BALTIMORE — Last weekend did not go the way the Washington Nationals wanted it to, in a few different ways.
First, they dropped two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers at home while the situation with ace pitcher Max Scherzer grew cloudier.
After losing the first two games of the series on July 26 and 27, Washington bounced back to avoid a sweep with an 11-4 victory in the finale.
Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg led the way. The right-hander gave up one run on two hits in seven innings while striking out nine without allowing a base on balls. He has now won seven-consecutive starts and improved to 14-4 overall this season.
Strasburg has been a rock that the Nationals have needed, especially as Scherzer has now been slowed down by back issues.
The 14 wins led the majors through July 28.
“He’s been unbelievable,” Washington Manager Dave Martinez said. “(He) Takes the ball, the way he works, his attitude, he’s having fun. He’s competing and giving us a chance to win.”
The Scherzer situation remained in flux after the Los Angeles series, though, as he came back from the injured list on July 25 but felt back pain the next morning. As of July 28, Martinez said Scherzer was “very doubtful” to start versus Atlanta on July 30.
Orioles heat up out West
The Baltimore Orioles had an exciting weekend with the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim.
Baltimore set two baseball records, including one where outfielder Stevie Wilkerson needed to come in and pitch to record a save – the first time a position player has done that in baseball history – and then they became the first major-league team to hit at least two homers in 10 consecutive games.
Also, the Orioles took three of four games from the Angels, something that Manager Brandon Hyde was pleased about, except for losing a chance at a sweep on July 28 when Matt Thaiss hit a walk-off homer off closer Mychal Givens in the bottom of the ninth.
That gave the Angels a 5-4 victory.
Wilkerson came on in the bottom of the 16th inning after the Orioles had taken a 10-8 lead on July 25. Hyde was out of pitchers, and Wilkerson had thrown in two other games, simply using a big rainbow-like breaking pitch which was rather slow.
In this game, he retired the side in order, needing 14 pitches and not throwing more than 56 miles per hour. Wilkerson threw 10 strikes and made some history and gave the Orioles a win.
Mystics stay busy in WBNA All-Star Game
The Washington Mystics had some fun in the WNBA All-Star Game on July 27 in Las Vegas.
Mystics star Elena Delle Donne was a captain while Washington Head Coach Mike Thibault and his staff came along. However, Team Wilson beat Team Delle Donne 129-126.
Delle Donne finished with six points, six assists and five rebounds in the game. Also for Washington, Kristi Toliver was selected as a reserve and had a good game.
She finished with 16 points and nine assists in the loss. They were the only two Mystics picked for this year’s game.