Max Scherzer turning 'sour' as Nats waste another of his starts

Josh Luckenbaugh
May 28, 2019 - 9:10 am

The Nationals took three of four from the Marlins over the weekend, going on their first three-game win streak of the season, but once again they dropped the game started by ace Max Scherzer

Scherzer pitched six innings of one-run ball Monday, striking out six. However, the offense only scored two runs — one of them driven in by Scherzer himself — and the bullpen once again coughed up the lead, allowing two unearned runs, the Nats falling to Miami 3-2.

Washington is now 2-10 in Scherzer starts, the Nats generating just 3.42 runs per outing, the 13th-lowest run support average for any MLB pitcher. And the Nats wasting his efforts is apparently starting to weigh on Scherzer.

"He's one of the guys who takes these losses and these losing streaks as hard as anybody in that clubhouse, and especially when he's on the mound," Jamal Collier told The Sports Junkies Tuesday. "It's something that he takes pride in, going out there and being the ace and the horse and the guy to lead the team to victory every fifth day when he's out there."

"I know this season is probably wearing on him just in general the way it's going, but especially again the baffling nature that when he's on the mound specifically just how bad they've been, or just how unable to win they've been." 

"Those things just take a toll on him and you can see the frustration, I've felt, the last couple of starts have built up for him. The postgame he's been especially sour when things have not gone their way."

And given how deep Scherzer usually goes in starts — he's currently fourth in baseball with 77.1 innings pitched — Collier notes it's even more amazing the Nats just can't seem to win when Scherzer takes the mound.

"It's baffling because obviously Max is really good and goes deep into games and he's striking out guys and doing everything that you'd ask for, for them to win," Collier told the Junkies. "When you look at it, between Max going seven innings every night then Sean Doolittle lined up for the ninth, they have to get three outs when this guy pitches normally. And for whatever reason, they just haven't been able to do that."

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