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Phillies set to face Scherzer, Nationals behind Thompson

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As RHP Jake Thompson makes his fifth start of the season, the Philadelphia Phillies (53-87) will look to rebound against the Washington Nationals (86-54) and ace RHP Max Scherzer Friday evening in the second of a four-game set at Nationals Park.

The Phillies fell short to the Nationals in Thursday's series opener, 4-3. The Nationals took an early lead via a RBI single by right fielder Alejandro De Aza in the second, however the Phillies added one run each in the third, fourth and fifth innings via solo home runs by catcher Jorge Alfaro (2) and first baseman Tommy Joseph (21), followed by a RBI single by shortstop Freddy Galvis. Manager Dusty Baker's club struck back in the sixth, with catcher Matt Wieters' RBI double and shortstop Trea Turner's two-RBI single to seal the win.

Center fielder Odubel Herrera extended his career-best hit streak to 20 games with a third inning double. It is the longest hit streak in the majors this season and the longest by a Phillie since second baseman Chase Utley hit safely in 35 straight in 2006.

The Nationals currently lead the National League East by 19 games. Their magic number to clinch back-to-back division titles for the first time in franchise history stands at four.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Philadelphia Phillies (53-87) Washington Nationals (86-54)
RHP Jake Thompson RHP Max Scherzer
(1-1, 4.50 ERA) (13-5, 2.19 ERA)

Thompson Career vs. WSN: 0-1, 3.52 ERA, 4 G, 2 GS, 15 1/3 IP, 14 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 11 SO, 1.239 WHIP

Thompson, 23, is coming off of the best start of his career, according to Bill James' game score metric. In six innings away against the Marlins on Sept. 3, the right-hander allowed just one run on three hits, no walks and seven strikeouts.

The Dallas, Texas native received a no-decision in his first and only career start at Nationals Park on Sept. 9, 2016, when in 5 1/3 innings he allowed two runs on three singles, two doubles and a walk while punching out five.

Season Splits, By Month:

  • April: 0 G, 0 GS
  • May: 3 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 9.00 ERA, 5 IP, 3 SO, 4 BB, .316/.400/.579
  • June: 0 G, 0 GS
  • July: 1 G, 1 GS, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 IP, 5 SO, 2 BB, .278/.350/.333
  • August: 2 G, 2 GS, 0-1, 6.30 ERA, 10 IP, 6 SO, 5 BB, .364/.462/.795
  • September: 1 G, 1 GS, 0-0, 1.50 ERA, 6 IP, 7 SO, 0 BB, .150/.190/.200


Scherzer Career vs. PHI: 8-1, 2.34 ERA, 13 G, 13 GS, 88 1/3 IP, 65 H, 23 R, 23 ER, 5 HR, 16 BB, 101 SO, 0.917 WHIP

Scherzer, 33, faces the Phillies despite leaving his last outing early with a left calf contusion in Milwaukee on Sept. 2. The two-time Cy Young Award winner took a comebacker off his leg in the first and was seen on crutches in the clubhouse following the game.

In just four starts prior in Miami on August 1, Scherzer departed after just an inning of work with neck spasms. On August 18, Scherzer was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to August 15, with left neck inflammation. 

The St. Louis, Missouri native has lost only once spanning his 13 career appearances against the Phillies, his first against them on May 5, 2008. In his 12 starts since — dating back to July 2013 — Scherzer is 8-0 with a 1.92 ERA.

Season Splits, By Month:

  • April: 5 GS, 3-2, 2.94 ERA, 33 2/3 IP, 40 SO, 9 BB, .200/.260/.342
  • May: 6 GS, 3-1, 2.27 ERA, 43 2/3 IP, 60 SO, 9 BB, .175/.235/.331
  • June: 5 GS, 3-2, 0.99 ERA, 36 1/3 IP, 51 SO, 6 BB, .114/.187/.195
  • July: 5 GS, 3-0, 2.84 ERA, 31 2/3 IP, 50 SO, 12 BB, .190/.266/.379
  • August: 4 GS, 1-0, 2.05 ERA, 22 IP, 29 SO, 5 BB, .195/.253/.364
  • September: 1 GS, 0-0, 1.80 ERA, 5 IP, 2 SO, 2 BB, .125/.222/.188


Starting Lineups:

Philadelphia Phillies (53-87) Washington Nationals (86-54)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 2B Cesar Hernandez S 1 SS Trea Turner R
2 CF Odubel Herrera L 2 LF Howie Kendrick R
3 1B Rhys Hoskins R 3 2B Daniel Murphy L
4 RF Nick Williams L 4 1B Ryan Zimmerman R
5 3B Maikel Franco R 5 3B Anthony Rendon R
6 LF Hyun Soo Kim L 6 C Matt Wieters S
7 C Jorge Alfaro R 7 CF Michael A. Taylor R
8 SS J.P. Crawford L 8 RF Alejandro De Aza L
9 P Jake Thompson R 9 P Max Scherzer R

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
  • TV: CSN
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:

  • Galvis will not start for the first time this season. Rookie J.P. Crawford receives the nod at short instead, batting eighth.
  • Herrera is batting .323/.417/.419 through 31 career at-bats against Scherzer with a double, triple, five walks, five strikeouts and two RBIs. The only active Phillies with home runs against the right-hander are utility infielder Andres Blanco and catcher Cameron Rupp.
  • Injury Report:
    • Phillies
      • INF/OF Pedro Florimon (right ankle dislocation), possible 2018 return
      • C Andrew Knapp (bruised right hand), possible early September return
      • RHP Jerad Eickhoff (right hand nerve irritation), possible 2018 return
      • RHP Zach Eflin (strained right shoulder), status uncertain
      • RHP Vince Velasquez (right middle finger numbness), possible 2018 return
      • RHP Clay Buchholz (forearm surgery), possible September return
    • Nationals
      • SS Stephen Drew (abdominal strain), possible late September return
      • OF Jayson Werth (shoulder), day-to-day
      • OF Ryan Raburn (left trapezius back strain), out indefinitely
      • OF Brian Goodwin (left groin strain), possible late September return
      • OF Bryce Harper (left knee bone bruise), possible late September return
      • OF Adam Eaton (left knee ACL and meniscus tears), possible 2018 return
      • RHP Erick Fedde (right forearm flexor strain), possible 2018 return
      • RHP Koda Glover (back, shoulder), possible mid-September return
      • RHP Joe Ross (Tommy John surgery), possible late 2018 return
  • Active Hit Streaks (* indicates player is injured):
    • PHI OF Odubel Herrera, 20
    • PHI INF/OF Pedro Florimon*, 7
    • PHI C Jorge Alfaro, 6
    • PHI 2B Cesar Hernandez, 6
    • PHI OF Nick Williams, 6
    • WSN OF Brian Goodwin*, 5
    • PHI SS Freddy Galvis, 5
    • WSN OF Adam Eaton*, 5

What's Next:

  • Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017: at Washington Nationals, 7:05 p.m.
    • Nationals Park
    • RHP Mark Leiter Jr. (2-5, 4.74 ERA) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (5-4, 3.62 ERA)
    • TV: CSN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP


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