There was a time when the Washington Nationals could send Max Scherzer to the mound and have full confidence that they’d have the superior pitcher that day. And while Scherzer may still be better than most pitchers in the major leagues, in 2020, he doesn’t appear to be as good as Zack Wheeler. He definitely wasn’t as good as Wheeler on Wednesday night as the Nationals were shut out by Wheeler and the Phillies 3-0.
This was a relatively quiet night for the Phillies’ offense, and the biggest source of their offense was a bit of a surprise. Neil Walker doesn’t get many starts, but he certainly made the most of this one. He went 3-3, and his single in the fourth inning drove in the Phillies’ first two runs.
Neil Walker breaks the ice with a bases-loaded 2 RBI single!#RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/UuXMPOEttu— Shaun Nestor (@shaun_nestor) September 3, 2020
The Phillies’ third run came via a Jay Bruce home run in the sixth, and after that inning, Scherzer appeared to be a bit upset.
When you're about to be 0-5 this season against the "easy to beat" Phillies pic.twitter.com/hRKX51a16w— Shaun Nestor (@shaun_nestor) September 3, 2020
It’s doubtful he was the only National who felt frustrated. His teammates couldn’t get anything going against Wheeler, only managing three hits in 6.2 innings. After Wheeler left the game, David Phelps confused a lot of Phillies fans by retiring the next four batters.
Apparently David Phelps doesn’t understand how things work with the Phillies bullpen. He’ll probably get quite a talking to in the dugout.— The Smarty Jones (@TheSmartyJones) September 3, 2020
“The heck you doing out there? If you’re gonna pitch a scoreless inning, at least put a couple on first!”
Fear not, Brandon Workman made things a little uncomfortable in the ninth by putting two runners on before securing the shutout.
The teams will wrap up the four-game series on Thursday afternoon. The Phillies will attempt to complete the sweep, while the Nationals will attempt to make their social media manager stop regretting that he ever wrote this tweet.
Beating Philadelphia isn't as hard as Philadelphians say it is.#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/sDhhsCSnAG— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 25, 2020