Cy Young winners meet in Nationals-Phillies finale
WASHINGTON — A matchup of the pitchers who have accounted for the last three National League Cy Young Awards will decide the weekend series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
Scherzer, the NL Pitcher of the Month for April, allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings in his last start, a 12-4 Nationals win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. He also had an RBI single.
“I put up the zeros when I needed to,” Scherzer told MLB.com. “I was able to pitch with all four pitches. You go out there and you put up zeros and when you give your offense a chance, good things happen.”
Scherzer has dominated the Phillies, posting a 9-1 record with 2.58 ERA in 14 games. In 94 1/3 innings, he has struck out 108 batters and walked 19.
Arrieta is looking to bounce back from his shortest start of the season. He allowed eight hits, six runs and two walks in 3 2/3 innings in a loss to Miami on Monday.
“Everything was pretty normal going in. I felt good physically,” Arrieta told MLB.com. “Just timing, I was a tick late or a tick early and couldn’t find a middle ground. And then when I did it seems like everything I threw in the zone got hit with guys on base.”
Arrieta is 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA in nine starts against the Nationals.
The Phillies bounced back from Friday’s loss with a 3-1 victory Saturday. Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer and Vince Velasquez pitched five effective innings as the Phillies snapped Washington’s six-game win streak.
Velasquez (2-4) allowed one run and one hit in his first win since April 7. He also struck out four, walked four and hit a batter. He exited after throwing 92 pitches.
“We wanted to get him out of there feeling really good about himself,” Nationals manager Gave Kapler said. “He did a great job. One of the things I noticed about Vinny today was a little bit calmer demeanor. He’s a pretty hyped up guy.”
Wilmer Difo’s homer in the fifth was the only hit off Velasquez.
Four Philllies pitchers combined for four innings of one-hit relief. Hector Neris workied the ninth for his sixth save.
Trea Turner led off the Washington ninth with a walk and was running when Matt Wieters popped out to short right field. Turner, who slid into second, lost track of the ball and was easily doubled off first.
“Usually I hear the ball off the bat,” Turner said. “So a lot of times I’ll look up, but I didn’t hear it that time.”
In third baseman Rendon’s return, he went 0-for-2 with two walks after missing 19 games with what the team called a contusion to his toe.
“I felt good up there,” Rendon said. “Velasquez was moving the ball in and around the zone pretty well … Just couldn’t string any hits together.”