This team, right? This team! I love this team!
It started so, so well. Stephen Strasburg allowed two walks in the second inning, and Freddy Galvis knocked in a single to make him pay. In the fifth inning, Andrew Knapp doubled and would come around to score on a single from Cesar Hernandez. Then Hernandez would score when Howie Kendrick (who is hitting .429 by the way) doubled.
That whole time, Jeremy Hellickson was straight dealing. Through five innings, he allowed just one hit and one walk. He looked so good. But during his warm-up pitches before the sixth, he called out the trainer, who looked like he was trying to massage his hand. He left the game due to what we now know was a forearm cramp, so thankfully it doesn’t seem to be much to worry about. Joaquin Benoit, Pat Neshek, and Hector Neris held down the next three innings without incident.
And then Jeanmar Gomez stepped onto the mound. He had a great outing a just a few days ago, right? He was sure to be back to normal, right?
NOPE. N. O. P. E.
In the ninth inning, Gomez he gave up a single to Adam Lind, and then walked Jayson Werth. There were two outs, he could have gotten out of it. But he didn’t. He allowed a three-run home run to Ryan Zimmerman, and the game was tied.
Gomez’s ERA is now a crisp 15.00, by the way.
So we started over in the bottom of the ninth. The Nationals sent Koda Glover to the mound, and the Phillies sent Daniel Nava to the plate to lead-off. He drew a walk, and after Andrew Knapp flied out, Freddy Galvis singled and now there were two men on with one out. Strike that, two outs, because Brock Stassi popped out to second.
Cesar Hernandez came up next, and if you want to know if there might be in a little magic in this team, this should prove it. Cesar’s game winning hit splintered his bat, and landed just barely in front of Werth in left field. Daniel Nava scored, and there was much celebration.
This is the first time since April 10-12, 2015 that the Phillies have won a series against the Nationals, which is incredible. Last year, the Nationals punished the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. They won only one game against them at CBP the entire year. Just a few games into 2017, the Phillies have surpassed that mark. So no matter what happens the rest of the season, we can look at that and remember the series where the Phillies punished the Nationals.