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Game 42: Phillies at Nats

May 22, 2015, 3:27 PM EST

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

For all the attention he’s been getting for what he does on the days he doesn’t pitch, Max Scherzer maybe hasn’t been getting enough attention for what does on those fifth days. Because he’s been fantastic, better than most even figured he would be when the Nationals signed him over the winter.

Scherzer, who takes the mound tonight against the Phillies, has a 1.75 ERA, 66 strikeouts and only eight walks in eight starts. He’s also sixth in the NL with a 2.6 WAR. That’s sixth among all players, not only pitchers.

Tonight, Scherzer faces a Phillies lineup and pitcher (Sean O’Sullivan) he’s already beaten twice this season. He’ll have the usual lineup behind him, but with Clint Robinson getting the start in left field over Michael Taylor.

Updates to come…

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where:
Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
Weather: Sunny, 73 degrees, Wind 13 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (24-17)
CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
C Wilson Ramos
LF Clint Robinson
2B Danny Espinosa
RHP Max Scherzer

PHILLIES (18-25)
LF Ben Revere
SS Freddy Galvis
2B Chase Utley
1B Ryan Howard
3B Maikel Franco
RF Grady Sizemore
CF Odubel Herrera
C Carlos Ruiz
RHP Sean O’Sullivan

UMPIRES
HP Alfonso Marquez (cc)
1B Dan Bellino
2B Ben May
3B Bruce Dreckman

7:06 p.m. — And we’re underway, but not until we had a post-anthem stand-off between Aaron Barrett and Aaron Harang. The two stayed out there even as Max Scherzer delivered his first pitch, with Harang finally scampering away as the pitch was thrown and Barrett took credit for the win.

7:18 p.m. — Unfazed by the fact there were two extra players on the field for the game’s first pitch, Scherzer managed to retire the side in the top of the first on 11 pitches, striking out Freddy Galvis on a curveball. Sean O’Sullivan was just as effective in the bottom of the first, retiring the side and striking out both Ian Desmond and Yunel Escobar.

7:45 p.m. — Hey, you’ll never guess what just happened: Bryce Harper homered. Off Sean O’Sullivan. It was an opposite-field shot to lead off the bottom of the second. It was his 16th of the season, his third in six at-bats vs. O’Sullivan this year. And it’s his 11th homer in his last 45 at-bats. To put that into perspective: If you took all of Harper’s non-homers during this stretch and turned them into outs, he’d still be hitting .244. That’s kind of insane. It’s 1-1 now after two.

7:55 p.m. — Really nice catch by Denard Span in the top of the third to rob Freddy Galvis of what might’ve been an RBI double to deep left-center. Span has had to cover a lot of ground tonight. The Phillies are making pretty solid contact against Scherzer, but he has emerged having allowed only the one early run so far. Still 1-1 after three.

8:10 p.m. — Another hard-hit ball from Harper in the bottom of the fourth, but the Phillies had him played perfectly, with Galvis scooping up the sharp grounder up the middle to start an inning-ending double play and keeping this a 1-1 game.

8:29 p.m. — It’s still a 1-1 game after five innings, with the Nats unable to get anything else going against O’Sullivan. Aside from Harper’s homer, they’ve produced two singles, nothing else. Good thing Scherzer is in a groove. He’s tossed five innings of 1-run ball on 73 pitches.

8:53 p.m. — When in need of some run support, just take matters into your own hands. That’s what Scherzer did in the bottom of the sixth. He led off the inning with a single to right, then huffed and puffed his way 270 feet around the bases to score on Desmond’s double off the center-field fence. The inning also saw the Phillies intentionally walk Harper with two outs and a man on third, a strategy that worked when Zimmerman grounded out to third. But the Nats now hold a 2-1 lead after six.

9:09 p.m. — The Nats might’ve had a chance at something in the bottom of the seventh, but Michael Taylor (inserted as a pinch-runner for Clint Robinson) was caught leaning too far off first base and was picked off. So Scherzer is back to the mound for the eighth, sitting on 97 pitches, with the Nats still up 2-1.

9:29 p.m. — We go to the ninth in what remains a 2-1 game. Scherzer completed his eight stellar innings on 110 pitches. Now it’s Drew Storen to face Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Maikal Franco in the ninth.

9:41 p.m. — And that’ll do it. Storen wraps up his 13th save in 14 tries (stranding a pair of baserunners) and the Nats win their sixth straight, this one 2-1. They’ve now won an incredible 18 of their last 22 games.

  1. unterp - May 22, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    let’s go Nats…

  2. Eugene in Oregon - May 22, 2015 at 3:47 PM

    GYFNG!

  3. Danny - May 22, 2015 at 3:59 PM

    Reynaldo Lopez pitching for Potomac tonight

    • Bruxtun - May 22, 2015 at 4:28 PM

      Do the P-Nats televise their games? If so MiLB TV would be worth adding to the MLB TV subscription this year for Lopez and Giolito alone.

