PHILADELPHIA -- It was expected that a rematch of last week's duel between Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer would produce another showing of two dominant pitchers deploying their best stuff to edge out a win over a division rival and a competitor for the National League Cy Young Award.
But Odubel Herrera had other plans. After supplying the only offense in last week's 2-0 win over Washington at Nationals Park with a seventh-inning homer off Scherzer, Herrera again put the Phils on the board in Tuesday night's 5-4 loss at Citizens Bank Park by mashing a 2-2 fastball to the seats in right field for a solo shot in the fourth inning.
The homer continued Herrera's mastery of one of baseball's best pitchers. Through that at-bat, Herrera was hitting .341 against Scherzer with two home runs, three doubles, a triple and six walks.
In the fifth, the Phillies quickly gave Nola a larger cushion. After Scott Kingery hustled out an infield single, Jorge Alfaro crushed the first pitch he saw into the center-field bushes. The ball left Alfaro's bat at 101.3 mph and traveled a projected 418 feet, according to Statcast™. Prior to the at-bat, Alfaro had been 1-for-9 against Scherzer with seven strikeouts in his career.
The damage paid off the next inning, when the Nationals pinch-hit for Scherzer, ending his night after five innings and 99 pitches. Scherzer, who had gone at least six innings in each of his previous 25 starts, struck out five and allowed four hits.