WASHINGTON — What a nightmare Tuesday was for the Nationals.
Losing 8-2 to the Phillies was one thing.
Watching ace Max Scherzer last only five innings was another.
Giving up three hits and a tape measure home run to Bryce Harper in his first game back in D.C. added insult to injury. Literally, because earlier in the game — and most importantly for them — the Nats lost shortstop and stolen base machine Trea Turner to a broken finger. He'll be out a little while, but a somber Dave Martinez didn't have much to add in the way of a timetable after the game.
Turner was hit on the right ring finger by a Zach Eflin pitch in the first inning. Turner was attempting to bunt but wrapped his fingers too far around the bat, like every young baseball player is instructed not to do for this very reason. He exited the game and X-rays revealed a non-displaced fracture in the throwing hand of a player the Nats just can't afford to lose.
With Harper now a Phillie, the Nats were relying on core offensive pieces in Turner, Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto and Adam Eaton. Soto is just 3 for 16 so far, and the injury bug has again bitten the top of the Nats' order. The Eaton-Turner pairing can be dynamic but they have barely played together. Eaton has missed 206 games the last two seasons and now Turner is sidelined.
The Phillies will see Wednesday who mans the two-hole now for their biggest threat to the NL East crown. It could be newcomer Brian Dozier, who's off to a slow start.
The Phils will have a chance Wednesday afternoon to improve to 5-0 and win a second straight series against an NL East team. It's Aaron Nola for the Phils and Anibal Sanchez for the Nats.
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