It was all smiles for rookie Nats’ outfielder Brian Goodwin on Friday night in Oakland. Goodwin had four hits, including his first Major League home run, to pace Washington to a 13-3 rout of the A’s. The win was the ninth in their last 11 games for the Nats.
When a team is 11 games ahead in its division in early June, has won all four games so far on its west coast road swing and is pacing the Major Leagues in many offensive categories, there are a lot of good developments to focus on. This week’s “Nationals by the Numbers” looks at some gaudy offensive numbers put up by Washington’s lineup, a career season in the making for the Nats’ longest tenured player, a milestone for the Nats’ skipper and continued dominance by Washington’s unmatched pair of mound aces.
On Wednesday night in San Francisco, Max Scherzer allowed only five hits and one run with 11 strikeouts and no walks in a complete game 3-1 victory over the Giants. Scherzer achieved all of this while throwing only 100 pitches. The Nats’ star’s gem was one of only three since 1913 where a pitcher has thrown 100 or fewer pitches while allowing one or fewer runs, walking no one and striking out at least 11 batters.
James Shields, then with Tampa, was the past pitcher to do the trick, in a complete game shutout of Oakland on July 31, 2012 that was achieved with only 98 pitches being thrown by the big righty. Toronto’s Dave Stieb, who threw 90 pitches while allowing only one run and fanning 11 Yankees with no walks on August 4, 1999 in a 2-1 Jays’ win, is the only other pitcher in this exclusive club.
Seven Nationals’ players have had a game where they’ve had at least four hits, including both a triple and a home run. Rookie outfielder Brian Goodwin is the most recent entrant to the group, as he went 4 for 5 with his first Major League home run and a three bagger in Washington’s 13-3 rout of Oakland. Goodwin is the second player to achieve the feat in 2017. Back on April 25, 2017 at Colorado, Trea Turner hit for the cycle in Washington’s 15-12 victory.
Other Nationals’ to do the trick are Brad Wilkerson (cycle) and Ryan Church in 2005, Elijah Dukes and Cristian Guzman (cycle) in 2008 and Ryan Zimmerman in 2009.
On Friday, the A’s became the latest squad to be dominated by Washington starter Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg threw seven strong innings, allowing only two runs on four hits while fanning seven, in the rout.
On the year, Strasburg has allowed three or less earned runs in nine of his 10 starts. The tall hurler has also been a workhorse so far this year, throwing seven or more innings in seven of his 10 appearances.
There have been ten instances in 2017 where a team has had 20 or more hits in a game, and Washington leads the way with three. In addition to Friday’s demolition job in Oakland, the Nats had 20 hits on April 19th in a 14-4 win over the Braves and a team record tying 23 in the 23-5 slaughter of the Mets on April 30th.
Not much has gone right for the residents of Citi Field so far in 2017, but they do have one feather in their cap. They are the only team besides the Nationals with multiple 20 hit plus games in 2017. The Mets have two.
Ryan Zimmerman hit home runs in game one and game three of the Nats’ series in San Francisco, giving him 15 at the end of play on May 31st. The 15 round trippers in the first two months of the season is a career high for Zimmerman, topping the 11 home runs he had in April/May of 2010. Zimmerman also had 11 four baggers in April/May of 2009.
Friday’s victory was the 1,800th of manager Dusty Baker’s career, the second most among active Major League skippers (San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy has 1812 following last night’s Giants win at Philadelphia).
Baker’s first came all the way back on April 6, 1993 in a 2-1 Giants victory of St. Louis at Busch Stadium. Barry Bonds and Matt Williams drove in runs for San Francisco, and John Burkett and three relievers combined to shut down the Cards on opening day. Three players currently on the Nats’ 25 man roster (Trea Turner, Joe Ross and Koda Glover) had not even been born yet when the game was played.