Nationals ace Max Scherzer was stuck with the no-decision Thursday after allowing three runs on five hits (two homers) and two walks with 13 strikeouts in seven innings vs. the Mets. Scherzer was his usual dominant self save for a pair of homers, but it wasn't enough to beat the Mets in a game that went 12 innings. While he remains stuck on 17 wins (most in the NL), Scherzer upped his MLB-leading strikeout total to 290, giving him a chance to reach 300 for the first time in his next scheduled start vs. the Marlins on September 25 at home. Given the lackluster quality of his opponent as well as the fact that he's reached double-digit strikeouts more often (17 times) than not (15 times) this year, he has a pretty good shot at reaching the milestone.
Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, four RBI and a walk Thursday against the Marlins. Gennett single-handedly carried Cincinnati to a 4-2 victory by driving in all of his team's runs via a two-run double in the third and a two-run homer in the seventh. The dinger was his 23rd of the season but his first since September 4, as he'd been slumping lately with no extra-base hits over his last 12 games. He still boasts an excellent .318/.367/.503 batting line, however, and his 92 RBI are five shy of his career high from last year, putting him within reach of his first career 100-RBI campaign as the season winds down.
Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon went 1-for-5 with a home run, three RBI and a walk Thursday vs. the Mets. Rendon plated three of Washington's four runs in a losing effort, raising his RBI total to 82 and cracking his 22nd homer of the year in the sixth inning. The 28-year-old is locked in at the dish right now with home runs in three of his past four games, bringing his batting line to a robust .304/.369/.522 on the season. If he keeps it up, Rendon has the chance to match or surpass his career high of 25 long balls from last season.
Braves righty Kevin Gausman received a no-decision Thursday after allowing three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings vs. the Phillies. Gausman bounced back with a quality start after allowing seven runs in 10 1/3 innings over his previous two starts combined, lasting into the seventh inning and throwing 67 of his 105 pitches for strikes. While the Braves went on to win, 8-3, the game was tied when he left, denying him his second straight victory. Gausman's pitched significantly better since moving to the National League at the Trade Deadline, posting a 2.80 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in nine starts with Atlanta. Now that he's out of the AL East, Gausman should be viewed as a more attractive fantasy option going forward.
Reds lefty Cody Reed won after allowing five hits and no walks with six strikeouts over six shutout innings against the Marlins on Thursday. Fresh off 10 strikeouts over five scoreless frames in his previous outing, Reed remained dominant against the hapless Marlins. He was very efficient with his pitches, needing just 71 (51 strikes) to notch the quality start. The 25-year-old has shown flashes of greatness during his brief three-year career, but he's yet to prove he can sustain that performance at the MLB level. His 3.66 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 39 1/3 innings this year represent a step in the right direction, however. The southpaw will look to keep it up against the light-hitting Royals at home on September 26.
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