM afternoon game with the next game also at home at 7 PM. This is as good as it gets other than the all-star break for a baseball player.

        If you think Scherzer in the 8th gives you your best chance to win the game, send him out there. Otherwise, make the move that gives you your best chance to win. No reason for silly rules about “more than a grand slam margin” or “let the guy try to finish what he started.”

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 9:01 AM

        We have seen crazier things happen in baseball. It worked out but that 2 run margin sure looked small when Storen put the 1st 2 batters on base in the 9th.

      • jd - May 7, 2015 at 9:12 AM

        I think the spin is as nonsensical as the move and it’s hard to buy the spin when you are so inconsistent with your moves. I have no problem letting Scherzer throw 115 pitches but when you start an inning with 104 there should be someone warming up just in case and when the inning starts badly as in the 1st 2 guys get on you make the move. I don’t think you wait for the game to be in the balance to act. It didn’t happen this time but it’s gonna bite him in the ass one of these games. This should have been an easy win with no drama and instead it was touch and go all the way until the end.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 9:15 AM

        It bit the Nats twice in the first 10 games as these pitchers build up arm strength 80 pitches you have to be ready.

        If Matty can’t manage that Knorr and McCatty need to!!!

    • Section 222 - May 7, 2015 at 9:30 AM

      +1 to bowdenball. If you don’t want to use your bullpen under those circumstances, you might as well wrap them in bubblewrap for the rest of the season.

    • adcwonk - May 7, 2015 at 9:30 AM

      I think it was no problem letting Scherzer start the 8th. He’s had the best arm strength of the team. Further, he had just retired 17 or 19 batters.

      But MW should have had Roark warming.

      Query: is this situation similar at all to when MW got raked for taking out JZ in the 9th inning of that playoff game with one of the best relievers in baseball last year (look it up) ready to go?

      Whoever it was who wrote, yesterday, d@mned if you do, d@mned if you don’t — sure had *that* right!

  9. sec105rowwseat28 - May 7, 2015 at 8:56 AM

    “As long as you’re out of ‘slam’ reach, for me anyway, then you go with your guy depending on where he’s at,” manager Matt Williams said of his decision to let Scherzer take the mound for the eighth.

    But the decision to let Scherzer pitch the eighth was made when Williams let him bat to lead off the bottom of the seventh, was it not? Because if he’s not coming back out to pitch, there’s no reason to let him hit in that situation, is there? And at that point in the game, the Nats were only up 5-2, and that put them within Stanton range of tying the game since he was due up third when Scherzer re-took the mound. Indeed, the only thing that prevented that from happening was the two insurance runs the Nats plated after Scherzer struck out to lead off the bottom of the seventh.

    So not only does Matt Williams not think ahead when he makes a game decision, he can’t even spin it correctly to make it seem like he has done that when he tries to explain things after the fact. Not only is Matt Williams not a good manager, he couldn’t even be a good politician! Nothing comes out of his mouth but revisionist history designed to cover his ass and make people think he’s doing a good job. Add another one to the list. “Won’t do the Babe Ruth imitation I promised to do. Wouldn’t be becoming of a professional manager.” “We do the rundown drill every other day.” “As long as you’re out of ‘slam’ reach, for me anyway, then you go with your guy depending on where he’s at.” What’s next, Matt?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 9:45 AM

      http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2015_05_06_miamlb_wasmlb_1&mode=wrap#gid=2015_05_06_miamlb_wasmlb_1&mode=plays

      Well hot dammm, you’re correct. Scherzer led off the bottom of the 7th and the score was only 5-2 and Scherzer was sitting at 104 pitches.

      If the Nats didn’t score those 2 runs to take the 7-2 lead then in MW’s defense, maybe he does get Roark warming as soon as the last out was recorded in the bottom of the 7th.

      It does question the wisdom more why you didn’t PH for Scherzer there as you can’t assume you will score more runs.

      • Section 222 - May 7, 2015 at 10:38 AM

        Ghost, you’re giving MW too much credit. It would mean that MW’s rule is if you’re within slam reach you send him out for the 8th even though he’s already thrown 104 pitches, but have Roark warming. But if you’re not within slam reach, you don’t warm him up? In what universe does that make any sense at all? You can’t make the argument that he wants to save Roark from warming up. We have an off day the next day for goodness sakes.

        Kudos to 105 for catching this. MW had a brain freeze. And when asked about it, he totally made something up. Slam reach. Had anyone even heard that term before yesterday?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 10:49 AM

        That’s right, kudos to 105. It really makes that argument back to what I’ve been saying about anticipating all the what-ifs when the score was 5-2 and Scherzer leading off.

        The great managers anticipate any moves ahead. Just sayin’. MW did that with Fister on Sunday.

      • Section 222 - May 7, 2015 at 11:31 AM

        No doubt that MW wasn’t thinking ahead. I wouldn’t go so far as to say PHing for Scherzer to lead off the 7th was the only right move. In fact, I think sending him out to see if he could get through the 8th unscathed was a perfectly defensible decision given even just a 3-run lead and his pitchcount. But to wait to get Roark up until a man was on base was indefensible, and the fact that he could only come up with a laughable justification (h/t 105) in the presser shows that. In that late game situation it seems to me you have to have a reliever warm in case the starter loses it. Having no one fresh to face Stanton with two men on base was managerial malpractice.

