Hoping to salvage the final game of this three best-of-three series against the Nationals, the Marlins would have to go through Max Scherzer to do it.
Fortunately for fans in the nation’s capital, the three-time Cy Young Award winner and future Hall of Famer was on his A-game Sunday, carrying a shutout into the 9th inning before a solo home run off the bat of Isan Díaz. Despite hitting just .182 in his first 17 plate appearances this season, Díaz has a .375 on-base percentage thanks to 4 walks drawn thus far.
“Any guy that gets on base is key for us, and the more we get on base the better. That’s my job, that’s everyone’s job, and we have to continue to get on base, get hits, and get runs.”
With the loss today, Miami end their current 10-game road trip 3-7, scoring only 4 runs in the entire 3 game series this weekend.
Scherzer would recover to strike out two of the remaining three hitters in the 9th to etch his 11th career complete game in a 3-1 Nationals’ win. Mad Max would finish the afternoon 1 strikeout shy of his 100th career double-digit strikeout performance, as the Nationals, who started the season 1-9, have now clawed back to .500 at 12-12.
That would not be the biggest news for Scherzer today, though, as he reportedly left the ballpark immediately following the victory after discovering his wife was in labor with their third child.
After throwing a complete game, Max Scherzer is quickly leaving Nats Park. His wife is in labor. What a day.— Jessica Camerato (@JessicaCamerato) May 2, 2021
On Miami’s end, Trevor Rogers, who opened the season with a 1.29 ERA in April, went 5 innings, striking out 6 while walking 3 on 77 pitches in his first career start against the Nationals. The 2017 1st round pick’s only major mistake came when Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman took a 97-mph fastball over the center field was for a 3-run home run.
The home run was Zimmerman’s 39th career long ball against Miami, extending his active-player record among active position players.
Some bright spots for the Marlins in lieu of the loss: José Devers - who the team acquired from the Yankees in the Giancarlo Stanton trade - picked up his first career hit with a 5th inning single off of Scherzer. Center fielder Monte Harrison also collected his first hit of the season as well, in a game where three position players - Harrison and the aforementioned Díaz and Harrison - would start despite having not yet collected any prior hits this season.
The Marlins bullpen would author three shutout innings in relief of Rogers, with 1.2 of those coming at the hands of Zach Pop, who hasn't allowed a run since April 15th, a stretch spanning 4 appearances over 5.2 innings.
For Miami, who now sit at 11-16, having now lost 4 of their last 5, though, only being outscored 14-17 in those games.
Per manager Don Mattingly, the team’s lineup should come resemble what many had come to expect prior to the start of the season Tuesday, as third baseman Brian Anderson is expected to be reinstated from the injured list before the upcoming series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Anderson, who has been out since April 20 with a left oblique injury, is hitting .200 in 16 games this season.