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Blue Jays 7, Nats 3: Pillar’s homers stun Scherzer

Jun 2, 2015, 10:09 PM EDT

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GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After watching Jordan Zimmermann cruise through eight scoreless innings earlier in the day, Max Scherzer had visions of duplicating the feat and pitching the Nationals to a doubleheader sweep. Kevin Pillar and the Blue Jays had other ideas.

Pillar homered twice of Scherzer, including a 3-run shot in the top of the sixth that turned a 3-1 lead for the Nationals into a 4-3 deficit and put a real damper on Scherzer’s night. Things turned even more sour after that, with Blake Treinen giving up three runs in the seventh to dig a bigger hole for his teammates.

Fielding a lineup minus Denard Span, Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos, the Nationals never could get much going at the plate against Toronto’s Marco Estrada (a one-time National). And so a long day of baseball that began with a fine all-around performance in a 2-0 victory ended with a frustrating loss, this team’s fourth in its last five games.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: With Zimmerman out of the lineup for the first time all season, the Nationals needed a fill-in cleanup hitter to hit behind Bryce Harper. Tyler Moore may have seemed an unlikely choice, but he came through twice in this game. After Harper doubled off the top of the right-field wall in the fourth, Moore promptly drove him in with a double down the left-field line. One inning later, Moore lofted a sacrifice fly to right, bringing home another run. He later was robbed of a potential hit up the middle by a diving Ryan Goins.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: We’ve become so accustomed to dominance out of Scherzer that a merely pedestrian outing by the right-hander is a shock to the system. He wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. But he wasn’t what we’ve seen so many times this season. Scherzer needed 25 pitches to get through a scoreless first inning, and that put him behind the 8-ball for much of the night. By the time he reached the sixth, he appeared to be laboring more than usual, with a pitch count approaching triple digits. He issued a 2-out walk to Munenori Kawasaki to prolong the inning and bring Pillar to the plate. The light-hitting outfielder had already taken Scherzer deep in the second inning, and he did it again, this time launching a 1-1 pitch to left to give the Blue Jays the lead. Scherzer wound up allowing more than two earned runs for only the second time in 11 starts this season, and he failed to complete seven inning for only the second time as well.

KEY STAT: Jose Lobaton has eight RBI in only 12 games this season.

UP NEXT: The series concludes at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday when Taylor Jordan is expected to make his first start of the season (replacing the injured Stephen Strasburg). Veteran lefty Mark Buehrle takes the mound for Toronto.

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:12 PM

    Another game that 1 play not made defines the way it went. Tough but makeable play on the fly ball to Bryce that he didn’t catch leads to the inning to continue and the 3 run Pillar HR.

    • adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:15 PM

      Combined with the Nats getting only six hits . . . .

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:17 PM

        On most Scherzer starts that’s enough to win.

      • adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:06 PM

        On most Scherzer starts that’s enough to win.

        Scherzer also gave up six hits. In fact, he gave up 6 H and 2 BB in 6 innings, while the Nats got 6 H and 2 BB in 9 innings.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:09 PM

      I cannot interpret any of that.

      What I can interpret a slider that is not headed for the dirt and hangs between the waste and the letters with no other real break is a meatball to me.

      He has only thrown two but each has resulted in 3 runs.

  2. David Proctor - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:16 PM

    Offense failed to score 4 runs yet again. Bullpen imploded. Shoddy defense. There was no facet of the team that played well tonight. Harper’s ball was catchable. Treinen was bad. And we got the bare minimum out of a bases loaded, 1 out situation when we could have blown the game open.

    Scherzer’s command wasn’t there all night, but I still agreed with leaving him in because I feared the bullpen. You don’t expect Kevin Pillar to take Scherzer deep twice.

    • scmargenau - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:35 PM

      Ok, who hacked DPs account?

      Where’s the sunshine?

    • adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:19 PM

      During the game would be awful.

      But I think it this was just before game time (note the tweets, after the fact, were at 7:06 pm)

    • Eric - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:24 PM

      You can’t leave out that he did that because someone threw down their phone down to him. That probably made some fan’s season.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:36 PM

        Seemed to and it’s already been on MLB Network.

    • David Proctor - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:33 PM

      It was during pregame warmups, not during the game.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:37 PM

        Good to know. They were reporting it was during the game.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:38 PM

        Cingrani and Brian McCann and Cole Hamels will all enjoy it.

  3. nattygoats - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:20 PM

    Treinen CANT pitch. MAT can’t hit a curve. The bullpen minus Drew is deplorable. And Desi well Desi just flat out sucks.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:11 PM

      despite all that we will win the division.

