Max Scherzer had a 2-0 lead to work with before he took the mound this afternoon in Citizens Bank Park, courtesy of a two-run home run by Washington Nationals’ slugger Bryce Harper.
It was 4-0 Nats before Scherzer gave up his first hit of the season in the home-half of the fourth, with Daniel Murphy connecting for a two-run blast of his own off Phillies’ starter Vince Velasquez.
Scherzer cruised through five scoreless on 68 pitches as the Nationals jumped out to a 7-0 lead, quieting the crown in Philadelphia, with former Philly outfielder Jayson Werth hitting a three-run blast in the top of the fifth inning.
The Phillies rallied late to make it a three-run game, 7-4 after seven, and then a one-run game, 7-6 in the ninth, but the Nats held on and took the first game of three in CBP.
Nationals now 3-1
Here’s how it happened:
• Adam Eaton didn’t walk once in 24 games this Spring, but took his fourth walk in four regular season games in his first at bat this afternoon in Citizens Bank Park and scored when Bryce Harper hit a two-run blast to right field on a 3-2 change from Vince Velasquez. 2-0 Nationals.
• Eaton walked again in his second trip to the plate, stole his second base of 2017 with Harper at the plate, then scored, one out later this time when Daniel Murphy hit a 2-2 fastball out to right-center for another two-run blast, 4-0 Nationals.
• Max Scherzer retired the first nine Phillies he faced in 3.0 scoreless and hitless, with three Ks from those nine batters on 38 pitches.
• Vince Velasquez was up to 10 Ks and 94 pitches after four innings pitched.
• Scherzer’s no-hit bid ended with one out in the fourth when Howie Kendrick doubled to right and Odubel Herrera followed with a single that put runners on the corners for Maikel Franco, but the Nationals’ starter retired the next two batters to complete his fourth scoreless frame.
• Vince Velasquez’s Line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER 3 BB, 10 Ks, 2 HRs, 94 P, 57 S, 1/1 GO/FO.
• Bryce Harper walked to start the fifth inning and Daniel “Multi-Hit Game” Murphy connected for a double on a line drive to right, his fourth multi-hit game in four games played.
One-out later, Jayson Werth hit a 1-1 slider from Joely Rodriguez out to left for a three-run home run that made it 7-0 Nationals.
• Scherzer’s bid for a shutout ended in the sixth when Cesar Hernandez doubled with one down and scored on a two-out RBI single to right by Odubel Herrera, 7-1.
• Scherzer gave up back-to-back walks in the seventh, but got help from a friendly carom on a wild pitch that got past Matt Wieters but bounced right back to the catcher who threw to third for the first out of the frame.
Scherzer was lifted with two down, and the runner he left on base scored on an RBI double off Sammy Solis by Freddy Galvis, 7-2 Nationals.
• Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 98 P, 60 S, 4/4 GO/FO.
• Aaron Altherr homered to right on a 1-1 fastball, taking Solis the other way to drive Galvis in and make it a three-run game, 7-4.
• Enny Romero gave up a single and a walk to the first two batters in the Philly eighth, so Dusty Baker went to Koda Glover vs Maikel Franco, who represented the tying run.
Glover fell behind, 3-1, but popped Franco up to short right. Daniel Nava stepped in next for the Phillies, and sent a fly to left for out No. 2, and Tommy Joseph popped out to foul territory off first to end the threat.
• Blake Treinen took the mound in the ninth and gave up a single by Cameron Rupp and a two-run blast to right by Freddy Galvis, 7-6. Cesar Hernandez walked with one down, bringing the potential winning run to the plate, but Howie Kendrick popped to right for out No. 2, and Odubel Herrera grounded out to first to end it.
Nationals win, 7-6 final.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington was 14-5 against Philadelphia last season, with an 8-1 record in the Phillies’ home.
- This afternoon’s game in Citizens Bank Park is the 14th home opener in the Phillies’ home.
- In today’s “Fun With Arbitrary End Points” segment: The Nationals trail the Phillies in the all-time series between the two teams (118-104), but they have a 65-47 record vs their NL East rivals since 2011.
- The Phillies have lost 12 of the last 13 games against their NL East rivals from the nation’s capital.
- Washington’s loss last night to the Miami Marlins was the first in 95 games in the nation’s capital in which the led entering the ninth inning.
- The Nationals’ six home runs early this season lead the majors, among clubs who have already played three games. LA’s Dodgers have seven homers in 4 games to lead all MLB teams overall.
- Max Scherzer was (7-1) with a 2.14 ERA in 11 career starts against the Phillies heading into today’s series opener in Citizens Bank Park.
Nationals now 3-1