Rocked Nationals

By: Matthew Mack

Washington Nationals came to Philly for a  four-game series against the Phillies. The Nats were on a four-game losing streak when the series started.

In the first game, Washington started the scoring in the fourth inning when Josh Bell hit a triple, scoring Alcides Escobar.  Josh Harrison hit a triple that scored Bell. To top it off Geraldo Parra brought in Harrison on an RBI single.  Spencer Howard was pulled out of the game with a blister on his finger. Brandon Kinzler filled in for Howard and gave up another run. The Phillies answered back in the sixth with a Rhys Hoskins three-run blast to put them on the board. Didi Gregorius’ error in the ninth extended Washington’s lead when he bobbled a high chopper behind the mound, scoring Escobar. On the other side of the ninth with a runner at third, Nationals walk Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen made them pay. With a three-run home run to walk off to win it for the Phils six-five.

In the second game, the Nationals started off the game with Josh Bell and Juan Soto slamming three-run homers apiece. In the first inning, Trea Turner was pulled from the game after he tested positive for COVID-19. Sandwiched in the middle of the home runs, Harper hit a sharp liner to right for an RBI double. After the first two innings, the score was 6-1. The game felt like it was about to be out to reach. Odubel Herrera chipped into the Nats lead in the fourth with a double to right to score Hoskins. In the next inning, Harper and McCutchen woke up Citizen Bank Park and electrified the fans with back-to-back home runs. Harper’s was an inside-the-park home run that got things really going for the Phils. Six to four, at that point. In the eighth, Andrew Knapp came in to pinch hit for the pitcher Connor Brogdon. With runners on first and second with two out, Knapp launched a drive to left that looked like more damage would be done. However it fell short as Parra caught it for the third out on the warning track. In the ninth, the Phils fell short as the Nats won the game six-four.

The third game of the series was postponed to Thursday due to the Nationals team having COVID issues. When the calendar turned to the next day, Max Scherzer and Zach Wheeler locked horns once more on the mound. In the middle of this pitching duel, Geraldo Parra brought home Josh Harrison with a sacrifice fly to left in the second inning. J.T. Realmuto slammed a solo home run in the fourth inning to tie the game. Both pitchers held each team to one run all the way until the seventh when Yan Gomes hit a two run blast over the center field fence to take the lead. Scherzer, who was later traded to the Dodgers in the day, went six innings, giving up one run and five strikeouts. While Wheeler pitched a complete game giving up all the runs while striking out five as well. Nationals won this one three-one in game one of the doubleheader.

Game two of the doubleheader started out bleak for the Phillies. In the first three innings, Washington collected six runs and looked like they were about to run away with this. In the mess, Yadiel Hernandez came up with bases loaded in the first to clear them with a three-run RBI double. Tres Barrera doubled in a run. Though the umpires checked it with New York, the call stood as a double. In the second, Harrison slammed a two run homer to left. In the third, Segura pulled Rafael Marchan off home plate, scoring another run for the Nationals.  The Phillies would not go away.  Hoskins hit a home run in the third. McCutchen and Alec Bohm hit back-to-back home runs to start the fourth. Both men hit more RBIs later to pull them within two. In the seventh, Realmuto, with the bases loaded, knocked in a two run RBI single to tie the game and send it to extra innings. In the eighth, Ryan Zimmerman hit a ball up the middle to score Soto to give Washington the lead. In the bottom half, with the bases loaded, Brad Miller hit a walk-off grand slam to end the game and win it for the Phils, 11-eight.

The Phillies now head to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates this weekend. With the deadline looming, this franchise needs to get some pitching help. With the Cubs and Nationals being big sellers, the Phillies need to add more in their rotation.

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