      No worries

  4. nattygoats - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:21 PM

    This bunch is So not World Series caliper. What a waste they are.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:13 PM

      If you are not SWM your tone sure is like his.

      If you are all about cutting on the team, find another place to do it.

      We got the division easy.

  5. nattygoats - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:22 PM

    4 bad games out of 5 against teams with losing records. I’m really disappointed. Boy Treinen Stinks.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:18 PM

      Who isn’t disappointed, but would it hurt you to show up when they play good too?

      That is another SWM did.

  6. NatsLady - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    When you put up a lineup without Span, Rendon, RZimm (and Werth), you are pretty much putting the game on Scherzer. I don’t feel too bad about this one. Just be healthy for the Cubs!

    • Eric - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:30 PM

      And, we can still resume series wins tomorrow. Go tJord! 😉

      Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if we scuffle for another week or so. The offense and the pen have a ways to go to get back into a rhythm.

  7. nattygoats - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    MAT and Desi with 10 Ks combined today. Putrid

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:20 PM

      Did you mention Taylor’s 3 run homer on Saturday or just his 2 is?

  8. nattygoats - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:28 PM

    Nats in 2nd place,by nights end

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:01 PM

      LMAO, you never give up on the negativity on the Nats. Clearly you hate this team. Why don’t you go on the MASN site and find some allies.

      • adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:08 PM

        He’s so happy tonight!

        (Who knew that a split DH would make him so happy? I guess he’ll take whatever he can get, eh? 😉 )

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:23 PM

        I bet if we checked the IP address he really is SWM.

        Shows up only when they lose.

        His percentage of positive comments is way low.

        Padres up 5-1 top 4.

        But as Nattygoat would say. Still early.

  9. David Proctor - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:43 PM

    MAT with 6 strikeouts in 8 ABs today.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:27 PM

      Look at the positive 2 for 2 on balls put in play.

      He hits it well when in play.

  10. exposremains - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    Im so tired of the bullpen. One guy is good , then he is bad.the parade of inconsistent rookies has to stop. Got get a real reliever ..2 would be better. This is unacceptable for a team that his shooting for the world series. They are not ready. Enough with the AAA rookies case study. Get a real bullpen..assign roles and go with that.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:28 PM

      One guy good? Is Thornton bad?

  11. exposremains - Jun 2, 2015 at 10:53 PM

    I don’t want hear how a guy was good in one game. Do it for a month minimum.

    • adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:04 PM

      Do it for a month minimum.

      In fact, the bullpen did get the job done for about a month.

      No, it’s not stellar. Still working kinks out. Wasn’t expecting to lose Stammen, was expecting to use Roark. It’s still very early for Janssen. Barrett has one blown save in his career. Of the other rookies, we just need a few of them to get it together. The World Series isn’t next week.

      • exposremains - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:08 PM

        Until the league figure them out…Acquire guys if you have injuries and the rookies are clearly not ready. Its not the 70s anymore..you 3-4 guys that can shut you down.

      • exposremains - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:10 PM

        *figured

      • adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:10 PM

        Right. The rookies aren’t ready. But we’re just barely out of May. Playoffs are in October. If we need to acquire guys, it’ll probably happen around deadline time.

      • exposremains - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:17 PM

        It certainly costing them wins now.

      • adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:26 PM

        and helped preserve a whole lotta wins in May. The Nats were 18-9 in May, with zero complete games. The BP musta been doing something right.

        The main thing is this: make the playoffs and have a good BP by the end of the year. We’re in great shape for the former, and it’s too early to tell for the latter.

        If things aren’t together by the trading deadline, Rizzo will get something done.

        I.e., I’m not panicking. I didn’t in April, and I’m not now.

      • exposremains - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:40 PM

        They were scoring lots of runs. Im sorry but I disagree with you. The bullpen is unreliable and are costing them games.

      • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2015 at 12:36 PM

        They were scoring lots of runs. Im sorry but I disagree with you. The bullpen is unreliable and are costing them games.

        Yeah — sometimes. Do we remember the pair of 1-0 games over the Mets in early May? Or towards the latter part of may when we had a group of 5 games where we only scored a combined 12 runs, and won 4 of them.

        In those 4 victories, 6 different relievers pitched (Storen, Grace, Janssen, Barrett, Treinen, and Thornton), a total of 9-2/3 innings, without allowing any runs.

