A night after Aaron Nola tossed eight scoreless in a 6-0 win, Philadelphia Phillies’ righty Zack Wheeler held the Washington Nationals off the board over 6 2⁄3 innings pitched in Citizens Bank Park, in what ended up a 3-0 win for the home team.
Max Scherzer put together a solid start but received no support while he was on the hill.
It’s the Nationals’ fifth straight loss, and it left them 12-22 on the year. No wonder GM Mike Rizzo had this to say to 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies when he was asked about a lack of action at the trade deadline on Monday:
"We went in there and, in my opinion, we weren't playing well enough for me to go ask ownership to add payroll & to give away prospects to make any kind of big, significant move for a short-term player this year."- #Nats' GM Mike Rizzo on trade deadline - @1067theFan @JunksRadio— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) September 3, 2020
Scherzer vs the Phillies: Max Scherzer was unbeaten in five starts in August, going (3-0) with a 4.38 ERA, six walks, 34 Ks, and a .286/.327/.449 line against in 24 2⁄3 IP. He also hit double digits in strikeouts in two of the outings, including the last one before tonight, in which he struck out 11 of 23 batters on the road in Fenway Park.
It was the 97th time in his career he reached 10+ Ks in a start, tying him with Sandy Koufax for 4th on the list of pitchers with the most 10+ strikeout starts.
The Phillies, Scherzer’s opponent tonight, went into the matchup with the second-lowest K% in the majors (19.7%).
He got three Ks in three scoreless to start the night, working around two singles and a walk, but two more walks and a single in the fourth loaded the bases in front of Neil Walker and a two-run single to center on a first-pitch change put the Phillies up, 2-0.
Max telling Suzuki he wants to go outside (eyes/Harper was walking away from the plate).— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 3, 2020
Then K'ing Harper with an 88mph back door cutter. ✂️ pic.twitter.com/fSmgQXaJl7
Scherzer got Bryce Harper looking with a backdoor cutter for his 6th (and Harper’s 3rd) K of the game in a 10-pitch fifth that left him at 89 pitches overall, but his 92nd pitch, a 1-1 curve to Jay Bruce in the first at bat of the Phillies’ sixth, went out to left for a homer that made it a 3-0 game in the home team’s favor.
Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR, 108 P, 68 S.
Wheeler vs the Nationals: Six outings into the first year of Zack Wheeler’s 5-year/$118M deal with the Phillies, the righty took the mound tonight with a 2.58 ERA, a 3.32 FIP, seven walks, 23 Ks, and a .257/.302/.357 line against in 38 1⁄3 IP for his new club.
A night after Aaron Nola held the Nationals scoreless over eight innings in a 6-0 win, the 30-year-old righty tossed four scoreless to start and then took the mound in the fifth with a 2-0 lead, and retired the side in order in a 12-pitch frame which left him at 71 pitches total with a streak of seven straight batters set down.
Zack Wheeler, Filthy 81mph Curveball. pic.twitter.com/K92dVjRhjv— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 3, 2020
Wheeler was up to nine outs in row when he walked Howie Kendrick with two out in the top of the sixth, and Asdrúbal Cabrera singled on a grounder to the right side of the infield, but Adam Eaton stepped in with just the second at bat with a runner in scoring position tonight, and K‘d swinging to end the threat.
At 97 pitches after six, Wheeler came back out for the seventh and retired two batters, but a two-out single by Luis García ended his outing...
Zack Wheeler’s Line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 109 P, 70 S, 10/1 GO/FO.
Turn-On: Trea Turner’s hit streak ended after 16 games when he went hitless last night, but he did walk to extend his on-base streak to 22-straight, over which the 27-year-old had put up a .500 OBP.
The on-base streak was the third-longest of Turner’s career, after OBP streaks which lasted 33 games (July 23-August 27, 2019) and 24 games, Aug. 29-Sept. 24, 2018.
Turner went 0 for 3 the first three times up against Philly righty Zack Wheeler, and lined out to center in an eighth inning at bat against David Phelps, 0 for 4.
BULLPEN ACTION: David Phelps took over on the mound with a runner (Luis García) on and two out in the seventh and got out No. 3 with one pitch. Still 3-0 Phillies.
Tanner Rainey gave up a one-out walk to Bryce Harper, but got a strike’em out, throw’em out double play to end the Phillies’ seventh.
Phelps returned to the mound in the eighth and retired the Nationals in order.
Will Harris K’d two in a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth.
Brandon Workman got the ninth for the Phillies and worked around a two-out double by Kurt Suzuki and a walk to Brock Holt to keep the second straight shutout intact.
Final Score: 3-0 Phillies.
Nationals now 12-22