After 20 games in 20 straight days, the Nationals are finally enjoying a well-deserved off-day today at home. Before starting a 17-day stretch of games leading up the All-Star break, the Nats are happy to be in the comfort of their own homes in D.C. after going 4-3 on their latest road trip.
And what an interesting road trip that was for Byron Kerr and I to discuss on this episode of the District 34 podcast.
After taking three of four from the Mets in New York, the Nationals flew down to Miami for a three-game set against the Marlins. And while they put themselves in position to win each game for a sweep, the Nationals left South Beach having won just one against the Fish.
The big headline coming out of the Marlins series was Max Scherzer losing a no-hit bid in the eighth inning and then losing the game on Wednesday afternoon. After the no-hitter was broken up with one out in the eighth, Scherzer and the Nats defense couldn't hold on to a 1-0 lead in an eventual 2-1 loss. What went wrong in the eighth, and should manager Dusty Baker have taken Scherzer out of the game when the no-no was out of the picture?
Flashback even further to Monday night when Tanner Roark lost a six-run lead in the third inning, resulting in one of the worst starts of his career. Now 6-4 with a 4.88 ERA in 15 starts, what's wrong with Roark and how can he get back to the level of pitching the Nationals know him for?
Alas, there was some good news coming out of the Nats' trip to Miami: Gio Gonzalez turned in his 11th quality start of the season in a win on Tuesday night. Gonzalez pitched seven innings, giving up three runs and six hits while striking out eight in the 12-3 victory, setting himself up with a good chance to return to his hometown for next month's All-Star Game. Is he deserving of an All-Star appearance and what more does he have to do to solidify that claim in the next couple of weeks?
Byron and I dive deep into all the happenings in Nationals baseball from the past week on the District 34 podcast. Thanks for listening and spreading the word! Please be sure to subscribe, rate and review District 34 on iTunes and Google Play!