  4. Doc - May 22, 2015 at 4:25 PM

    What’s TyMo gotta do to get a few games in a row—obviously 1 HR and 1 Walk are not enough.

    • guyanesebanna - May 22, 2015 at 4:42 PM

      He might be having some soreness from the ‘brick’ landing he took while making that catch.
      A swan he is not…
      LOL

      • veejh - May 22, 2015 at 6:03 PM

        Span laughed too

      • NatsNut - May 23, 2015 at 8:17 AM

        Span just watching Moore tumble to his feet was hilarious. Then the looks on both their faces as he stood up was priceless!

    • adcwonk - May 22, 2015 at 4:57 PM

      Face a lefty? 😉

  5. therealjohnc - May 22, 2015 at 4:42 PM

    Well, the Nats are getting the Phils’ best shot this weekend – Hamels tomorrow and the miraculous Aaron Harang on Sunday (1.82 ERA, 0.978 WHIP!) actually have been better than the Nats starters (Stras and Gio). And even tonight’s starter for the Phillies, O’Sullivan, has been the best of the rest of their rotation (3.68 ERA, 1.182 WHIP). All the rest of the guys that they’ve had in the starting rotation this season (Williams, Buchanan, Billingsley, Gonzalez, McGowan) have been dreadful. But the Nats won’t see any of them this time around.

    Don’t overlook the Phillies. They aren’t good and they aren’t going anywhere, but this is not going to be an easy three game set.

    • adcwonk - May 22, 2015 at 4:56 PM

      Don’t overlook the Phillies. They aren’t good and they aren’t going anywhere, but this is not going to be an easy three game set.

      On top of that, they are clearly “on the rebound” some.

      They’ve won seven of the last nine. That’s very good.

      • natsfan1a - May 22, 2015 at 5:38 PM

        I’m not about to overlook them, although I also don’t wish them luck for the next three days. 😉

        Go, NATS!!

      • natsfan1a - May 22, 2015 at 5:39 PM

        Come to think of it, I don’t wish them luck for any days beyond that either, because, after all, they’re the Phillies. I do have my principles.

      • adcwonk - May 22, 2015 at 5:55 PM

        Phew. I was worried about you for a sec!

  6. Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 4:43 PM

    James Wagner: “MW said Roark, barring weekend’s games, is being stretched out to take Fister’s next start in rotation.”

    Bam!

    • natsfan1a - May 22, 2015 at 5:40 PM

      Go, Ro-ark!

      • natsfan1a - May 22, 2015 at 5:40 PM

        Oh, and go Scherzer, because he’s starting and all.

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    Just more Escobar @Nationals’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/Nationals/status/601869617099747328?s=09

    How many players have you seen do that in BP?

    • natsfan1a - May 22, 2015 at 6:17 PM

      Atta way, Yescobar!

  8. donkort - May 22, 2015 at 6:07 PM

    I hope Bryce continues his superstar hitting and fielding!

  9. Eugene in Oregon - May 22, 2015 at 6:56 PM

    Mets reportedly plan to go to a six-man rotation when Dillon Gee returns from the DL.

  10. natslive - May 22, 2015 at 7:09 PM

    No F it’s not awesome when it delays the game. Go Max and the Nats

  11. Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 7:38 PM

    Oppo boppo en fuego Bam!

  12. natslive - May 22, 2015 at 7:38 PM

    Bryce!

    • manassasnatsfan - May 22, 2015 at 7:57 PM

      Keep it up.

  13. Drew - May 22, 2015 at 7:40 PM

    Goodness gracious.
    29 from reaching 100 at 22.
    684 from Henry Aaron.

  14. manassasnatsfan - May 22, 2015 at 7:58 PM

    Three people called out on strikes already. This guy’s stuff isn’t that good.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 22, 2015 at 8:51 PM

      That’s easy for you to say.

  15. manassasnatsfan - May 22, 2015 at 8:15 PM

    HArara bats 280 overall, but is way higher against us! Meaning way below that against others.

    What pitches are the others pitching to him that we are not?

  16. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    Bats stifled against OOOOOOOO Sullivan? Ugh

  17. Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 8:40 PM

    Nats have to stop dancing with the Phillies and put some runs on the board.

    • AlexandriaNatFan - May 22, 2015 at 9:12 PM

      +1

  18. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 8:48 PM

    Catch your breath Max. Milk it Bryce. And make them pay Zimm

  19. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 22, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    Was Zim hopping a little awkwardly on his left leg going through the bag there?

  20. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    Where is everybody tonight?

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 22, 2015 at 9:19 PM

      Probably at the game. Or travelling for the three-day weekend. Or out drinking. Or just with other places to be.

