Scherzer started strong against Atlanta in the series opener with the Braves last night in start No. 3 of his 2017 campaign, but he ran into trouble in the fourth after issuing a leadoff walk to Freddie Freeman. Though he was a bit wild and failed to post gaudy strikeout numbers, his ability to limit runs while pitching deep into the game is an encouraging sign for both him and the team. "It's a tough matchup, but we hung in there and gave ourselves a chance at the end". With the Nationals clinging to a 3-1 lead (and trying to avoid another bullpen meltdown) with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, reliever Shawn Kelley appearded to have struck out Braves catcher Chase d'Arnaud as he swung and missed at a breaking ball.
But Bucknor, for some reason, believed d'Arnaud had foul tipped the ball. That's because, despite handshakes and dugout retreats and encroaching groundscrew members and all the stuff that follows a final out, home-plate umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled d'Arnaud had fouled off the pitch in question. He took over in left field. He is 6-for-6 over the past two games, reaching base in his past 10 plate appearances while improving his batting average to.444. But, Scherzer battled and eventually got Adonis Garcia to ground into an inning ending double play.
The Nationals have won all six games he started against Atlanta since the beginning of the 2016 season.More news: NBA fines Grizzlies' Fizdale $30000 for officiating rant
The Nationals snapped Atlanta's five-game winning streak and handed the Braves their first loss at new SunTrust Park. Scherzer and the Nats have done well when he takes the hill against the Braves, but Atlanta seems to have found new-found life in their new ballpark.
As mentioned above, Foltynewicz pitched well. "When he's out there throwing 114, 115 pitches and still throwing 95, 96 (mph), it's going to be a tough game". Greg Holland gave up two runs in the ninth inning but earned his eighth save. He came around to score on Ryan Zimmerman's two-out double to right. Kurt Suzuki got his second straight start behind the plate.
Dusty Baker on last night's 9th inning drama. "My fastball was great early and great at the end". "I said, 'You're at 103 right now.' He said, 'I promise you I've got some more'". "Our defense played spectacular behind me". With the Braves shifted for him to pull in the top of the fourth inning, Harper broke his bat on Mike Foltynewicz's 95-mph fastball. I thought the game was over.