Phillies Bats Shut Down by Nats

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Sep 10, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws to the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws to the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Philadelphia Phillies were shut out by the Washington Nationals on Saturday night at Nationals Park in our nation’s capitol.

The Phillies were shut out on Saturday night at Nationals Park in our nation’s capitol by NL Cy Young Award front-runner Max Scherzer and a trio of relievers in a 3-0 Nationals victory.

The Phils got a strong starting effort themselves from steady Jerad Eickhoff. But Nats’ star right fielder Bryce Harper broke up a scoreless tie with a three-run homer in the bottom of the 8th inning to provide all the scoring.

Before Harper’s blow, it was a classic pitching duel in D.C., with Scherzer allowing no runs on four hits over 6.2 innings while striking out eight and walking just one.

Eickhoff matched the zeroes put up by the Nationals ace by throwing six shutout frames of his own, allowing just five hits while striking out five and walking two.

With both starting pitcher removed by the 7th inning, it came down in the end to a battle of the bullpens. As they have more frequently than is acceptable of late, it was the Phils group that blinked.

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This time it was newcomer Patrick Schuster who did the blinking. Luis Garcia began the inning on the hill, and retired two of the three batters he faced before being lifted in favor of Schuster.

Schuster walked the first batter that he faced, Daniel Murphy, on a full count offering. That brought Harper to the plate with two on and two out.

Finding himself in a 3-1 hitters count, Harper unloaded, pulling his 24th home run of  the season out on a line drive over the right field fence for the difference-making blast.

Boy, that was a dramatic home run. That show you how strong he is mentally. After you strike out three times and you hit a home run,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said per MLB.com contributors. “He had a rough night going up to then.”

The two NL East rivals will wrap up this four game set with an afternoon game on Sunday. The Phillies then return home to Citizens Bank Park for a nine-game homestand that will see the Pittsburgh Pirates, Miami Marlins, and Chicago White Sox come to South Philly.

Next: Phillies Promote Prospects Alfaro, Quinn

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