The Phillies became the majors’ first 90-loss team of 2015 as they were beaten, 4-0, by the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.
Stephen Strasburg pitched a gem and National League MVP candidate Bryce Harper homered twice for Washington.
The Phillies, who had just one hit on the night, are a majors-worst 56-90.
This is the Phils’ first 90-loss season since they put up 97 losses in 2000. The question now is: Can they avoid losing 100 for the first time since 1961?
Starting pitching report
David Buchanan showed improvement from recent big-league outings as he held the Nats to two runs over six innings. He walked two and struck out five. One of the hits was a solo home run by Harper with two outs in the first inning. It traveled 425 feet to center field.
Buchanan had been tagged for 31 hits and six walks in his previous three big-league starts. He is 2-9 with an 8.49 ERA in 12 starts with the big club. He entered the game with an ERA of 9.11 ERA.
Strasburg (9-7) dominated the Phillies for eight shutout innings. He allowed just one hit, walked one and matched a career-high with 14 strikeouts. It was the 19th double-digit strikeout game of his career.
Strasburg improved to 7-2 in his career against the Phillies.
Blake Treinen closed it out for Washington.
At the plate
The Phillies were held to a season-low one hit. Cody Asche provided it with a fifth-inning single to right.
Harper, Washington’s 22-year-old man-child, drove in all four of his team’s runs to give him 90 RBIs on the season.
He followed up Monday night’s home run with two more in this game. He belted a solo shot in the first inning and a two-run shot in the eighth, giving him 39 on the season, the most in the NL. He added an RBI single in the third inning.
Ryan Howard was out of the lineup with a left knee contusion. Howard had to have the knee drained Monday night (see story).
The series and the homestand conclude on Wednesday night. Righty Alec Asher (0-3, 10.67) will pitch for the Phillies against lefty Gio Gonzalez (10-7, 3.88).