Game Details: Washington Nationals (33-36, fourth place in the NL East) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (34-35, second place in the NL East)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Max Scherzer (5-4, 2.18 ERA) | RHP Zack Wheeler (5-3, 2.15 ERA)
Date & Time: Tuesday, June 22,2021 | 7:05 p.m. | Game #66 / Home #35
Location: Citizens Bank Park | Philadelphia, PA
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
SiriusXM Radio: 898
Game Time Weather via the National Weather Service:
A chance of showers, mainly before 7pm. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 55. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Today in Nationals History:
2005 – Ryan Church made a game-ending circus catch to close out a 5-4 win at Pittsburgh, but was placed on the 15-Day DL shortly after with a right rib cage ligament sprain
Washington Nationals Game Storyline:
Coming off a series win against the New York Mets at home – the longest homestand of the season – the Washington Nationals will try to keep rising in the NL East as they travel to the City of Brotherly Love and face the second-place Philadelphia Phillies. Even though this is a quick series, the Nationals have a chance to leap over the Phillies with two wins.
RHP Max Scherzer (5-4, 2.21 ERA, 104 Strikeouts)
After being reinstated, the Washington Nationals Ace will take the mound tonight for the first time since experiencing groin inflammation during the first inning on June 11 against the San Francisco Giants. Scherzer was placed on the 10-day Injured List on June 15.
Scherzer is 5–4 with a 2.21 ERA in 13 starts for the Nationals this season. He ranks among National League pitchers in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (3rd, 12.10), strikeout-to-walk ratio (T3rd, 6.93), opponents’ on-base percentage (4th, .233), ERA (6th, 2.21), strikeouts (T6th, 104), and opponents’ batting average (7th, .179).
In his previous start against the Phillies he tossed 7.2 innings and allowed just one earned run on five hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. Since joining the Nationals in 2015, Scherzer’s 2.48 ERA against the Phillies is his best ERA against any NL East opponent.
RHP Zack Wheeler (5-3, 2.15 ERA, 118 Strikeouts)
Wheeler looks like a lock to make his first National League All-Star team, consistently pitching deep into games, racking up strikeouts and giving the Phillies a chance to win. If he keeps it up, he should be in NL Cy Young consideration. Despite Wheeler having a great, oh wait, a stellar season so far, the Phillies are only 7-6 in his starts which include two 1 run losses.
Additionally, Wheeler has six no-decisions and only four wins, which in each of those six-no decisions, Wheeler’s thrown at least five innings and struck out at least six total batters. Lastly, three of his double-digit strikeout games have resulted in no-decisions for the possible All-Star.
20 For 20
Following a day off on Monday, the Washington Nationals open a six-game road trip on Tuesday night. It will start with a quick two-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies followed by a four-game series against the Miami Marlins.
Tonight’s game marks the first of 20 games in 20 days for the Nationals leading up to the 2021 All-Star break
In 16 games dating back to June 4, Washington’s starting rotation ranks second in Major League Baseball with a 1.81 ERA (17 ER/84.1 IP), a .200 opponents’ batting average, and a .579 opponents’ OPS. Additionally, Washington’s bullpen has offered scoreless relief in seven of the last eight games, pitching to a 0.52 ERA (1 ER/17.1 IP).
Over the last 11 games, the relievers have combined to pitch to a 0.84 ERA (3 ER/32.0 IP), the best mark in Major League Baseball since June 11. The Washington Nationals bullpen has inherited 12 runners across these 11 games and only one runner has come around to score.
Give Brad a Hand
Across his last 14 outings, Brad Hand has pitched to a 1.26 ERA (2 ER/14.1 IP) and has converted all 10 save opportunities over this stretch. Hand’s converted 12 straight save opportunities dating to May 16. Lastly, Hand’s 15 saves this season rank tied for sixth in the National League.
Game Lineups (Subject to Change)
Kyle Schwarber- CF
Trea Turner- SS
Juan Soto – RF
Yan Gomes – C
Starlin Castro – 3B
Josh Harrison – 2B
Victor Robles – CF
Max Scherzer – SP
Odubel Herrera – CF
Rhys Hoskins – 1B
J.T. Realmuto – C
Bryce Harper – RF
Andrew McCutchen – LF
Alec Bohm – 3B
Brad Miller – 2B
Ronald Torreyes – SS
Zack Wheeler – SP