Reynolds Drives in Ten in Nationals Rout

The night before Mark Reynolds had hit a walk off homerun. He started last night driving the first pitch he saw into almost the same spot in the left field bullpen. Dejavu. He finished the day 5 for 5 with two homeruns, a double and two singles with 10 RBIs. For the month of July he is hitting .625. The Nationals went on to win the game in easy fashion 18-4.

Wei-Yen Chen got the start for the Marlins. For the first three innings he did not look bad. In the second inning Harper touched him for a single and Reynolds followed by slamming his first pitch into the left field bullpen. It was still a game.

Max Scherzer did not look sharp. He ran two three ball counts to the first three hitters he faced in the first inning, but then settled down the next two innings. In the fourth he gave up back to back jacks to Starlin Castro and J.T. Realmuto, both on breaking pitches. Those two shots seemed to wake up the beast in him as he struck out both Justin Bour and Garrett Cooper with mid-90s plus fastballs to end the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth the Nationals got the lead back. Bryce Harper lined a single into right centerfield, the second of what would be three singles for the day. Mark Reynolds hit a hard grounder past third that pinged off the fence just behind where the ball girl sits. Harper flung off his helmet as he rounded third, scoring the Nationals third run for a 3-2 lead.

Scherzer gave the run right back in the top of the fifth. J.T. Riddle laced one into the right centerfield gap. Harper dropped the ball when he first tried to pick it up from the warning track and Riddle streaked around second to get credited with a triple. Miguel Rojas poked a pitch over the drawn in infield to tie the game at 3-3. A double play cleared the bases but the pitcher Chen singled. At that point the fans were beginning to understand that this was not going to be one of the best nights for Scherzer and the Nationals were going to need to score a bunch of runs to win this game.

They obliged. Scherzer started the fifth with a single. Turner followed by hitting a hard ground ball to Starlin Castro that had double play written all over it. Castro dropped the ball and could only get a force on Scherzer. An error that wasn’t. Soto lined a single into left center to put two runners on. Anthony Rendon lined a pitch into left field corner. Soto was waved home even though the throw from Dietrich had hit the cutoff man Castro as he was rounding third. Castro turned around and heaved a throw over the head of catcher Realmuto. An error that was. Two misplays by Castro opened the flood gates.

Harper was intentionally walked. Elieser Hernandez came on to replace Chen to face the righthanded Reynolds. A wild pitch advanced Harper to second but Rendon stayed glued to third. Reynolds then punched a pitch into short left field that scored two. A single by Difo put two runners on for the light hitting Pedro Severino and four runs looked like all the Nats would get. Severino then jacked a pitch over the left field bullpen to change that four spot to a seven and give the Nationals a 10-3 lead.

The Nationals tacked on three more in the sixth. A walk to Turner and single by Harper set the stage for Mark Reynolds. He deposited a pitch deep into the Brewhouse in centerfield to give him eight RBIs and the Nationals a commanding 13-4 lead.

Nats fans were not too concerned when Scherzer gave up a homerun to Yadiel Rivera in the seventh. For Rivera it was his first major league homerun of his career. For Scherzer it would be his last inning of work.

The Nationals punctuated the game with a five spot in the home half. Juan Soto drove in two with a double into right field and Mark Reynolds got to double digits in RBIs with a two run single. Shawn Kelley retired all six hitters he faced in his two innings of work and the Nationals cruised 18-4.

Game Notes: The Nationals made history with Reynolds 10 RBIs. They became the first team in major league history to ever have two players hit for 8 RBIs or more in the same week. Trea Turner had driven in 8 RBIs on Thursday when the Nationals came from behind 9-0 to win 14-12…Max Scherzer was 0-4 with one no decision in his last five games. During that time he had only given up two or less runs in four of them and three runs in one game. The Nationals offense was shutout three times and scored just five runs in the two other games…In a game the Nationals were ahead 15-4, Brian Goodwin pinch hit for Bryce Harper. He singled to left center, which could have scored Soto but the third base coach held him at third, not wanting to run up the score. Goodwin did not stop running and advanced to second, showing a bit too much enthusiasm after he reached second. Hopefully that is something the Marlins do not remember on Sunday…The win increased the Nationals winning streak over the Marlins to 14 games…The 10 RBIs by Reynolds tied Rendon for the franchise record…The seven runs off Chen raised his road ERA to 10.47. He is 1.89 when pitching at Marlins park…To keep Reynolds on the roster when Ryan Zimmerman comes off the disabled list, Mark will have to show an ability to play another position. When he first came up he played third base. Dave Martinez used him there for the last two innings last night. You could see Rendon shift to second and Reynolds play third in games against lefthanded pitching, or if Martinez needs to spark up his offense.

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