Trea Turner provided nearly every bit of offense the Nationals needed to take down the Phillies Friday night, capping his effort with a walk-off, two-run homer to dead center to send everybody home and spare the Phillies from stretching their thin bullpen even thinner. That that's the second-biggest positive takeaway from this game is about all you need to know.
The biggest positive, though, is that Jake Thompson continued his string of solid starts with his third straight quality outing, allowing two runs on five hits over 5.1, with five strikeouts and (importantly) just one walk. Thompson flashed an above-average changeup that did a fair bit of damage, and his off-speed repertoire continues to improve as the season ages. He's still lugging around a 1-5 record and 6.05 ERA, but refinements are beginning to show. He also added a power double to the opposite field, for good measure.
Cameron Rupp continued his fine season with a game-tying, three-run shot over the bullpen in left-center in the eighth, reviving a squad that had been stymied once more by the obdurate Tanner Roark through six strong innings. The homer, Rupp's 15th, makes him the first Phillies catcher in four years to hit that many in a season, and only the second since Mike Lieberthal hit 17 in 2004.
Odubel Herrera left the game not long after being hit by a pitch in the fourth. It appears doubtful he'll play tomorrow, but the injury doesn't seem serious. Torito had a first-inning double to his credit before being lifted in favor of Aaron Altherr, just his fourth hit in the month of September.
Roark's dominance of the Phillies is worth additional mention, though. This was his fifth start against the club in 2016, and he's allowed just three runs over the 34 innings those starts comprise. He didn't go seven innings Friday, though. Only six. Eighteen outs instead of 21. Hey, take what you can get. And in the seasonal dominance department, Daniel Murphy hit his 41st double, a new career high for the guy enjoying a putridly torrid .345/.390/.597 season.
Here's a win probability graph, accurately reflecting a game that was briefly exciting before ending poorly:
Turner's .521 WPA, for what it's worth, is the second-best single-game performance by that measure against the Phillies this season. The best? Also by a Nat: Jayson Werth back on June 12.
The Phillies, whose sole purpose to the league for the rest of this season is as a potential spoiler, spoiled their chance to spoil. But, on the other hand, that doesn't help the Mets. Like we said, take what you can get.
The Phils and Nats reprise their dance tomorrow in what is, by far, the most interesting pitching matchup, as Jerad Eickhoff squares off against Max Scherzer at 7:05 ET.