Max Scherzer held the Philadelphia Phillies to one run on five hits in seven innings when he faced them for the first time this season, back on April 16th in Citizens Bank Park.
When he faced them again on April 26th in the nation's capital, Washington's 31-year-old right-hander gave up seven hits, four walks and three runs, all earned, in six innings of work.
Coming off a less-than-stellar start against the St. Louis Cardinals last week in Nationals Park (3 H, 4 BB, 5 ER in 7.0 IP), the Nats' starter bounced back this time out, dominating an overmatched Phillies' lineup, striking out 11 in eight innings and giving up just two runs total on a two-run blast by Tyler Goeddel in the seventh inning of what ended up a 7-2 win...
Scherzer took the mound in CBP tonight for his third start of 2016 against the Nationals' NL East rivals with a 1-0 lead courtesy of a two-out, RBI double to right by Ryan Zimmerman, who drove Daniel Murphy in after Phillies' left-hander Adam Morgan hit the Nats' second baseman on the left wrist with a 94 mph fastball with two down in the opening frame.
After Scherzer added two Ks for five total in three scoreless innings, Anthony Rendon doubled, snapping an 0 for 9 streak in the series in Citizens Bank, and scored from second on an RBI single to right by Wilson Ramos to put the Nationals up 2-0 in the fourth.
Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon hit back-to-back singles in the first two at bats of the Nationals' sixth, and Wilson Ramos took Morgan deep to right for a three-run opposite field blast that made it 5-0 Nats.
Danny Espinosa took a first-pitch fastball for a ride one out later for a solo blast to left that made it a 6-0 game. Espi's 7th.
Adam Morgan's Line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 86 P, 56 S, 6/1 GO/FO.
Daniel Murphy tripled (3) to center off Phillies' reliever Brett Oberholtzer with one down in the top of the seventh and scored on a sac fly to left by Ryan Zimmerman in the next at bat, 7-0.
Scherzer's home run issues returned in the seventh, and he compounded the problem by issuing a one-out walk to Freddy Galvis before he hung an 0-1 slider up for Tyler Goeddel, who hit a two-run blast out to left to make it 7-2.
Max Scherzer's Line: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 Ks, 1 HR, 111 P, 78 S, 4/6 GO/FO.
Blake Treinen retired two batters in the eighth, and Oliver Perez came on with two on and two out to retire Ryan Howard and end it. Ballgame. 7-2 final. SWEEP!!!
Nationals now 33-21
- Tonight's game was the 1,000th regular season game in Citizens Bank Park since it opened in 2004.
- Philadelphia had a 545-454 record in CBP before tonight, the 5th-highest home winning percentage in the NL over that stretch (2004-present).
- Since May 19th, when the Phillies were seven games over .500 at 24-17, they've gone 2-9, falling from one game out of first to 4th in the NL to 5.5 games behind the division-leading Nationals.
- In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" update: With last night's win, Washington is 55-46 vs Philadelphia... since 2011. Before 2011, the Nationals were 39-71 against the Phillies (2005-2010).
- The Nationals' win last night guaranteed the Phillies' fifth straight series loss overall.
- Washington's 5-1 win last night marked the NL-leading 12th time this year that Philadelphia was held to one run or fewer. The Phillies are 2-10 in games in which they've been held to one run or less.
- The Nationals' last series sweep of the Phillies took place from September 14-16 last season.
- Daniel Murphy was 2 for 4 last night, collecting his 26th multi-hit game in his first 51 games with the Nationals.
- Murphy entered play tonight leading the majors in multi-hit games, batting average, .397, and overall hits (77).
- Jayson Werth's home run with one out in the first last night was his 10th in CBP as a member of the Nationals.
- In a bonus "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Washington's relievers have put up an MLB-leading 1.61 ERA... in 56 innings pitched since May 9th.
- Washington's pinch hitters, after Stephen Drew's pinch hit inside-the-park home run last night, have hit eight pinch hit home runs, the second-most in the majors.
Nationals now 33-21