Home Blog As the new Nationals totter, the old stars keep shining

As the new Nationals totter, the old stars keep shining

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On Sunday, Max Scherzer resembled the Max Scherzer that Washington fans applauded for more than seven seasons as the Nationals’ staff ace: coming out of jams, helping their cause with a sacrifice fly to score a running back, and, all in all, scraping and scratching your way to a victory.

The big difference was that he was wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform.

Scherzer’s six solid innings and the spirited bats of his new teammates combined to defeat the New York Mets Dodgers 14-4 on Sunday.

“I know the line marker says he went six, but actually it was seven or more, he didn’t play good defense behind him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, offering a sounding appreciation of Scherzer. eerily familiar to Nationals. Fans have listened to Washington manager Dave Martinez for years.

“He gave away bases (and) outs. But for him, he was unfazed and that’s what makes him so great, “said Roberts.

The Dodgers, who acquired Scherzer and Trea Turner on the July 30 trade deadline when the Nationals unloaded their stars in favor of a rebuild, are 10-4.

The Nationals have gone in the opposite direction.

After winning 19 games in a red-hot June and finishing that month just two games behind the division leader, Washington entered 18 games below .500 on Monday and finished last in the NL East with 12. handicap games.

Washington is 2-13 since the auction, including losing seven straight games. Still, the Nationals have been competitive, with seven of those losses by one run.

The Nationals received eight Dodgers players in exchange for Turner and Scherzer, including right-hander Josiah Gray and catcher Keibert Ruiz.

Turner’s speed on base roads has caught his eye since joining the Dodgers. He scored from the first with an infield single on Aug. 8 against the Los Angeles Angels that caused a stir on social media from commentators amazed at his speed.

The former North Carolina state infielder went viral again against the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 10 after he slipped home and got to his feet in a smooth transition.

“I try not to hit the ground too hard because it usually doesn’t feel right, so I try to be as soft as I can and glide, either on my head or on my feet,” Turner said after the game. “I try to avoid labels, but this is how I’ve basically slipped my whole life.”

The video made its way onto Twitter and ended up on last Wednesday’s issue of “Today.”

Turner, who joined the Dodgers a few days after Scherzer since he was on the COVID-19 list, has three doubles and has scored 10 runs in his first nine games with Los Angeles.

In his debut with the Dodgers, Scherzer threw a gem, with seven innings, while recording 10 strikeouts against the Houston Astros on Aug. 4. In his second start with Los Angeles, the right-hander pitched 3 1/3 innings, striking out six earlier. a rain delay interrupted his start against the Phillies on Aug. 10.

On Sunday, Scherzer allowed two runs and four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Gray impressed in his second start for Washington, striking out 10 batters in five innings of work. He only walked two but allowed two runs against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 8. In his third outing, Gray showed more promise in a loss to the Braves on Friday. The right-hander had six innings, striking out six and allowing three runs.

Turner and Scherzer weren’t the only pieces the Nationals dropped.

Kyle Schwarber, who led the Nationals in June with 16 home runs for the month, was sent to the Boston Red Sox on the deadline after dealing with a hamstring injury for most of July. Washington sent the outfielder to Boston in exchange for minor league player Aldo Ramirez.

Ruiz, now the Nationals’ top-rated prospect, has played five games with Triple-A Rochester. He’s homered for Rochester.

The Nationals sent catcher Yan Gomes and infielder Josh Harrison to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for three prospects.

Gomes, who is on his fourth career team, hit two home runs and recorded eight RBIs in his first eight games with the Athletics. Harrison is off to a good start with Oakland, too, posting a home run and two RBIs in his first eight games.

The pitch was not spared from the trade block, as the Nationals sent their two best bullpen arms, trading Daniel Hudson to the San Diego Padres for reliever Mason Thompson and Brad Hand to the Toronto Blue Jays for catcher Riley. Adams.

Hudson has appeared with the Padres three times, pitching a total of two innings, recording three strikeouts. Thompson has appeared in six games, recording 5 2/3 innings pitched for Washington, recording five strikeouts.

Hand, who had been one of the Nationals’ favorite relievers, has appeared seven times with the Blue Jays, pitching 5 1/3 innings and striking out five.

Adams, who was Toronto’s No. 17 prospect, is hitting .211 with Washington in his first 10 games, recording one home run and three RBIs.

Washington also sent a rotation pitcher to another team, trading Jon Lester to the St. Louis Cardinals at the deadline for outfielder Lane Thomas.

Thomas made his Nationals debut on Sunday, starting in left field. He was pulled from Rochester after Washington placed right-hander Joe Ross in the 10-day IL.

The outfielder was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a walk in his first game for Washington on Sunday against the Braves.

Lester’s first start with the Cardinals wasn’t his best. He pitched five innings, allowing six runs, all earned, and allowed two home runs in a loss to the Braves on Aug. 3.

He bounced back in his second start, but made no decision as the Cardinals couldn’t protect their lead. Lester allowed five runs and struck out two against the Kansas City Royals on August 8. He earned his first win with the Cardinals on Saturday, striking out two in 5 2/3 innings at Kansas City.

This article is based in part on cable service reports.

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