Back from finger ailment, Nats' Scherzer faces Phils

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer isn't your average No. 4 starter. The first pitch will be thrown at 3:05 p.m., but the party at Citizens Bank Park was already getting started early Friday morning.

"I was good - what's one thin layer really going to do?" he asked rhetorically. I saw it in the dirt, then looked up about halfway to third (base) and thought, 'Oh, great.' And he threw a strike to third. "If it's in the 30s, yeah, you might see the sleeves. the fact that it was cold and windy, that's just part of the gig".

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (34) celebrates with teammate Daniel Murphy after hitting a two run home run in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia, Friday, April 7, 2017.

The reigning NL Cy Young Award victor had to wait a few days to take the mound because he began spring training dealing with pain from a broken knuckle at the base of the ring finger of his throwing hand.

Scherzer retired the first 10 batters before Howie Kendrick hit an opposite-field double in the fourth.

Machado hit a three-run drive in the fifth inning to make it 5-4, and Smith completed the comeback in the seventh with a two-run shot off Tyler Clippard (0-1).

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"You cut through the lineup three times in a row - we've seen that from many pitchers the first time around and then all of a sudden they get in trouble after that", Mackanin said.

Despite missing six weeks in the preseason with a stress fracture in his throwing ring finger, Scherzer insisted fatigue wasn't a factor in his fade.

"I think we're on a good track right now".

But Scherzer's bullpen almost cost him. But after that, Nationals' right-hander Blake Treinen buckled down to retire three of the next four batters and hand the Phillies their third straight loss.

"I certainly wanted to win that game, but I'm certainly happy with how the guys battled back", Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "It would've been devastating to lose that game".

Guthrie is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA and 9 strikeouts in 2 career starts against the Phillies.

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Zimmerman put the Nationals back in front 3-2 in the eighth with a solo shot to straightaway center off Junichi Tazawa that originally resulted in a triple but was ruled on replay review to have cleared the wall.

Vince Velasquez (0-1) struck out 10, but allowed four runs and five hits in four innings.

"I have to do a better job", Velasquez said. "I had no grip and I had no command at all".

The team was held scoreless until the sixth inning, when a single from Odubel Herrera scored Cesar Hernandez. "I think he's just missing pitches he can hit".

Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker did not share what the corresponding move was going to be, but he did confirm last night, after the Nats' 7-6 win over the Phillies, that it would be Jeremy Guthrie starting against Philadelphia at 7:05 PM EDT tonight in Citizens Bank Park. Jayson Werth, LF 7.

The Nationals announced the moves this afternoon, selecting Guthrie's contract and optioning Michael A. Taylor to Triple-A Syracuse to make room on the major league roster.

Staley proud to be 2nd African-American coach to win title
Jimenez looked as if he was going to win relatively easily on Sunday, with a two-shot lead going into Number 18 at Fallen Oak. Never greater than on Sunday, when the program beat Mississippi State , 67-55, to win the program's first national title.

Nationals left-hander Sammy Solis entered the game to face shortstop Freddy Galvis and surrendered a two-out RBI double.

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