After the Phillies' 5-2 loss Friday night, outfielder Ben Revere said he believes the numbers Scherzer had been posting coming into the game were on his teammates' minds. And how could they not be? The right-hander had tossed back-to-back shutouts and allowed just one hit and three total baserunners in those games while he struck out 26.
As Phillies starter Aaron Harang put it, Scherzer "is the best pitcher in baseball right now."
So as a player who came into the game off the bench, Revere said he observed his teammates' approach and thought they were trying to do a little too much at the beginning of the game.
"A bunch of young guys today, I think they just went after him, trying to get him early as much as possible," Revere said. "That was the main thing. I guess everybody was thinking about him trying to throw another no-hitter."
In trying to prevent a no-no, the Phillies almost walked into one. Scherzer was perfect through 5 1/3 innings Friday night, not allowing a baserunner until Freddy Galvis doubled down the right-field line in the sixth. After that hit though, the Phillies exposed some of Scherzer's mistakes, recording four more hits and two runs, one of which came via an unlikely source.
Pinch-hitting for pitcher Jeanmar Gomez in the eighth inning, Revere pulled a 93-mph fastball over the right-field wall for a solo home run, just his third homer in 2,194 career at-bats. Not used to exercising his power stroke, Revere was taken aback by the sheer fact that he hit a home run.
"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Revere said. "I thought it was a pop fly at first, so I'm just going to run the ball out. Then I heard the crowd start cheering. I thought it was off the fence and I was like, 'I don't see it.' Then I saw the umpire waving his hand around."
Revere's home run was the Phillies' second run off Scherzer. The first came off a Domonic Brown double in the seventh inning that plated Cesar Hernandez. But despite the fact that Brown was the one who broke up Scherzer's streak of 24 2/3 scoreless innings, he couldn't focus on the positives after the game, as that hit was far from his only contribution of the night.
Brown made a fielding error in the fifth inning that allowed a run to score with two outs, and he got himself caught in a pickle between third base and home and was tagged out by Nats closer Drew Storen to end the game.
Interim manager Pete Mackanin bluntly said that Brown did not make the right decision.
"Dom's got to realize that his run doesn't mean anything, and almost anticipate that he's not going to be sent," Mackanin said. "He was very aggressive trying to make something happen, and it was the wrong move."
Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.