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Nationals @ Cardinals recap 5.1 - Cards suffer series sweep

Pitcher's Duel falls apart for the Cardinals in the seventh.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals @ St. Louis Cardinals

Max Scherzer v. Carlos Martinez
1:15 p.m. CT 
Busch Stadium - St. Louis, Missouri

Today's Lineups -

Matt den Dekker - CF Matt Carpenter - 3B
Anthony Rendon - 3B Stephen Piscotty - RF
Bryce Harper - RF Matt Holliday - LF
Daniel Murphy - 2B Brandon Moss - 1B
Jayson Werth - LF Yadier Molina - C
Clint Robinson - 1B Randal Grichuk - CF
Danny Espinosa - SS Kolten Wong - 2B
Jose Lobaton - C Aledmys Diaz - SS
Max Scherzer - RHP Carlos Martinez - RHP

Some News -

  • Cincinnati/Pittsburgh -
  • Atlanta/Chicago -
  • Milwaukee/Miami -
  • Jhonny Peralta fielded grounders for the first time since his surgery -

The Game -

Top Halves -

I've been excited about this matchup all week.  Scherzer has been ok but not great so far this year.  Carlos has been excellent.  Until the seventh inning, this game played out to be as advertised in spectacular pitcher's duel style.

Carlos Martinez was incredible in the early going.  The first hit he allowed was to his counterpart in the third inning, a seeing-eye grounder up the middle.  His fastball looked to have great movement and he was able to dial it up (up to 98 in a couple instances) and he mixed in his offspeed pitches with great success.  Particularly impressive was his handling of Bryce Harper, who struck out three times, twice looking, and once swinging through a fastball in the dirt.

Carlos gave up his first run in the sixth when Jose Lobaton singled and then came around to score on a sac bunt and a well-placed RBI single by Matt den Dekker.  Nats lead 1-0.

In the seventh, things unraveled quickly in the runs column for Carlos.  With one on (Jayson Werth, who singled to left), Clint Robinson knocked out a two run homer to center.  Danny Espinosa followed up with his end of the back-to-back centerfield homers.  A couple batters later, Max Scherzer collected his second hit of the day, and chased Carlos out of the game.  Kevin Siegrist finished things out in the seventh. Nats lead 4-0.

Carlos' final line - 6.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 87 pitches thrown.

Seung Hwan Oh allowed another run in the eighth by way of a pair of doubles from Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy.  He struck out Harper, though - Bryce's fourth of the day. Nats lead 5-0.

The Nats added a sixth run for good measure in the ninth.  Chris Heisey took Tyler Lyons over the wall with a solo homer.  Nats lead 6-0.

Bottom Halves -

Max Scherzer was also incredible, and was able to keep the runs off the board that Carlos on the other side was not.  The Cardinal hitters scattered 4 hits through Max' 7 innings.  Carpenter hit a pair of singles (liners to right and center in the first and third, respectively), Wong singled in the fifth and Holliday did the same in the sixth.  But Max was never throwing stressful pitches in this one.  He exited after 7 innings.  His final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 105 pitches thrown.

Felipe Rivero pitched a perfect eighth for the Nats.

Blake Treinen threw the ninth.  With a couple outs, Brandon Moss broke up the shutout bid by knocking a  homer to left-center.  It required a review to confirm it's over-the-wallness.  Matt Adams notched a pinch-hit single just before Randal grounded out harmlessly to third to end the game. Nationals win 6-1.

Final Notes -

  • Aledmys Diaz had a scary play where he dove into the outfield grass and his glove wrist got turned up under his body, much like the play Peralta got injured on.  Apparently he was fine, and finished out the game.  Hopefully it doesn't become an issue.
  • Our own Alex Fritz and his dog Yadi starred in this game - garnering a mention by Danny Mac when Alex let them know about the technical term of listing two different colored eyes on a driver's licence.  (Max Scherzer has two different colored eyes)
  • Fangraphs
  • Gamenotes: NationalsCardinals

Looking ahead -

Tomorrow, the red-hot Phillies come to town.  Jeremy Hellickson will be opposed by Adam Wainwright, starting at 7:15 CT.