October 16, 2019

Nats Nightly: Nationals 2-1 over Phillies – Max Scherzer does it all in D.C.

Dave Nichols of District Sports Page and Patrick Reddington and Doghouse of Federal Baseball discuss the Washington Nationals 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Washington Nationals Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

For the first time this season the Nationals open up a series in sole possession of first place. After a two-game sweep of the Yankees (and two days off in four days), the Nationals (24-17) are a half-game in front of the Mets as they welcome the Phillies (18-25) to Nationals Park.

The Phillies still have the likes of Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon, likely to be surrounded by trade rumors until the trade deadline in July. But they’ve won seven out of nine in their best stretch of the season so far, and have shown no urgency to unload some of their veteran chips.

The Nationals are red hot, having won five in a row. They are also 12-6 at Nationals Park so far this year.

*The Last Time…

This is already the third series between the Nationals and Phillies this season. The teams played seven times in April, with the Phillies taking two out of three in Philadelphia and the Nationals taking three out of four in Washington.

*In The Other Dugout

The Phillies were not expected to do much in 2015. They’re not exactly blowing away expectations, but they have had a recent stretch of success. A six game winning streak helped lift them out of the division’s basement, and coupled with the Marlins’ current seven game losing streak, has the Phillies a game and a half in front of Miami. The Marlins suddenly look like a better bet to be the laughingstock of the National League East rather than the Phillies.

Because no matter how bad things get in Philadelphia this year, they are not very likely to see their general manager take over managerial duties on the field.

*Matchup To Watch

As though we needed any reason to believe Bryce Harper will stay hot: he was 2 for 5 with two home runs in the two games O’Sullivan pitched against the Nationals in April.

*Probables

Friday, 7:05pm: Sean O’Sullivan (1-2, 3.68 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (4-3, 1.75 ERA)

Saturday, 4:05pm: Cole Hamels (4-3, 3.24 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (3-4, 5.98 ERA)

Sunday, 1:35pm: Aaron Harang (4-3, 1.82 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.94 ERA)

Washington Nationals Game 6 Review: Nats salvage Sunday in extras

Thus far into the 2015 campaign for the Washington Nationals, we’ve seen the offense struggle to score runs. Sunday in Philadelphia in the finale of the three-game set was no different. But the Nats scored twice in the top of the tenth, then survived a shaky bottom of the inning from Drew Storen, to salvage the matinee, 4-3, before 30,094 at Citizens Bank Park.

Yunel Escobar led off the decisive inning with a double to right field. After a failed sacrifice attempt, Bryce Harper grounded to first and Escobar moved up to third. The Phillies brought in Justin De Fratus, and the new reliever preceded to throw one away and Escobar came in to score.

Clint Robinson then doubled to center, and he scored on Wilson Ramos’ line drive single to left.

Storen came on in the bottom of the inning, and walked Freddy Galvis and Cody Asche to lead off the frame. Storen got Grady Sizemore swinging and Chase Utley flied out to right, with Galvis tagging and going to third. But rookie Odubel Herrera’s infield single brought in Galvis to cut the lead to one.

But Storen coaxed a grounder to the right of first baseman Ryan Zimmerman by Cesar Hernandez. Zimmerman snagged the grounder and tossed to Storen covering, recording Storen’s second save of the season.

Max Scherzer made his second start of the season, and once again was staller with no decision. He allowed one run on six hits and two walk in six innings, striking out eight. He left with a 2-1 lead, but reliever Xavier Cedeno gave up a solo home run to pinch-hitter Darin Ruf, the first batter he faced in the seventh inning.

The Nats took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, as Bryce Harper drilled his second homer of the year. against Phillies starter Sean O’Sullivan. They picked up another run in the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman singled to left to lead off. Robinson singled to right and Zimmerman went to third. Ramos lofted a sacrifice fly to right, and Zimmerman made it 2-0.

HERO: Wilson Ramos. The catcher was 1 for 4, but drove in two of the Nats’ four runs.

GOAT: Matt Williams. Asking Harper, who homered earlier in the game, to bunt in the 10th was more than just a curious choice. The Nats pushed across the winning runs in the inning despite their manager’s poor strategic choice. Simply, asking your best power hitter and third place hitter to bunt is wrong.

NATS NOTES:

  • Back in the saddle: Jayson Werth, after a short rehab assignment with High-A Potomac, rejoined the team for its road trip to Boston and is expected to be reactivated for the series against the Red Sox on Monday.
  • First win: Aaron Barrett made his first appearance, notching the win. He pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out two.
  • Unforced errors: The Nats made another error on Sunday, with Wilson Ramos charged with a throwing error.
  • Making the most: Clint Robinson was 3 for 5 and he owns a .400 batting average so far this season.
  • Tough day: Michael Taylor went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

NEXT GAME: At Boston at 3:05 pm. Jordan Zimmerman (1-0, 1.50) faces Rick Porcello (0-1, 4.50).

 

Washington Nationals Game 141: LaRoche Helps Nats Sneak Past Phillies with 3-2 Win

First baseman Adam LaRoche went 2-for-4 with two home runs to help the Washington Nationals to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon.

In addition to LaRoche’s two runs scored, Ian Desmond crossed the plate once to account for the third run on a day in which both starting pitchers came through with decent outings.

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez (W, 8-9) had the upper hand throughout the game, however. Through six innings pitched, he allowed just two runs – one earned – over five hits and three strikeouts. For Philly, Cole Hamels dealt three earned runs over seven hits, three walks and seven strikeouts through 6.1 innings.