  10. scnatsfan - May 7, 2015 at 9:03 AM

    One thing this blog is consistent in – If we are losing and MW orders eggs for breakfast half the blog thinks he should be fired for not getting the pancakes. To be fair sometimes I am in that camp. Winning makes alot of the questionable decisions sit much easier.

    • Joe Seamhead - May 7, 2015 at 9:09 AM

      Pretty funny, sc. And astute.

    • ehay2k - May 7, 2015 at 9:10 AM

      And then there are some who think he should have ordered both. Of course, that means as soon as someone says that, there will be those who crawl out from under their rock and say he should have ordered both, but eaten neither!

      There is certainly the possibility that letting Scherzer bat in the 7th just kept MW’s options open. But I agree that in any case, he should have had someone warming up.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 9:34 AM

      Yep!

    • bowdenball - May 7, 2015 at 9:38 AM

      That may be true of some people, but I think I’m the person who initiated the Williams criticism here and I had no problem at all with Williams’ decision to go to Storen in Game 2 last year. Unless there are usage issues, it’s always better to go the bullpen too early than too late.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 7, 2015 at 9:49 AM

        Bowdenball, I also never had a problem pulling JZim in Game 2 with 2 outs in a 1 run game and the tie runner on 1st with Posey stepping to the plate. I had problems after Posey singled and defensive positioning which is a story for another day.

        Yesterday’s criticism was looking ahead as pointed out that when Scherzer batted to leadoff the 7th, the game at that point was just 5-2. Do you pinch hit with Robinson there and when do you start warming Roark?

      • bowdenball - May 7, 2015 at 10:16 AM

        I would have pinch-hit for Scherzer in the bottom of the 7th and I would have had Roark before the start of the 8th. I think we’re in agreement there.

      • masterfishkeeper - May 7, 2015 at 10:25 AM

        +1.

        Why send Scherzer back out, when Roark could throw two innings, if needed? You’ve got an off day today, so the bullpen can rest.

        Save those pitches by Scherzer for September and later.

  11. sec105rowwseat28 - May 7, 2015 at 9:27 AM

    Matt Williams is a manager who always gets the most out of his players. Why just yesterday, when he had already gotten McDonald’s and Papa John’s out of them, he still figured out a way to get some Chick Fil A out of them too. How often has that ever happened?

    • adcwonk - May 7, 2015 at 9:31 AM

      Pay the man, Shirley!! 😉

      • Nats Fan Zee - May 7, 2015 at 10:59 AM

        “Don’t call me Shirley!”

  12. nats128 - May 7, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    Boswell doesn’t mince words. “But poor managing. Pen not ready”

    Nats lead 7-2 behind Scherzer (10 Ks). But poor managing. Pen not ready. Scherzer at 113 pitches, Stanton up, two on. Roark should be in.

    — Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) May 6, 2015

    Scherzer was still pumping 96 to Stanton. But he might have had to go to >125 pitches to finish inning. So relief should’ve been in already

    — Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) May 6, 2015

    In-game managing is ALWAYS anticipating what can go wrong. Williams assumed Scherzer cruising. Could’ve stalled to get Roark hot & in.

    — Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) May 6, 2015

    • adcwonk - May 7, 2015 at 12:07 PM

      I agree with this. For letting MW start the inning — no problem. Not having Roark ready — that was mis-management.

      • NatsLady - May 7, 2015 at 3:04 PM

        Wait, if Max was at 104 pitches and he “could go” 115, that means he would have to complete the 8th with only 11 pitches. Possible but not likely. You could do a Davey and say, All right, but have Roark warming and tell Scherzer he’s outta there if anyone gets on base, because it’s a virtual lock he won’t stay under 115 with runners on base (he ended with 114).

      • adcwonk - May 7, 2015 at 3:26 PM

        Agreed. I’m thinking MW should have said, “OK, but you’re outta here if somebody gets on.” and got Roark warming.

  13. virginiascopist - May 7, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    A few final observations about last night:

    1) Harper has Koehler’s number — literally. They both wear #34 (and Harper did go 3 for 4)
    2) The Orioles couldn’t at least take one. I mean, seriously, who can’t score more than three runs total in two games versus the Mets — wait. Never mind.
    3) I think Harper has been removed from Koehler’s Christmas card list.

  14. Tyler Babip - May 7, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    Section 222 yesterday: “Oh my. A beast, a beast I tell you. He’s growing up before our very eyes. Can’t wait to see the highlights tonight.”

    Scherzer to Boz: “We’re seeing him grow right in front of our eyes.”

    Scherzer’s been reported to read MLBTR regularly, to the point that they shouted out a “Hi Max!” to him when he was on the market. Could it be that he is reading the comments on this blog, and picked up a turn of phrase from the inimitable Sec 222?

    If so, let me be the first here to say, “Hi Max!”

    • Section 222 - May 7, 2015 at 11:23 AM

      Hahaha. Seems highly doubtful, but thanks for the shoutout. Those highlights were well worth watching last night. Especially that left foot staying on the ground…. after he lifted it off the ground.

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