Trea Turner was dynamic out of the leadoff spot in Saturday’s 18-3 Nats’ win over the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park. Turner had a career high five hits and scored four runs to pace Washington’s dynamic attack.
In this week’s Nationals by the Numbers, we look at outstanding efforts by a couple of Nationals’ starters, some monumental achievements by key players in lineup and a hot stretch by a potential emerging star.
While 2016 was season to forget for Nationals’ outfielder Michael A. Taylor, he’s making 2017 memorable. Particularly over the past several weeks, Taylor has shown the skill level that has fascinated team management since the Florida native was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 MLB draft.
Since June 10th, Taylor has hit .395 in 38 at bats with 12 runs scored, six doubles, four home runs (including his second career multiple home run game on June 24th against Cincinnati), nine RBI and three stolen bases. After posting a feeble 71 OPS+ in 2016, Taylor’s mark stands at a healthy 107 so far this year.
There’s no doubt that offensive numbers are up in 2017, and that is especially true for the National League East’s top team. With their 13th double digit run game of the year on Saturday against the Reds, Washington is one game short of the Nats’ record of 14 10+ run games in a season.
On Saturday, the Nationals became the first National League team since 2010 to have two games with 18 or more runs scored in a season. In 2010, the Brewers defeated the Pirates 20-0 on April 22nd and thrashed the Cubs 18-1 on August 2nd.
If the Nationals can crack the 18 run mark one more time this year, they’ll be the first National League team in 74 years to do so. In 1943 the Brooklyn Dodgers scored 18 runs in wins over the Phillies and Cubs in May and June, and then tallied 23 in a rout of the Pirates in July.
Max Scherzer’s outing in Miami on Wednesday ultimately ended in frustration, but there’s no denying that the reigning Cy Young Award winner showed his top level form in the contest. Scherzer fanned 11 Marlins on the game, giving him nine double digit strikeout games so far in 2017. In his time with the Nationals, Scherzer has 33 such games including 13 last season.
Scherzer is not the only Nats’ starter doing special things so far in 2017.
With his seventh win of the year on Tuesday against the Marlins in his hometown of Miami, lefty Gio Gonzalez allowed three or fewer earned runs for the 13th time in his 15 starts on the season. Gonzalez’s 3.0 WAR is the ninth highest total in the National League this, and the fourth highest among pitchers. Only teammate Scherzer (3.9), Robbie Ray of Arizona (3.5) and Clayton Kershaw (3.2) lead Gonzalez in that category.
Trea Turner had five hits, scored four times and drove in two runs in the Nats’ rout of the Reds on Saturday. The game marked the 14th time a Nationals’ hitter has had five hits in a game. Only Yunel Escobar (with three, all in 2015), Ian Desmond and Denard Span have had more than one five hit games in their time wearing a curly W.
The Nats lost two out of three games in Miami last week, but they still have a National League high (tied with Colorado) 25 victories on the road so far in 2017.
The Nats’ road winning percentage stands at .625 on the year. If Washington can maintain that pace, the 2017 squad will shatter the 2012 team’s .593 percentage (48-33 record) in games played away from home.
If you blinked while watching Friday night’s Nats’ win over the Reds, you may have missed Daniel Murphy’s laser shot home run in the sixth inning of that contest.
The home run was the 100th of Murphy’s career, and the 38th in 802 at bats as a National. In his time in Washington, Murphy has hit a home run every 21 at bats. In 3,354 career at bats as a Met, the sweet swinging second baseman averaged a home run every 54 at bats.
Washington’s recent trip to New York was a smashing success, as the Nats won three out of four games to reaffirm their dominance against their divisional rivals to the north.
The Mets were able to win the finale of the series, but it took a sterling effort by starting pitcher Jacob deGrom to do so. deGrom allowed three hits and one unearned run in eight strong innings to beat Washington 5-1, posting a 78 pitching game score in the process. deGrom’s gem gave him the highest pitching game score by any Nationals’ opponent so far this season.
Anthony Rendon is a five tool player, and he’s having a top level season so far in 2017. The smooth swinging infielder has hit .296 with 14 homers, 47 RBI and a .948 OPS so far. On Friday, Rendon took his power to another level with a career long 451 foot home run blast to left center field in Washington’s 6-5 win over the Reds. Only Ryan Zimmerman, with a 455 foot round tripper on April 29, 2017 at Nationals Park against the Mets, has hit one farther so far this year.