Philadelphia came up with the unearned run early when, with two outs and Grady Sizemore on first, Marlon Byrd singled up the middle. On the play, Denard Span committed a throwing error, which allowed Sizemore to score and brought Byrd to third. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 139 Review: Nats Waste Five-Run Lead, Fall to Phils in 11

Washington Nationals reliever Rafael Soriano did little to ensure his job security Friday night.

In a game in which the Nats led by as many as five runs over the Philadelphia Phillies, the 34-year-old right-hander took the mound in the ninth with three runs padding the Nats’ pathway to a win.

Instead, Soriano allowed a lead-off single to Domonic Brown and a two-run homer off the bat of Carlos Ruiz, pulling the Phillies within a run as they trailed 7-6.

Just an out later, Philadelphia came up with that run, by way of a Ben Revere solo shot to right.

The blown save marks Soriano’s seventh of the season.

Meanwhile, Tyler Clippard did his part to keep a Curly W within reach, but Craig Stammen had no such luck thanks to two costly mistakes by Nats’ fielders.

The eleventh inning started off with a fielding error by Bryce Harper that allowed Brown to reach second base. Brown advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt laid down by Ruiz and came home on a fielder’s choice by Maikel Franco. On the play, covering first base, Tyler Moore committed a throwing error that allowed Franco to advance to second. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals vs Philadelphia Phillies Series Preview

After taking two-of-three from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Washington Nationals now return home to take on the Philadelphia Phillies in a three-game series.

Teams

Washington Nationals (79-59, 1st in NL East) vs Philadelphia Phillies (64-75, 5th in NL East) [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 129 Review: Phillies Defeat Nats in Pitchers Duel

ROARK, BURNETT ENGAGE IN PITCHERS DUEL IN PHILLY

Playing in Citizens Bank Park in the City of Brotherly Love, the Washington Nationals suffered their second defeat in their last 14 games, losing to the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-2. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals vs Philadelphia Phillies Series Preview

After dramatically taking two-of-three from the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals now head north for a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 109 Review: Nats Shut Out Phillies to Earn Series Split

For the second day in a row, the Washington Nationals shut out the Philadelphia Phillies, this time to win by the score of 4-0 Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park.

Nats right-hander Stephen Strasburg pitched a gem, allowing just three hits while striking out ten and walking just one batter over seven innings pitched. He was perfect through the first two innings, and retired nine of his first 10 batters faced.

In the meantime, the Nats broke little ground against Phillies starter Cole Hamels. In fact, the 6-6 starter allowed just one unearned run and one more hit than his counterpart – but, it was enough to earn him the loss.

Nevertheless, it was not without effort that the Nats posted a run against Hamels.

In the bottom of the third, Jose Lobaton reached first with one out on a fielding error by third baseman Cody Asche. Lobaton took second on a perfect bunt by Strasburg, and came home on a single by Denard Span before Anthony Rendon lined out to end the inning.

Philadelphia had few opportunities to score, but they came up empty in each.

Jimmy Rollins led off the fourth with a single up the middle and stole second, but no one was able to bat him in.

In the fifth, the Phillies found themselves in a similar situation as Asche doubled with two outs but got nowhere.

Then, when Philadelphia called in Ken Giles for relief in the bottom of the eighth, Washington earned its insurance runs almost immediately.

Span led off with a walk and came home on a double by Rendon before Rendon himself scored on a double by Jayson Werth. Giles intentionally walked Adam LaRoche to get to Ian Desmond, who struck out swinging, but the Phillies then called on reliever Jake Diekman to stop the bleeding.

Before doing so, he lobbed a run-scoring wild pitch, allowing the Nats to make it 4-0 before the inning came to a close.

 

THE GOOD: The Nats proved they could follow up a powerhouse performance from Saturday’s 11-0 rout with yet another lights-out performance. Stephen Strasburg was superb, allowing just three hits and striking out 10 for the fifth time in his career.

THE BAD: Ian Desmond and Asdrubal Cabrera each went 0-for-4 on the day. Desmond struck out twice and Cabrera K’d once.

THE STATS: 4 R, 6 H, 3 BB, 9 K, 2-for-6 RISP, 6 LOB

Washington Nationals Game 108 Review: Rendon’s Four RBIs Help Nats Topple Phils

Anthony Rendon went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs to lead the Washington Nationals to a dazzling 11-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday night at Nationals Park.

For weeks, the Nats have struggled offensively – having gone nine games without a home run, a streak in which the team’s highest run total was six, in a crushing defeat to the Miami Marlins.

But, on Saturday night against Philadelphia starter A.J. Burnett, the Nats seemingly made up for the slump in a matter of innings.

After Anthony Rendon’s first-inning single knocked in the Nats’ first run of the game, he returned in the second only to power a three-run shot over the center-field wall that made it 5-0 Nationals.

The early push sparked all the momentum needed to help each of the starting Nationals tally at least one hit in Saturday’s contest, including starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, who added a run himself to the Nats’ tally by day’s end.

Zimmermann was sharp on the mound as well, backed by Rendon’s early insurance. In seven innings pitched, Zimmermann allowed no runs on five hits and no walks while striking out eight batters through 97 total pitches. The win marked the 50th of his career and just hist first in five starts.

Burnett on the other hand struggled through his short stint, lasting just 1.2 innings.

Due to a fielding error by second baseman Chase Utley to help start the second inning, only one of Burnett’s five runs allowed was considered earned. But, the starter’s three hits and two walks allowed didn’t help matters much.

From there, Philadelphia reliever Phillippe Aumont brought things from bad to orse for the Phillies. [Read more…]

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