Game #141 Max Scherzer returns with a bruised soleus — and a strong soul!

Six days ago Max Scherzer took a blazing comebacker off of his left calf muscle in Milwaukee. You could see him wincing in pain when it happened and Scherzer stayed in the game for more than 4 innings to complete a 5 inning shutout. Not much can keep Max Scherzer down.  That same week, Scherzer and his wife Erica-May had much on their minds besides baseball as their compassion for people and animals goes deep. After the hurricanes in Houston, the Scherzer’s were paying from their own pockets for homeless animals that needed help. It weighed on Scherzer as he spoke to the media. It takes a person with a strong soul to deal with “life” issues aside from this great game of baseball that for some becomes all encompassing.

For Scherzer, he is a constant warrior on the field, but this time he admitted that it was tough when the muscle in his leg tightened up on him to the point he couldn’t run or even walk down the steps into the dugout.

“That’s one of the worst spots to get hit, no matter how hard or soft it is,” Scherzer said. “It tightened up in the second [inning] and was basically at the same level of tightness all of the way through. I could pitch on it — but I couldn’t run. I could feel it in my mechanics that I was still getting through the ball, so I knew I wasn’t in danger of hurting my arm.”

All eyes will be on Max Scherzer to see how his leg is tonight. The game in and of itself this evening is almost meaningless in the full scope of where this Washington Nationals team is in the standings. The Nationals are just 4 “Magic Numbers” away from clinch their 4th NL East championship in just 6 years, and if the Marlins lose any games before the Nationals win their next 4 games then the Nationals do not even have to win 4 games. It is how the Magic Number formula works. With 22 games remaining to get the 4 win combination to clinch the NL East, the Nationals do not have to push Max Scherzer or frankly, any other player. Truthfully, the Nationals could play 9 replacement players every game for the rest of the regular season and still win the NL East. They won’t do that, but you get the point.

The Phillies will pitch their young righty Jake Thompson in tonight’s game. The Nationals have faced him a couple of times before. Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon have good stats against him while Trea Turner hasn’t had much luck. 

While all eyes are on Max Scherzer, the Nationals newest call-up, Victor Robles, is ready for action. Robles was the youngest player to debut this season at the ripe age of 20 years and 111 days old as well as becoming only the 19,156th player in MLB history to statistically play in a big league game. If you are a Lego builder, you know the 19,156th piece in their inventory is this intimidating figure who looks like he is ready to steal something. Robles will steal a base or the pitcher’s per diem lunch money. Off the field, he is a jovial kid who loves everything and everyone. “Muchos Guapos or Swaggy V.” posed for this great picture (below) with some of his new teammates who are all from the Dominican Republic.

Screenshot from the Nationals Instagram of the Dominican Republic’s “The Rookies”

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium:   Nationals Park
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, Comcast – Philadelphia, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM®  Sirius 145 XM 189 (Internet 869)

Line-ups subject to change (without notice):

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