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Nationals close to setting team, personal records

Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer in the dugout. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

As the season winds and the Nationals’ already long odds of reaching the playoffs become more unrealistic, there are a few individual marks and team records (2005-) for key players to keep an eye on.

Bryce Harper

>>> Harper is hitting .342 with a .471 on-base percentage and .672 slugging percentage. No National has ever won MVP, a league batting title or led the league in on-base percentage or slugging percentage.

>>> With four more runs, Harper (116) can break Alfonso Soriano’s Nationals record for most runs in a season (119 in 2006).

>>> With three more intentional walks, Harper (14) can break the Nationals record. Adam Dunn (2009) and Soriano (2006) are tied for the team record with 16.

>>> With six more home runs, Harper can surpass Soriano’s team record of 46 (2006).

>>> With 16 more RBI, Harper can break Ryan Zimmerman’s team record 110 (2006).

>>> Probably the hardest to reach: Soriano has the Nationals record for total bases in a season (362 in 2006) and Harper is at 326.

>>> Harper is on pace for a 10 WAR season. In the expansion era (1961-), there have been only 17 10+ WAR seasons, according to That list includes Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Cal Ripken, Mike Trout, Mickey Mantle, Rickey Henderson, Alex Rodriguez and Carl Yastrzemski.

Max Scherzer

>>> With six more strikeouts, Scherzer (237) can top Stephen Strasburg’s Nationals record of 242 (2014).

>>> Scherzer has a 5.4 WAR, according to, the most valuable season for any pitcher in Nationals history. Jordan Zimmermann’s career 2014 season was a 5.3.

>>> If Scherzer holds at his current rate, he will set the Nationals record for strikeout-to-walk ratio at an impressive 8.17. The next best is Zimmermann’s 6.28 last season.

>>> Also, if Scherzer holds this pace, he will set the Nationals record for walks-and-hits-per-inning-pitched (WHIP) at 0.956. The next best is Strasburg’s 1.049 in 2013.

>>> Probably the hardest to reach: Scherzer has as 2.90 ERA with three starts left. Zimmermann Doug Fister holds the Nationals record for a starter (2.41 last season).

Ian Desmond

>>> Desmond is two shy of his fourth straight 20-homer season. Only 12 shortstops (who played the majority of the season at that position) in history have had four seasons of at least 20 homers.

Desmond is one of eight shortstops in history with at least 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases by age 30, joining Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robin Yount, Jimmy Rollins, Alan Trammell, Hanley Ramirez and Edgar Renteria.

Yunel Escobar

>>> Escobar, who is hitting .322, has already set a personal record for hits in a season. If he finishes with a batting average .320 or better, he will become one of a handful of Nationals to do so. Assuming he and Harper finish above .320 for the season, the two will join Dmitri Young in 2007 as the only players in Nationals history to finish a season with that average. Only six Nationals have hit .300 for a season; Jayson Werth (.318 in 2013) and Denard Span (.302 in 2014) are the most recent.

Jordan Zimmermann

>>> With 9 1/3 more innings, Zimmermann will hit 200, giving him at least 195 innings for four straight seasons. Only one pitcher, Livan Hernandez, has tossed multiple 200-inning seasons for the Nats (2005, 2010). Zimmermann could become the second to do so; he fired 200 innings in 2013 but fell one out short of it last year.