After play was stopped three times due to a lighting malfunction at Nationals Park, last night’s game between the Dodgers and Nationals was suspended in the top of the sixth inning and will resume this afternoon at 2:05 p.m. ET.
The outage consisted of a bank of lights along the third base line. The timing here is interesting, as this was the first game at Nationals Park since Taylor Swift performed two concerts at the stadium during the All-Star break. Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer took to Twitter to jokingly share his hunch about the cause of the outage:
Scherzer obviously just wants Swift to write a song about him on her next record. It’s worth a shot.
Meanwhile, Nationals slugger Bryce Harper has his own theory:
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.