Max Scherzer was the Nationals pitcher who created a buzz on South Capitol Street as he was slated to pitch with a broken nose Wednesday night.
But if the underperforming club is going to climb back into the National League East race, the Nationals will need more outings like the one they got earlier in the day from mild-mannered Patrick Corbin.
Corbin had one of his best outings of the season in a 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, allowing just one run and four hits with eight strikeouts in six innings in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
“You just have to deal with it. You can’t control the weather. It is not ideal,” Corbin said, referring to the first two games of the series being postponed due to the weather.
“We followed Corbin’s heartbeat,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He was jacked up; two days chomping at the bit.”
The Nationals’ bizarre season took a gruesome turn the night before, when Scherzer fouled a baseball off his nose while attempting a bunt during batting practice before Tuesday’s rain-out.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner now has a black eye but took the mound in the nightcap Wednesday.
Corbin is in his first season with Washington after six years with the Diamondbacks.
The lefty from upstate New York gave up a solo homer to Scott Kingery as the Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but settled down after that.
Tanner Rainey pitched a scoreless eighth and the Nationals were able to avoid using closer Sean Doolittle, who was warming up in the eighth before Washington added on three runs.
Since being called up from Triple-A Fresno last month, Rainey has a 2.03 ERA in 14 games with 19 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings.
At the plate, the Nationals got homers from Gerardo Parra and Brian Dozier, the second baseman who also had a double and three RBI, in the eighth. Parra broke a tie with an RBI double in the fourth on a day he changed his walk-up song to “Baby Shark” since his two-year-old daughter likes it.
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