        Yes, the BP has cost us games. They’ve also saved the Nats b#tt a number of times, too. I think that after a bad BP stretch, that’s easy to forget.

  12. exposremains - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:09 PM

    Barrett and Treinen are not reliable. The stuff is there. The consistency is not there and that’s the most important.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:30 PM

      I am willing to let them get better by use. They have the stuff.

      • exposremains - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:51 PM

        Im not…they haven’t shown any reliability since they were brought last year.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:48 AM

        Apparently Rizzo is.

  13. senators5 - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:25 PM

    and with al of that, remember the Nats are in the NL East, arguably the worst divison in the MLB, AL or NL This team is nowhere close to the Cardinals and is clearly behind the Dodgers and don’t forget the Pirates who have finally come alive. There are so many holes as accurately described by others, especially at SS, 2B, the BP and the bench that it is hard to gain the excitement of last year.

    • adcwonk - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:30 PM

      I’m sorry that .569 ball (which is a 92 win pace), a 22-year old kid developing into one of the best players on the planet, and a team that came from 8 games back to be currently tied for 1st place in just one month doesn’t excite you.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:31 PM

      I hear this young guy Tony Two Bags will be taking over second soon.
      The bench is a big improvement over last year’s NL East champions.
      Agree about the BP, but am more confident than most as I think Treinan and Janssen will be better. Janssen is really just back from the DL and Treinan is learning fast with some fast sinkers.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:31 PM

      Don’t panic we will be find.

  14. dcwx61 - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:26 PM

    I am still confident that Storen, Treinan, Thornton and Janssen will be fine.
    And when Stras comes back, he’d be a great long man in the pen 😉
    Hope that Barrett figures it out soon.

    Desmond can not shorten that swing… a golden sombrero for the night cap.
    Will Trea Turner be ready by Sept 😉

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:32 PM

      Desi is uncoachable that is true. Why he swings so hard and out of control with 2 strikes is a mystery for sure.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:43 PM

        yeah i was coaching him from behind the blue jay dugout but it didn’t work…lot of blue jay fans behind the dugout….the nicest, most humble fans in baseball…probably because they are Canadian

  15. manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:34 PM

    The only 2 pitchers with more quality starts than JZim and Scherzer are Grainke and Herang

  16. manassasnatsfan - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:36 PM

    The Mets well on their way to first place per SWm as Derek Norris hits a 2 run homer now 7-1

  17. thecynicin408 - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:56 PM

    I feel as thought the implosion was my fault; I started counting unhatched chickens when the team had the lead.

    I choose to emphasize the positives from the first game (especially JZ and Drew) rather than the negatives from game two.

    Let’s just win tomorrow.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 12:22 AM

      I count the chickens every game. I never blame me. They are ahead just keep it that way.

  18. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 12:21 AM

    Never in MLB history until last night has a pitcher gone no more than 5 innings give up at least 10 hits and have 10 k.

    Last night Andrew Cashier did it.

    Tonight in the same stadium Noah Sendergaard did it too.

    • ArVAFan - Jun 3, 2015 at 7:08 AM

      Falls in the category of “can’t predict baseball.” Or, my favorite Murphy’s Law: If it happened, it must be possible.

  19. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 12:28 AM

    After 6 Padres lead 7-2. Upton and Kemp batting 3rd and 4th each 0 for 4 total of 5 k. Bums. Bad as Desi and Taylor. Kick both off the team.

    • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2015 at 8:30 AM

      +8

    • dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:38 AM

      Are we really comparing Upton and Kemp to Desi and Taylor.
      Please give Taylor a little more time to mature to be fair.

      Upton 294/358/578
      Desi 246/294/382

      Yes, Desi is worse this year than Upton. Desi worse than upton…Kick him off the team

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:46 AM

        It was meant to be satire .

        People are throwing people off the Nats, so I threw them off the Padres.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:49 AM

        lol…yeah i understand your point. I hope we all feel a little better about him when Rendon returns. He can be moved down in the order.
        Something about Span/Rendon in the top of the order that gets this offense rolling (must be something to do with OBP 😉

  20. richardp6 - Jun 3, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    I guess Desmond’s career plan is to hit 20 hrs. as a SS regardless of the opportunities he squanders for his teammates. As a free agent, other teams will not realize from afar his rally killing strikeouts. They will see his stats but unless you follow this guy every day they will not appreciate the pain he inflicts with MOST of his at bats.
    I’d love to know what the mgr and pitching coaches are saying to him.

    • rlndtln - Jun 3, 2015 at 8:09 AM

      Desti has a hard head

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