      • AlexandriaNatFan - May 22, 2015 at 9:38 PM

        +1

  21. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:04 PM

    I just don’t like Ramos. Seems very undisciplined to me.

    • manassasnatsfan - May 22, 2015 at 10:12 PM

      Batting nearly .300 is not good enough.

  22. Mrsb loves the Nats - May 22, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    Damn MAT….

    • natslive - May 22, 2015 at 9:11 PM

      Could have left Robinson in for that……MAT needs baserunning 101 lessons – happening too frequently

  23. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:09 PM

    That is absolutely pathetic. WTF? No FP shut up. You can’t get picked off. Once again MAT shows his inexperience

  24. AlexandriaNatFan - May 22, 2015 at 9:11 PM

    MAT…sigh…

    Though why did Danny wait to bunt after MAT was picked off?

    • TimDz - May 22, 2015 at 9:17 PM

      To turn the line up over….if he executed….

  25. Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 9:11 PM

    I think Scherzer could teach Michael Taylor about baserunning. That’s his 6th TOOTBLAN and he hasn’t been on base a lot.

    Ironic that he was inserted as a pinch-runner.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - May 22, 2015 at 9:21 PM

      This is why I think… and hope… that the Nats retain Span…. MAT is just not ready….

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 22, 2015 at 9:22 PM

      I think Mo’ne Davis could teach him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 9:26 PM

        Sec3, that is on point. Little Leaguer knows.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 22, 2015 at 9:33 PM

        My point exactly.

        I worry about this kid.

  26. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    Is MW really pulling Max?… Don’t over mange Matt.

  27. TimDz - May 22, 2015 at 9:20 PM

    If the game ends up this way and Kolko interviews Max….I’m guessing Zimmerman hands out the Hershey’s treatment….

  28. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:23 PM

    Nope should have left Max in. I’m pissed. Stupid

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 9:37 PM

      There’s a big picture to the season. Glad he didn’t push it given the pitch count. Storen is the closer. Close it.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 22, 2015 at 10:14 PM

        Over 110 pitches only someone not thinking long term would keep him in.

  29. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    Max is Special. Drew is not.

    • AlexandriaNatFan - May 22, 2015 at 9:28 PM

      Max is at 110 pitches, genius. Not worth it.

      • ehay2k - May 22, 2015 at 9:34 PM

        +1, but Fredi Gonzales would have left Scherzer in, arm be damned.

      • nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:35 PM

        We,will see. I say Storen blows it

      • AlexandriaNatFan - May 22, 2015 at 9:37 PM

        Which is why I don’t like Fredi Gonzales. Amongst other reasons.

  30. natslive - May 22, 2015 at 9:29 PM

    Finish it Drew

  31. Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    The wave when Storen is pitching. Bright. Glad most weren’t participating.

  32. Mrsb loves the Nats - May 22, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    I had a friend over the summer say to me that I would get real tired of Scherzer only being able to go 6.. maybe 6 and 2/3 on an every 5th start basis….

    • ehay2k - May 22, 2015 at 9:37 PM

      Well, he’s sort of half right – Scherzer goes 6 2/3 most of the time, on his way to 7 or 8. You tell him that! 😝

  33. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    Keep walking them drew. Your garbage.

    • Danny - May 22, 2015 at 9:39 PM

      You’re funny.

    • ehay2k - May 22, 2015 at 9:40 PM

      Calling a person garbage is no good here SWM. You can criticize the pitch, not the character based on the pitch.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 9:41 PM

        Aw, that’s who that is. I knew the negativity sounded familiar.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - May 22, 2015 at 9:41 PM

        Didnt he get banned over the summer? How and why is he back?

      • nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 10:05 PM

        Very confused. Why are you guys always seeking a SWM single white male. That’s pretty messed up. Buy hey who am I to Judge?

      • manassasnatsfan - May 22, 2015 at 10:16 PM

        Nattygoat aka SWM put a fork in us April 25th.

        He actually prefers us to lose.

  34. Danny - May 22, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    How don’t we get at least 1 there

  35. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    Always unnecessary drama with Drew Storen. Ridiculous

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 9:40 PM

      Do you say much that’s positive.

      • nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:41 PM

        Not when I’m nervous

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 9:43 PM

        Great pitch on Utley and he bloopers it and a seeing eye groundball single.

        Those 2 K’s were silly.

  36. Ghost of Steve M. - May 22, 2015 at 9:39 PM

    Michael Taylor with a circuitous route to that flyout by Sizemore.

  37. ehay2k - May 22, 2015 at 9:41 PM

    My kind of garbage

    • nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:43 PM

      Nerves nerves nerves.

  38. Mrsb loves the Nats - May 22, 2015 at 9:42 PM

    Nice going Nats…

  39. nattygoats - May 22, 2015 at 9:42 PM

    Great game. Hey Ghost you and your family have a wonderful Memorial weekend. Weather should be great.

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