CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jordan Zimmermann extended Washington's streak of dominant starts, and Danny Espinosa homered for the second straight game Saturday night, leading the Nationals to a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. The Nationals lost catcher Wilson Ramos, whose right leg buckled while he chased a passed ball in the seventh inning. He had to be helped from the field. Zimmermann (2-3) gave up five hits and fanned nine. Washington's starters have allowed one earned run or fewer 19 times this season. Espinosa hit a tiebreaking solo homer off Jose Arredondo (2-1). Nationals rookie Bryce Harper was back in right field with a large bandage above his left eye, covering a 10-stitch gash from slamming his bat against a wall on Friday night. He went 0 for 4 and struck out.
Juan Soto did something Tuesday night at Citi Field that made the whole broadcaster's jinx theory come to life.
During Soto's 2nd inning at-bat, former MLB first baseman, five-time All-Star, 1979 co-NL MVP, two-time World Series champion, and current Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez went out on a limb to describe the 20-year-old phenom.
He is not a home run hitter even though he had nice power here last year.
So, in a rather timely fashion, the lefty launched a moonshot, 410-foot solo home run to right field for Washington's first run of the game.
Juan Soto is 20 years old.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 22, 2019
Juan Soto has played 154 @MLB games.
Here's the Mets broadcast saying Juan Soto isn't a HR hitter.
Here's Juan Soto immediately hitting his 29th career HR ONTO THE CONCOURSE OF THE UPPER DECK. pic.twitter.com/BCL37k4X4A
In fairness, Hernandez was just trying to explain that Soto isn't a home run hitter because of the type of swing he demonstrates, one that typically produces more line drives than long-balls.
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NEW YORK – A few constants remain during this wayward Nationals season. One is Max Scherzer.
Scherzer comes into Tuesday leading the National League in innings pitched and strikeouts. He's second in strikeouts per nine innings and third in strikeout-to-walk ratio. Scherzer's 3.72 ERA is well above his average of 2.71 since arriving in Washington in 2015. However, his FIP (fielding-independent pitching) is a league-leading 2.45, showing he has been victimized by bad defense more than bad pitching.
He hopped on a pop-up edition of The Racing Presidents podcast Tuesday in New York. Sitting in the visitors dugout a day ahead of another matchup with 2018 Cy Young Award Jacob deGrom, Scherzer touched on lighter topics, like his selection of Dr. Dre's "Still Dre" as his walkup song, and addressed who is responsible for the Nationals being seven games under .500 the last year-plus.
We're all responsible," Scherzer said. "When you wear a hat and jersey that says Nationals on it, we're all in the same position. It's frustrating to not have a winning record. It's frustrating not to be winning as a team. [Since] I've been here, we've won a couple division titles and you know that feeling of what it's like to win. You know you have the core group of players who have won here in the past that can win here again. It's just a matter of figuring out what the right chemistry is and going out there and getting it done."
Scherzer is in his 12th major-league season. He's made at least 30 starts for 10 consecutive seasons. One of the reasons for his lack of injuries and durability is not because he goes through extensive recuperation during the offseason. Instead, Scherzer keeps pushing both his arm and body.
"I try to find a way to continue to do more, to take more on my body even as I age," Scherzer said.
And, about that walkup song, which is part-protest, part-comeback song? He was out to dinner with reliever Aaron Barrett when it popped on and Barrett suggested it as this year's entrance music.
So, click below to listen to everything Scherzer had to say in our exclusive interview. Also, don't forget to download, rate and subscribe to The Racing Presidents podcast. We're with you after every game and with marquee interviews and insight you can't find elsewhere.
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