Jun 20, 2015, 12:11 PM EDT
UPDATE: Yunel Escobar is a late scratch with a stomach bug for today’s game. Ian Desmond is back in there after originally being out.
After rookie Joe Ross dominated the Pirates in the series opener on Friday night, Max Scherzer (7-5, 1.93) will now take his turn in his 14th start of the season.
And he’ll pitch with Bryce Harper back in the outfield behind him. Harper will make his return for the Nats after leaving Thursday’s game and missing Friday night’s win with a left hamstring strain.
Scherzer pitched one of the best games in recent baseball history his last time out when he shut the Brewers out through nine innings with 16 strikeouts and just one hit and one walk allowed. Scherzer last faced the Pirates on Aug. 14 of last year when he was with the Tigers. He threw eight shutout innings and took the win.
Lefty Francisco Liriano (4-5, 2.94) will take the mound for Pittsburgh. He was also brilliant in his most recent start with eight scoreless innings against the White Sox.
Updates to come, so please check back…
PITTSBURGH PIRATES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, Ch. 9, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
Weather: Chance of thunderstorms, 87 degrees, Wind 9 mph LF to RF
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
SS Danny Espinosa
1B Tyler Moore
SS Ian Desmond
LF Michael Taylor
RHP Max Scherzer
2B Josh Harrison
LF Starling Martin
CF Andrew McCutchen
3B Jung Ho Kang
C Francisco Cervelli
1B Pedro Alvarez
RF Gregory Polanco
SS Jordy Mercer
LHP Francisco Liriano
HP Mike Muchlinski
1B Sean Barber
2B Mark Wegner
3B Mike Winters (cc)
4:18 p.m. — It’s a 0-0 game after one. Scherzer got out of the first inning on just six pitches. Liriano through only eight in the bottom of the inning, but did allow an infield single to Span. Harper ran all the way to the warning track on defense to catch a Marte flyball. He then popped out to the shortstop in his first at-bat.
4:35 p.m. — Still no score after two innings. The Pirates went down 1-2-3, as Scherzer is now through two on just 14 pitches. Moore walked, but that was it for the Nats. Liriano is at 29 pitches.
4:47 p.m. — No runs to report on through three innings here. Scherzer, however, is having himself a pretty decent afternoon. He’s retired all nine batters so far on just 25 pitches. But Liriano is also pitching well, so this game is locked and nothing-nothing.
5:03 p.m. — He’s baaaaaack. Harper broke the scoreless tie with a bomb of a homer to straightaway center off Liriano. It was Harper’s 23rd of the 2015 season and set a new career-high. The Nats now lead 1-0 as Scherzer goes back out there for the fourth inning. He has retired all 12 batters he’s faced so far on 42 pitches.
5:17 p.m. — It is still 1-0 after neither team scored in the fifth. The Pirates once again failed to get a baserunner against Scherzer. He has retired all 15 batters he’s faced on 54 pitches through five innings of work. Liriano is also continuing to pitch well and has thrown 62 so far.
5:51 p.m. — The Nats added four runs in the sixth inning to make it a 5-0 game and give Scherzer some breathing room. The first one came on an RBI double by Rendon and the second on a single by Harper. Moore then brought home the third and fourth runs on a single to center. That bounced Liriano from the game, as right-hander Rob Scahill took over. On to the seventh we go, as Scherzer looks to keep the Pirates off the basepaths.
6:06 p.m. — The Nationals added another run in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 6-0 game. Taylor scored on a wild pitch with Rendon at the plate after leading off with a double. Scherzer has retired all 21 batters so far. He goes back out for the eighth with just 77 pitches on the day. If you’re reading this and not watching, get to a television now!
6:20 p.m. — Here we go. On to the top of the ninth!
6:29 p.m. — Unbelievable. Scherzer gets the no-hitter, but falls one pitch short of a perfect game after hitting Tabata with a runaway slider. Nats win 6-0. This is the second no-hitter in Nationals team history.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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