Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Even With Injuries, Nats Offense Delivers For Max Scherzer

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Jun 26, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into last night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Washington Nationals starting lineup was a matter of who actually wasn’t in it instead of who was in it. Among the notable absences were Bryce Harper (leg cramp), Anthony Rendon (on 15-day DL due to quad injury), and Denard Span (scratched due to back spasms). Add that to Ryan Zimmerman still being on the disabled list and that is four regulars out of the lineup.

Then, the situation got worse. In the top of the first inning, Yunel Escobar was hit by a 0-2 pitch by Aaron Harang in the hand and had to leave the game. So, over half of the regular starters were out before Max Scherzer took the mound. Even with that being the case, the Nats found a way to get a run on the board early. Plus, one run is good enough with the way Scherzer has been pitching.

More from Max Scherzer

Last night, Scherzer had a chance to be the first pitcher since 1938 to throw back-to-back no-hitters. He didn’t get it, but he took a perfect game into the sixth inning for the third straight outing. Even though the perfect game and 47.1 inning shutout streak by the Nats starters ended, Scherzer was able to give the team eight innings, despite looking fatigued, and got the job done.

Plus, the Nationals got some help from the bullpen as Drew Storen picked up his 22nd save in 24 chances. In addition, the Nats took advantage of some Phillies’ errors in the field and on the bases by Domonic Brown. That was something Phillies’ new interim manager Pete Mackanin didn’t want to see in his first game replacing Ryne Sanberg, who resigned before yesterday’s game

Before Gio Gonzalez takes the mound at 3:05 PM ET as he looks to secure the Nats’ eighth straight win, here are my takeaways from last night’s 5-2 win.

Next: Max Scherzer Strong Again