The Force is With the Phils; Breaks Nats Six Game Winning Streak

The Nationals celebrated Star Wars for their second game with the Phillies. The lineup looked more like the Syracuse Chiefs, with only Bryce Harper and the just returning from the disabled list Anthony Rendon the only starters. Wilmer Difo was at short, Howie Kendrick was at second, Matt Adams first and Andrew Stevenson and Rafael Bautista patrolled the outfield with Harper. Pedro Severino was behind the plate.

Vince Velasquez sliced through this overmatched offense, with only his inability to find the plate keeping his outing short. In four innings the only baserunners he allowed were his three walks and a hit batsman. He gave up his only hit to Wilmer Difo in the fifth, a ball he smoked into the Nationals bullpen in right field. Another walk in the inning put his pitch count at 92. The bullpen came on to finish the game in the sixth.

Tanner Roark got the start for the Nationals. Cesar Hernandez started the game with a bloop single to left field. Rhys Hoskins followed by blasting one into the third row of the centerfield red seats to give the Phillies an early 2-0 lead. Roark settled down after that.

In the sixth Carlos Santana hit a triple into the right field corner. Santana ran more like a 22 year old centerfield prospect than a 32 year old designated hitter playing first base. Maikel Franco drove him in lining a single to center. Tanner struck out the next two batters. He faced just two hitters in the seventh before being replaced by Sammy Solis.

The Nationals had an opportunity to score in the sixth off A.J. Ramos, with Andrew Stevenson slapping a single and Pedro Severino drawing his third walk of the game. Rafael Bautista topped a grounder to third toward the bag. Franco alertly stepped on the bag and rifled a throw to first to end the inning with a double play.

In the top of the ninth the Phillies loaded the bases with one out off Nationals rookie Wander Suero. Cesar Hernandez hit a hard grounder to the drawn in shortstop Wilmer Difo, who threw home to retire Nick Williams. Rhys Hoskins appeared to have jacked his second homer of the day, this one a grand slam, but Rafael Bautista was able to reach it just shy of the wall for the third out.

In the bottom frame pinch hitter Trea Turner led off the inning with a walk. He broke for second when pinch hitter Matt Wieters hit a high popup to second base. Turner claimed he did not hear the ball off the bat, slid into second. Pedro Florimon applied a tag to Turner even though he did not have the ball. Turner brushed himself off at second as Hernandez caught the popup and threw to second to double off the duped Turner.

Game Notes: Myworld was impressed with the defense of Maikel Franco at third. He caught two popups after long runs and also made a nice double play in the critical sixth inning to kill a Nationals rally…Myworld was also impressed with the speed of Carlos Santana on a triple into the right field corner. He looked more like a 22 year old centerfield prospect than a 32 year old firstbaseman…The game dragged on with 14 walks and nine hits. National pitchers combined to walk eight hitters. The lineup that appeared to resemble the Syracuse Chiefs was held to just two hits…Tanner Roark does not have the velocity he once had, the pitch sitting more at 90. His curveball is an excellent swing and miss pitch…Odubel Herrera got on base in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to 34 games….Ryan Zimmerman was a late scratch from the lineup with stiffness to his side.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.