Nationals

Quick Links

Nats Stock Watch: Scherzer's gem highlights the week

usatsi_8610731.jpg

Nats Stock Watch: Scherzer's gem highlights the week

Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see whose stock is rising or falling.  

Record: 4-3 

Team slash: .294/.361/.462

Team ERA: 4.35

Runs per game: 6.0

 

STOCK UP  

Max Scherzer, SP: 1-0/ 9.0 IP/ 0.00 ERA 

Is there anything Scherzer can't do? After his latest outing on Sunday afternoon, that's certainly a fair question. The Nats' ace turned in not just his best start of the year, or the even the best of his career; he very well could have had the greatest pitching performance in franchise history. The numbers speak for themselves: Nine innings, no runs allowed and 16 strikeouts, including 27 swings-and-misses. Were it not for a meekly-hit opposite field single into shallow right by Brewers centerfielder Carlos Gomez, we're probably talking about a no-hitter or perfect game. Scherzer was so dominant, so in command that Milwaukee hitters were clearly more and more flummoxed as the game wore on. From his fastball to his changeup to his slider, he had everything working to near perfection. Scherzer sports a 1.93 ERA and has an NL-best 113 strikeouts. So far, so good for the $210 million man. 

Bryce Harper, RF: .500 AVG/ 2 HR/ 1.480 OPS 

Ho hum, just another appearance in this section for the NL's leading vote-getter in the All-Star Game. While it may seem like he's cooling off because he isn't hitting as many long balls as he did last month, he's still having a solid June; Harper's hitting .417 with four home runs this month with a .525 on-base percentage. So while he's not going to hit 13 homers every month like he did in May, he's showing that his new-and-improved approach at the plate yields more than just power numbers. 

Wilson Ramos, C:  3 HR/ 7 RBI/ 1.066 OPS 

Yes, Ramos compiled a lot of these numbers during Tuesday night's drubbing of the Rays, but he's had a pretty solid stretch recently. He has hits in seven of his last 10 games with four home runs and nine RBI. The offense is still looking for some consistency (Tuesday's game aside), and Ramos heating up would be a good way to make the lineup more balanced to take the pressure off Harper. 

STOCK DOWN  

Ian Desmond, SS: .115 AVG/ 14 K/ .294 OPS 

Desmond has gone through some dry spells before, but we're not sure if we've seen him go through an albatross like this. In his last 10 games, he has just four hits and compiled 17 strikeouts. Ouch. It doesn't seem like health is an issue, so it's hard to pinpoint what exactly is the problem. Obviously, the over-arching themes for his season is that he's in a contract year and is under pressure to perform to get big money in the offseason. Is the pressure getting to him? No one knows for sure, but right now he's pressing and not resembling the player who won three straight Silver Sluggers.  

Jordan Zimmermann, SP: 0-1/ 3.1 IP/ 16.20 ERA 

We mentioned last week that the Nats can't afford to have Zimmermann go through a slump given the rest of the rotation's inconsistency. Unfortunately for him, he turned in his second straight rough outing, allowing six earned runs to the lowly Brewers Friday night. In two starts, Zimmermann's ERA has jumped from 2.88 to 3.74. This isn't cause for concern just yet, but it has to be a bit troubling for Matt Williams that as of now he only has one starter in Scherzer he knows he can count on.  

Quick Links

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

usatsi_10847206.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

Quick Links

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

screen_shot_2018-05-21_at_7.52.30_pm.png
@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.