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Phillies avoid sweep as Nola wins battle of Cy Young contenders

By: Rebecca Serad, Sports Talk Philly Staff 

Final: Philadelphia Phillies 2, Washington Nationals 0  ❖  Attendance: 29,475

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On paper, today's pitching match-up looked like one of the best in baseball this season. Reigning Cy Young award winner, All-Star Game starter and Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer faced off against Philadelphia Phillies All-Star and ace Aaron Nola. After losing the first two games of this series and their last four games overall, the Phillies (69-58) needed their ace to come out on top and help them win against the Nationals (64-64). Nola was able to do just that.

To say that Nola was spectacular would feel like a gross understatement. His command was fantastic and he always looked like he was in control of the game. Even in Nola's final inning, after allowing a two-out double and his only walk of the day, he still looked like he was positive that he would retire Bryce Harper to get out of the inning. Over eight innings, Nola allowed five hits and one walk and struck out nine batters, while not allowing any runs. His season ERA went from 2.24 to 2.13. Pat Neshek came out of the 'pen to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning and earn his fourth save of the season.

While the Phillies only mustered three hits and four walks in the game, they took advantage of an opportunity they were given in the seventh inning by a tiring Scherzer. Maikel Franco worked his second walk of the day, and Odubel Herrera followed that up with what ended up being the game-winning homer. It was the first home-run for Herrera in August and hopefully will help him heat up at the plate. The Phils need him and his offensive production in the line-up.

WP: Aaron Nola (15-3, 2.13 ERA)  ❖  LP: Max Scherzer (16-6, 2.13 ERA)  ❖  SV: Pat Neshek (4)


Hub:   Game Summary      Starting Pitchers     At the Plate      Bullpen      What's Next

Game Summary

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
PHI 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 3 0
WSH
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0

The bats were close to silent for both teams through the first six innings of the game. There were a few hits and walks allowed by both starters, but nothing of consequence. That all changed in the top of the seventh. With one out, Maikel Franco walked for the second time in the game. It also marked the fourth walk allowed by Nationals ace Max Scherzer. However, Franco wouldn't end up being another runner left on base. Odubel Herrera followed the walk with a second-deck homer to right field to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. While Jorge Alfaro and Aaron Nola both struck out to end the inning, the Phils were able to reward their ace's spectacular performance by giving him a lead. It turns out those two runs were all that Nola and reliever Pat Neshek needed to secure the much-needed victory.

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Starting Pitchers

  IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Aaron Nola 8.0 5 0 0 1 9 0 2.13
Max Scherzer 7.0 2 2 2 4 10 1 2.13

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At the Plate

Phillies

  • Odubel Herrera: 1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, .266 AVG
  • Jorge Alfaro: 1-3, .252 AVG
  • Cesar Hernandez: 1-3, .257 AVG

Nationals

  • Adam Eaton: 1-4, 2B, .289 AVG
  • Mark Reynolds: 1-4, 2B, .255 AVG
  • Spencer Kieboom: 1-2, 2B, .202 AVG

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Bullpen

Phillies

  • Pat Neshek (9th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR, 1.06 ERA

Nationals

  • Wander Suero (8th): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 3.31 ERA
  • Greg Holland (9th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR, 6.12 ERA

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What's Next

  • Friday, August 24, 2018: at Toronto Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m.
    • Toronto - Rogers Centre
    • RHP Jake Arrieta (9-8, 3.25 ERA) vs. LHP Ryan Borucki (2-3, 4.27 ERA)
    • TV: NBCSP; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680

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