Nola fanned Trea Turner to start the game, then Max Muncy and Will Smith. Relying on his break, he hit the side again in the third for seven strikeouts – all swinging – in the first three innings.
Scherzer, who was still in DC when he recently argued with Girardi over sticky stuff, was just as astute. He beat Harper, an aspiring MVP candidate, in fourth for his sixth strikeout. Jean Segura did a single and then it rained in a hurry.
One second there was no breath in the sky and the next the lock gates opened, causing the teams to scamper off the field and the ground crew to get going with the tarpaulin at Allyson Felix’s pace.
Minus the rain, this one had a post-season feeling.
Harper, the cornerstone of right field, said Sunday the formula for her climb to the first was simple.
“Good baseball,” he said. “We’re just ready to play every day. Not that we weren’t there before. But it’s time to go It’s time to win ball games and play well. “
Note that on August 1st, the Phillies finished third and 4½ games behind the Mets for first place in the NL East. The eight-game series, including a weekend sweep over New York, put the Phillies alone in first place in the division and two games ahead of Atlanta.