There was a milestone in the grasp of Joe Girardi tonight if the team could pull out a victory. All he needed to do was depend on his bullpen
The Phillies sent Aaron Nola to the mound, hoping that he could rebound from a poor start versus the Braves against the Nationals lineup that didn’t do much last night, but still possesses one of the transcendent talents in the game in Juan Soto. Soto being such a great hitter, he wasted no time is showing his hitting prowess by jacking a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning.
JUAN SOTO YOU ALREADY KNOW DOE pic.twitter.com/fYq1GSodnJ— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) August 26, 2020
That’s a high quality pitch that good hitters can do something with.
The Phillies didn’t waste any time equaling the score when Rhys Hoskins came up in the third.
From there, the game turned into a pitcher’s duel. Nola wasn’t exactly the sharp Nola, but boy did he battle. He kept hitters off balance with a nice mixture of his fastball and breaking stuff, meaning the Washington lineup couldn’t do much. Howie Kendrick was finally able to deliver an RBI single that gave the Nationals the lead again at 2-1
The Phillies lineup also wasn’t doing much and needed a hand from Soto to get something going. When Didi Gregorius laced a hard hit ball in his direction, Soto demonstrated how good a hitter he is by making an ill-advised dive that allowed Gregorius to reach third for a triple. Alec Bohm came up next, facing Will Harris and drove the first pitch he saw the opposite way to tie the game at 2. MVP candidate Bryce Harper then came up with two men on and two out and plunked a ball into left field for an RBI single that gave the Phillies the lead.
From there, Nola took over. It wasn’t easy, but he was effective. We even got to see Nola stretched a little bit when he went back out for the seventh inning, over 100 pitches, but he cruised relatively easily through that inning, ending the game at 113 pitches.
Tommy Hunter and Brandon Workman combined to shut down the Nationals the rest of the way, though Workman did make it a little more tense than usual in the ninth. The victory for the team gave Joe Girardi his 1,000th win as a manager, something the team celebrated postgame.
Joe Girardi on 1,000 wins— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) August 27, 2020
“The guys did a very nice thing for me. They got me a bottle of champagne. Bryce Harper made a great speech. It brought a tear to my eye”
Good for Joe. He’s been a breath of fresh air for the organization after the tumultuous reign of Gabe Kapler. Here’s hoping there are many, many more to come.