While the Jonathan Papelbon blown save two nights ago was a sweet moment for many fans, the Phillies couldn't quite sneak out of a three-game series against the Nats without being beaten by a former Phil. Jayson Werth was a hero of yesteryear, long, long ago now. And as we were reminded this evening by the Phillies' television crew, he has now played more games in a Nationals uniform than a Phillies uniform, and that's just sort of hard to believe, isn't it?
He's also still willing to dial it in every now and again against his old club. Werth hit a pair of homers, his second multi-home game of the series, to lift the Nationals to a 12-2 victory in front of a relatively somber, small crowd at Citizens Bank Park.
Things couldn't have started any better for Alec Asher and the Phillies on Wednesday night. When you have an ERA over 10 in your first three starts, all you want is a clean, crisp first inning. Asher got that, including a strikeout, and looked as if he had a good fastball and solid slider.
From there, things turned south for the Phillies. Yes, we're at that stage in the season where the high point in the game is the first inning. Asher unraveled, allowing a homer to Werth in the 4th, and a pair of runs in the 5th. He lasted just five innings, scattering seven hits and surrendering four earned runs.
Asher hasn't done much thus far to prove that he's going to lock up a spot in the rotation for next spring. As a matter of fact, he's done everything to show the Phillies that they need to make alternative options for his career path, perhaps considering transitioning him full-time to the bullpen.
Bryce Harper launched his 40th home run of the season in the 7th inning, a towering blast to right-center field that literally turned Justin DeFratus' legs into Jello as he watched it sail into the heavens. Harper became the 6th player in MLB history with 40 HR in a season at age 22 or younger per Elias, though Keith Law had something to say about that, including Alex Rodriguez in the count. (As he should have, so we'll call it seven, as it should be.)
Another former Phil, or at least a minor league one, deserves mentioning as well. Gio Gonzalez was stout once again against the Phillies, lasting seven innings and allowing two earned runs. He walked just two batters while striking out 12 Phillies. The lone blemish was a two-run blast off the bat of Darin Ruf.
If you've seen a lot of Phillies games this season, you've seen the rest of this one. There is nothing else to say. Bad pitching, little offense, and not a whole lot of excitement. There are 15 games left to play.