Trailing 4-2 in the sixth, the Washington Nationals loaded the bases in front of Trea Turner, who hit a grand slam to left for a 6-4 lead, and the home team held on for a 6-5 win in the nightcap of today’s doubleheader with the Philadelphia Phillies in the nation’s capital.
Scherzer vs the Phillies: After a 14-start unbeaten streak, over which he had a 1.71 ERA, 16 walks, 129 Ks, and a .187/.231/.315 line against in 89 1⁄3 innings pitched, going back to May 22nd, Max Scherzer took the mound tonight coming off back-to-back losses in which he had a 6.17 ERA (8 ER in 11 2⁄3 IP), two walks, 17 Ks, and a .292/.314/.500 line against.
He’d received just one runs of support (total) in those outings though, in a 5-0 loss to the Braves and 5-1 loss to the Cardinals.
Scherzer, tonight, was taking on the Phillies for the third time in 2019, after going (1-1) with a 0.75 ERA, three walks, 19 Ks, and a .234/.280/.362 line against in 12 IP in the previous two.
Brad Miller hit a 96 MPH 0-1 fastball out to center in the first, after Scherzer gave up a one-out walk and single, and the Phillies were up 3-0 at the end of a 26-pitch opening frame.
Scherzer retired eight in a row after the home run, getting through three on 54 pitches, but his 57th of the game, a 1-1 changeup to Miller in the fourth, went out to right on a line, for a solo shot and a 4-1 Phillies’ lead.
That's another multi-homer night for Brad Miller.— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 25, 2019
His last one was ... three days ago. pic.twitter.com/vlf2KcdUJQ
Scherzer picked up his 10th K from 22 batters in the sixth, and worked around a two-out hit in a 16-pitch frame that left him at 101 pitches overall on the night. That was it for the Nats’ starter...
Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 10 Ks, 2 HRs, 101 P, 74 S, 4/2 GO/FO.
Nola vs the Nationals: Aaron Nola took the mound tonight winless in his last six outings, over which the Phillies’ 26-year-old right-hander had a 4.84 ERA, 15 walks, 40 Ks, and a .252/.333/.420 line against in 35 1⁄3 IP.
Nola was taking on the Nationals for the fourth time, after giving up 17 hits, seven walks, and 12 runs, (11 earned), in 15 1⁄3 IP in the first three outings, in which he had a .283/.353/.617 line against.
He started with two scoreless and hitless on 40 pitches, but an 0-1 curve to Yan Gomes in the first at bat of the third went out to left for a solo shot that got the Nats on the board, down 3-1 at that point.
With the score 4-1 in the fourth, Nola gave up back-to-back singles by Asdrúbal Cabrera and Matt Adams to start the bottom of the frame, and Victor Robles took a fastball off the elbow to load them up in front of Gomes, who hit a sac fly to right to make it 4-2.
Asdrúbal Cabrera walked to start the Nats’ half of the sixth, and Victor Robles singled with one out, but Yan Gomes K’d swinging, leaving it up to pinch hitter Howie Kendrick, who worked the count full and took a front door curve for ball four, loading the bases on Nola’s 115th pitch. That was it for the Philly starter...
But reliever Jared Hughes’s bases-loaded matchup with Trea Turner didn’t go well...
[ed. note - “See below for the exciting conclusion to the Nationals’ sixth...”]
Aaron Nola’s Line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 115 P, 68 S, 4/1 GO/FO.
Yan Gone: In his previous 22 games before tonight’s start, Nationals’ catcher Yan Gomes was going strong, with a .296/.352/.580 line, eight doubles, five home runs, 14 RBIs, six walks, and 12 runs scored over that stretch, and he homered again for the first run of the game for the home team tonight, then drove in the second run the Nats scored with a sac fly in the fourth.
BULLPEN ACTION: Jared Hughes took over for the Phillies with a 4-2 advantage, the bases loaded, and two out in the Nats’ sixth, with Trea Turner at the plate, and Turner hit a grand slam to left on an 0-1 sinker, 6-4 Nationals. Turner’s 18th of 2019.
Hunter Strickland came on for the Nats with a two-run lead in the top of the seventh, and got two outs, before Bryce Harper stepped in, got up 3-1, and crushed a 98 MPH fastball, sending a solo shot to right that made it a one-run game, 6-5 Nationals after six and a half.
Philly lefty Cole Irvin gave up a one-out single by Juan Soto, but the outfielder forgot how many outs there were, and got doubled up on a liner to right in the next at bat to end the seventh. Still 6-5 Nationals.
Javy Guerra retired the Phillies in order in the eighth.
Irvin and Hector Neris combined for a scoreless bottom of the eighth inning.
Daniel Hudson came on for the save opportunity in the ninth and retired the Phillies in order to end it. Ballgame.
Final Score: 6-5 Nationals
Nationals now 88-69