Want to know something cool? The Phillies absolutely OWNED Max Scherzer tonight.
The team got off to a hot start on singles by Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura in the 1st, but failed to convert and exited the 1st inning, runless.
That was neither here nor there, however, as Eflin locked up the Nationals offense, and even broke Trea Turner’s finger in the process (we wish him a speedy recovery.)
The game didn’t stay scoreless for long, either, as Maikel Franco launched one to left field with two outs in the 2nd, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
Eflin answered Franco’s homer by striking out the side in the bottom of 2nd. I’ll say it, the kid looked brilliant.
After a scoreless 3rd, Odubel led off the 4th with a double, and proceeded to score on a passed ball by Nationals’ catcher Yan Gomes.
The Phillies continued to light up Max Scherzer in the 5th, as a single by Jean Segura and double by Bryce Harper gave the Phillies men on, but, once again, the Phillies couldn’t quite plate a run.
In the bottom of the 5th Scherzer was tugged for pinch hitter Andrew Stevenson, thus ending his night.
The aforementioned failed conversions? Who needs ‘em! In the 6th inning, the Phillies broke this one wide open. Odubel Herrera doubled, again, to lead this one off, and Maikel Franco was intentionally walked(!) Then, Andrew McCutchen drew a walk to load the bases for Jean Segura, who smacked a bases clearing double that squibbed fair and dribbled down the right field line. He would come around to score on a ripped single by Bryce Harper.
All of a sudden, the Phillies were up by a score of 6-0.
Zach Eflin was pinch-hit for in the 6th, thus ending his magnificent outing, albeit early.
His final line: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9K.
All of his secondaries were moving like whiffle balls, and he was painting with his fastball. If the Zach Eflin that we saw today can stick around for the rest of the season, he’s going to prove quite the weapon as the season progresses.
Eflin was relieved by Jose Alvarez, who stuck around a little too long to face Anthony Rendon, who hit a two run shot, and FINALLY gave Nationals fans, most of which had already left at this point, something to cheer about. They cut their deficit down to a mighty 6-2.
Juan Nicasio then took to the bump, and cut down the rest of the Nationals hitters to end the inning.
The 7th inning had potential, as Odubel Herrera doubled AGAIN, and Maikel Franco was intentionally walked AGAIN, but, deja vu, the Phils failed to convert — AGAIN.
Edubray Ramos took over for the bottom of the 7th, and looked absolutely nasty. He could be a real bright spot in the bullpen, should he hold his position when Tommy Hunter returns.
Then, in the 8th, you guessed it, Bryce did it again. The King of Philadelphia walloped a two-run shot to right field, where a chorus of Philly fans erupted into screams of delight and “MVP” or “WE GOT HARPER” chants.
Adam Morgan and Vince Velasquez came out of the ‘pen to shut this one down, and the Phillies topped the Nationals by a final score of 8-2 to remain the lone undefeated team in baseball.
The Phils erupted for a total of 14 hits, 11 of which came from the combination of Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, Odubel Herrera, and Maikel Franco all of whom have been BLAZING hot of late.
Bryce Harper is now slashing a disgusting .429/.556/1.214 with 3 Homers and a 1.770 OPS over his first 4 games with the Phillies.
Is he worth the $330 Million yet?
Oh, and if I hadn’t mentioned it before, Zach Eflin was spectacular.
This team is really, really fun.