He struck out 10 batters for the 13th time this season and 49th time in his career, reaching 277 strikeouts in 2016 to break his own Nationals record set last year. As pumped as Baker was about Scherzer strengthening his Cy Young Award case, the right-hander knew this was an important game, with the Los Angeles Dodgers chasing Washington for home-field advantage in their NL Division Series. The Nationals lead Los Angeles by two games with five to play, after the Dodgers lost 7-1 at San Diego. ”That’s what we’re playing for,” said Scherzer, who mixed in his slider, curveball and changeup to strike out six consecutive batters at one point. ”I know the 19 wins, yada, yada, yada, but the most important thing is the team wins. I would love to have Game 5 here at Nationals Park facing the Dodgers. this linknavigate to this siteIn a short series, home-field advantage matters.” After Arizona’s Matt Koch held the Nationals without a hit through five innings of his first major league start, Rendon hit his 19th home run of the season, depositing a fastball from Randall Delgado (4-2) into the visiting bullpen in left-center field. That set off Baker and Scherzer’s emotional celebration and earned Rendon a curtain call from the crowd of 24,297. ”It was pretty cool,” said Rendon, whose home run was his 500th career hit. ”It’s definitely humbling, too. It doesn’t happen too often, so enjoy it.” Rendon stepped up with power in the Nationals’ first game without all-star catcher Wilson Ramos , out for the rest of the season and playoffs after tearing the ACL in his right knee Monday.
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