Blanco Batters Scherzer to Lead Phils

The Phillies are going to have to find a way to get the bat of Andres Blanco in the lineup. He came a triple short of the cycle, battering Nationals ace Max Scherzer for two of his three hits in the Phils 4-3 win over the Nationals.

In the opening frame Blanco launched a two run homer to give the Phillies an early 2-0 lead. He singled in the fifth but it was his bloop double to left field in the seventh off reliever Oliver Perez in a 3-3 tie that won the game. With lefthander Ryan Howard on deck Dusty Baker chose to leave the lefty Perez in to face Maikel Franco and he drove it to the center field wall. Michael Taylor attempted a leaping catch, but the ball bounced off his glove, returning to the outfield grass for a double. Franco had fallen down between first and second otherwise he may have thought about legging it for a triple.

The Nationals came back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game in the fifth. On a ground out by Anthony Rendon, Maikel Franco attempted to run to third for the force and then gun it to third in an attempt for a double play. He fell short on his throw to first. A 5-4-3 turn may have gotten two. Bryce Harper followed with an RBI single and Ryan Zimmerman scooted a single past Cesar Hernandez to score a third run and tie the game at 3-3.

The Nationals did have the opportunity to win the game in the ninth after a Rendon two out single. Jeanmar Gomez, the Phillies closer got Bryce Harper to ground out to third to end the game.

Game Notes: Scherzer appears to rely on two pitches in a game. His mid-90s fastball and his mid to high 80s slider. There is nothing slower than 85. Hitters seem geared towards hitting his fastball…Michael Taylor stole second base off David Hernandez. He was halfway to second while Hernandez was still in his stretch. This ultimately led to an intentional walk to Bryce Harper after Rendon lined out to right and Ryan Zimmerman swung at and then watched two low 80s curves to strike out…Ryan Howard appears to have a noticeable limp as he runs the bases. Myworld has seen players in 50 plus senior softball leagues who look better running the bases than Howard…The damage against Scherzer should have been worse. With runners at second and third and no out Franco grounded one to the bag at Rendon at third, who tagged Odubel Herrara, who was off the bag at third for one and threw to first to complete the double play. He also had runners on second and third with two outs in the sixth but struck out Peter Bourjos to end that threat…Cesar Hernandez laced three singles in his first three at bats. His second hit was an RBI single…Andres Blanco was a triple short of the cycle. He walked in the ninth inning…Matt Belisle left the game because of an injury after facing only one hitter.

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