Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Scherzer, Zimmerman Leads Nats Past LA 6-1 to Force Game 5
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
October 8, 2019

Share

WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer is 35. So is Ryan Zimmerman.
The Washington Nationals would not be headed to a win-or-go-home Game 5 in their NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers without them.
“We’re a bunch of viejos. We’re old guys,” Scherzer joked. “Old guys can still do it.”

“We’re a bunch of viejos. We’re old guys. Old guys can still do it.” — Max Scherzer
Sure can. And for a guy whose teams used to lose repeatedly in the postseason, Scherzer sure is delivering now.
Every time he’s pitched this October, the Nationals have won. His latest outing was a season-saving, seven-inning masterpiece that combined with Zimmerman’s three-run parabola of a homer to lift the wild-card Nationals to a 6-1 victory over league-best Los Angeles on Monday night, tying the best-of-five NLDS at two games apiece.
“I was just gassed. I was out,” said Scherzer, who threw 109 pitches. “I was empty in the tank.”
Scowling and muttering to himself as showers fell for part of his gritty performance, Scherzer allowed one run and four hits while striking out nine — and, most importantly for Washington, he prevented LA from closing out the NLDS after taking a 2-1 lead into Game 4. The deciding Game 5 is Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Zimmerman Showed What He Still Can Do at the Plate

“He really gave it all he had,” said Anthony Rendon, who drove in three runs for Washington.
With fans who braved rain chanting, “Beat LA!” in the late going, Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson combined to get the last six outs for Washington, which will send Stephen Strasburg to the mound against Walker Buehler on Wednesday night at Los Angeles.
“If I could bet, I’d bet on him,” Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton said about Strasburg. “He’s a very good pitcher. A polished pitcher. To have him healthy and ready to go in that situation only boosts our confidence.”
Whichever team advances to the NL Championship Series will face the Braves or Cardinals next. Their NLDS heads to a Game 5 at Atlanta on Wednesday.
Zimmerman showed what he still can do at the plate by taking a 97 mph pitch, the second thrown by reliever Pedro Báez, and turning it into a high-arching 400-foot-plus rainbow that descended onto the green batter’s eye in straightaway center field for a three-run shot that made it 5-1.
“Zim put a really good swing on it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
That was after Julio Urías, LA’s third pitcher and the one charged with the loss, began the fifth by serving up a line-drive single to Trea Turner, who finished with three hits. Rendon, who led the majors with 126 RBIs during the regular season but entered Monday with just one in the playoffs, delivered a run-scoring single that made it 2-1.
Rendon also brought home runs via sacrifice flies in the third and sixth.

Scherzer Said a Game 5 Appearance Was out of the Question

That was plenty for Scherzer, who clenched his teeth while getting through his last inning after loading the bases by issuing a pair of walks with one out in the seventh. But he got out of that by striking out pinch-hitter Chris Taylor and getting Joc Pederson — whose liner on a first-pitch cut landed about an inch foul — to ground out.
Scherzer shook his arms and yelled as he stalked to the home dugout.
“You can’t say enough about his compete,” Roberts said. “He just sort of wills his way to getting outs.”
The Dodgers’ lone run came when Justin Turner connected for a no-doubt-about-it homer to left on Scherzer’s 10th pitch, a 95 mph fastball. But from there, facing an LA lineup stacked with a half-dozen lefty hitters, Scherzer displayed the sort of ornery dominance that helped him win three Cy Young Awards.
“He might look like a maniac out there,” catcher Kurt Suzuki said, “but he’s smart.”
Scherzer entered these playoffs on a skid: His teams, Detroit and Washington, had been 0-7 in his most recent seven postseason appearances. But the Nationals won the NL wild-card game last week, which he started; Game 2 of the NLDS, when Scherzer struck out all three batters he faced in relief of Strasburg; and now Game 4.
Scherzer said a Game 5 appearance was out of the question.

The Dodgers Are Trying to Get to the NLCS for the Fourth Year in a Row

“That pushed me all the way to the edge and then some,” he said. “So, yeah, I can’t imagine any scenario where I’m pitching.”
LA’s own three-time Cy guy, Clayton Kershaw, will be available to follow Buehler, Roberts said.

The Dodgers are trying to get to the NLCS for the fourth year in a row, while the Nationals have never been to that round since moving from Montreal in 2005.
The Dodgers are trying to get to the NLCS for the fourth year in a row, while the Nationals have never been to that round since moving from Montreal in 2005. Washington will be playing in its fourth NLDS Game 5 in the past eight years; the Nats are 0-3 so far, with all those losses at home, including against the Dodgers in 2016.
Zimmerman for so many years was the face of the franchise for the Nationals, who made him their first draft pick 14 years ago. So he’s been through all their highs, including four NL East titles, and lows, including early exit after early exit in the playoffs. He no longer is an everyday player — Game 4 marked his second start of this postseason — and his teammate-mandated dugout dance after his homer consisted of pretending to use a walker.
“He’s been here forever,” Rendon said. “Man, he means everything to this city, to this team.”
This could be a last hurrah for Zimmerman with the Nationals, who hold an $18 million contract option on him in 2020. He insists he’s not thinking about the future, other than figuring that he’ll continue playing beyond this season.
“There’s been a lot of people,” Zimmerman said, “that think these are my last games.”
That prompted Scherzer to pipe up.
“I really don’t think,” Scherzer said, “these are his last games.”

Trainer’s Room

Nationals: CF Victor Robles was out of the starting lineup for the second game in a row after straining his right hamstring in Game 2.

Up Next

The Game 5 starting pitchers both already have shown what they can do in this series. Buehler allowed just one hit in six innings and got the win in LA’s 6-0 victory at home in Game 1 last Thursday. Strasburg started Game 2 a night later, a 4-2 Washington victory, and took a perfect game into the fifth inning while outdueling Kershaw. Strasburg struck out 10 and gave up just one run in six innings, leaving his career postseason ERA at 0.64 — the best in history for pitchers with at least four starts.

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

UP NEXT

Ohtani’s Ex-Interpreter Charged With Stealing $16M in Betting Case

UP NEXT

10 Things to Remember about O.J. Simpson

UP NEXT

Great Team Effort Leads Giants to a 7-1 Win Over Nationals

UP NEXT

Tara VanDerveer Retires as Stanford Women’s Hoops Coach After Setting NCAA Wins Record This Year

UP NEXT

College Students Are Flocking to the Marriage Pact, Mostly for Fun, but Some Find Lasting Love

UP NEXT

Correa’s Throw Nabs Ohtani at the Plate in Twins’ Win Over Dodgers

UP NEXT

Abrams Returns From Injury to Power Nationals Past Giants

UP NEXT

Glasnow’s 14 Ks Ties Career High as Dodgers Beat the Twins 6-3

UP NEXT

Nationals Spoil Blake Snell’s Giants Debut in 8-1 Win

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

3 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

3 days ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

3 days ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

3 days ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

3 days ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

3 days ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

Last June, more than half of California’s lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike, with no particular ideological preference — attended ...

1 day ago

1 day ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

1 day ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

1 day ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

2 days ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

3 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend