The Nationals ended May on a 3 game losing streak, but started of June with what seemed to be getting back on track with a win on the 2nd against Toronto. The win was the first game of a double header and though they got back in the win column, the celebration wouldn't last. They lost 3 more games, then after a win against the Cubs lost 2 more. The Nationals simply have not had any luck and they've lost for various reasons over the course of the last 2 weeks, but it all boils down to having lost 8 of their last 10 games. The Nationals now sit at 2nd place in the division behind the New York Mets and need to get things going to take back 1st place from their division rivals. The Nationals will send Max Scherzer to the mound to play stopper against Masahiro Tanaka who looks to keep handing the Nationals more bad fortune.
Max Scherzer has been awesome this season, but even he has been susceptible to the bad fortune the Nationals have endured over the last 2 weeks. He allowed 4 runs against the Blue Jays in his last start at Nationals park and picked up the loss as a result. The amazing thing is that even though this was a bad game for him, he only allowed 4 runs, still went 6 innings, struck out 5, and walked only 2. Scherzer is the guy you want on the mound right now to get things going again. Scherzer has seen a lot of the current Yankees lineup too. This is a good thing since they have a .532 OPS against the Nationals righty in 130 plate appearances.
Scherzer vs. Current Yankees
Tanaka was a big deal when he came over to the Yankees from Japan and so far he seems to have been worthy of the hype. While Major League baseball has a way of humbling the most talented players, he seems to have come into the United States and take it all in stride. He's got a 2.94 FIP in 25 games in the Major Leagues and a K/9 of 9.5. He will no doubt be a tough battle for the Nationals tonight and it will be very tough for them to overcome this pitcher in hopes of getting back into the win column, but as I like to say there is a reason they play the games. The Nationals haven't faced Tanaka, so take a look at some of his stats.
Tanaka Career Stats
|162 Game Avg.||22||8||2.77||34||34||225||190||79||69||23||38||237||891||2.94||1.014||7.6||1.5||9.5|