Rendon’s x-rays negative, Scherzer laments location

MIAMI - The Nationals lost 9-3 to the Marlins on Saturday night, but the biggest concern after the game was the status of third baseman Anthony Rendon.

Rendon had to leave the game in the third inning after getting hit by a pitch on the left elbow. With his departure, Rendon’s career-high 17-game hit streak came to an end. Fortunately, Rendon’s X-rays came back negative.

“I’m still breathing,” Rendon said. “So, I’m doing all right. It’s just a little swollen. X-rays were negative, so that’s a positive, obviously. It’s not broken. I think just hopefully got to see if it’s less swollen tomorrow. I’m assuming it’s day by day and see how I feel in the morning. We have medicine and a big patch on it. Hopefully, it will subside swelling.”

Rendon tried to stay in the game, but once he got to second base, the elbow really started to flare up.

“Well, I figured I at least be able to run. It didn’t hit my leg,” Rendon said. “I didn’t want to come out just by getting hit in the arm. Obviously, it got tighter and tighter as the inning progressed. Once I knew I got to second base (and) it’s not getting better, it’s totally getting worse, so I figured I was going to come out.”

After the game, the third baseman was not too concerned about his hitting streak expiring.

“Seventeen games. Is that a lot? Who cares? What’s the record, 62? Something like that?”, Rendon said. “Who cares? It’s one month into the season, not even. It’s awesome. I’m getting hits. But at same time, really don’t care (about the streak).”

Scherzer-Shocked-Red-Sidebar.jpgMax Scherzer was hittable Saturday as the Marlins kept adding on runs through six innings. The 11 hits he allowed were the most he had given up since Sept. 2, 2015, at St. Louis. The six earned runs against him were the most he has allowed with the Nats and the most since he gave up 10 runs in a game for the Tigers in 2014. The loss snapped Scherzer’s six-start winning streak against the Marlins.

Scherzer looked at video of his start after the game and saw his off-speed pitches were ending up right where hitters could turn on them.

“For me, it’s easy to really tell the pitches are right down the middle,” Scherzer said. “When you pitch down the middle in this league, you get hit. They’re very familiar with my stuff and they’ve seen me over the years (so) that when I leave pitches down the middle to these guys, they are going to kill it.

“Mentally, you start thinking about what’s causing the problems of why wouldn’t you have command. What mechanical little things would you do differently? It’s a good little exercise I’ll be in for the next 24-48 hours. What I think I can do differently to try to drive my off-speed pitches into areas that I think I’m trying to execute them and not over the middle of the plate.”

Starlin Castro solved Scherzer with a pair of RBI singles, Brian Anderson connected with an RBI double, Curtis Granderson belted a solo homer and Fish led 4-3.

The Marlins chased Scherzer in a wild bottom of the sixth. With one out, Miguel Rojas and Isaac Galloway doubled. Pinch-hitter Rosell Herrera’s dribbler in front of home plate was finally grabbed by Scherzer and he threw home too late to get Rojas.

The throw got away from catcher Yan Gomes, which allowed Galloway to score. Scherzer was charged with an error. He left the game with the club down 6-3.

Scherzer lasted 5 1/3 innings, surrendering seven runs, six earned, on 11 hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. He threw 108 pitches, 77 for strikes. In Scherzer’s previous three starts against the Marlins, he had allowed one earned run in 21 innings.

“It was just location,” said Nats manager Davey Martinez. “He left too many balls up and over the plate. And when you do that, you have big league hitters and tonight just wasn’t his night. He said he felt good. But his location was just not good tonight.

“When Max is good, he goes north and south, and he didn’t do that tonight. He couldn’t get below the strike zone, he left everything pretty much up. He knows, he comes back in five days and he’s our best. He gave us everything he had today.”

The Nats stayed close early thanks to a two-run single by Matt Adams off of Marlins starter Jose UreƱa. Howie Kendrick offered up an RBI single to tie the game 3-3. Adams, Yan Gomes, Wilmer Difo and Victor Robles each had a pair of hits, but the Nationals did not score after the fifth inning and left nine men on base.

More frustration followed for Martinez in the late innings, as the Marlins tacked on two more runs against the bullpen without the benefit of a hit. Austin Adams and Matt Grace combined to walk four batters and serve up three wild pitches.

“For me, we still got to get all our bullpen guys going,” Martinez said. “You know, the walks. You come in from that bullpen and the walks, man, that’s got to stop. You start walking guys like that, they’re going to score somehow, some way. We got to come in from the bullpen and make pitches, throw strikes. For me, if they get hit, they get hit. Let’s throw strikes and let’s not give guys freebies.”

The Nats have now lost the series and are below .500 again at 9-10. Martinez will have right-hander Stephen Strasburg to the hill in an attempt to salvage the final game of the series.

“We’ll come back tomorrow. Hey, we’re still 18, 19 games in and tomorrow’s another day, and I know the guys will be ready to play tomorrow,” Martinez said. “One thing about these guys, as you see towards the end of the game, they keep battling.”

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