When the Phillies’ lineup for Tuesday night’s game was posted, there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm for their chances.
3 games out of a playoff spot and this is the line up we are trotting out there!? https://t.co/LFGtiWgh00— Robby Wendel (@ItsWendelBaby) August 31, 2021
Bryce deserves unanimous MVP for running out there with this squad https://t.co/S3AUgQfm6t— Dom Continenza (@DomConti26) August 31, 2021
There was one thing people forgot: The Nationals pitching staff sucks. Even though the non-Bryce Harper names in the Phillies’ lineup don’t seem that impressive, they continued to score a lot of runs; Twelve to be exact, marking the sixth game in a row where they’ve scored seven or more. The result of the outburst was a 12-6 win, their fifth in a row.
The starting pitchers were Patrick Corbin and Matt Moore, who have been two of the worst starting pitchers in the National League, and they lived up to that billing on Tuesday. Moore put the Phillies in an early 3-0 hole, and after the Phillies got two of them back, he promptly served up a two-run homer to emerging Phillies nemesis Carter Kieboom.
Carter Kieboom career home runs against the Phillies: 4— Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) September 1, 2021
Carter Kieboom career home runs against every team other than the Phillies: 4 https://t.co/0nFIYRR0Ac
Fortunately, the relievers who followed Moore had more success. Bailey Falter, Sam Coonrod, Jose Alvardo, and Hector Neris all had scoreless outings, before Enyel de los Santos gave up a run in the ninth.
That relief work allowed the Phillies’ offense to get to work. Their first runs came when Bryce Harper laid down a perfect bunt (It was actually a good spot for him to bunt!), and Andrew McCutchen (remember him?) put one over the fence.
So after Bryce Harper bunts for an infield hit, beating the shift, Andrew McCutchen hits a two-run homer to left. Nats lead, 3-2. pic.twitter.com/tMOORYs2On— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) September 1, 2021
A six-run sixth inning gave the Phillies a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. They had seven hits in the inning with the big blow coming off the bat of Rafael Marchan.
Every batter in the uncelebrated lineup had at least one hit, with newcomer Matt Vierling recording four of them. Bryce Harper continued to both push for the MVP as well as torture his former home fans with a 3-5, 2 RBI night. And the suddenly hot again Brad Miller piled on with a two-run homer in the ninth.
Unfortunately for the Phillies, the weather report in Washington doesn’t look promising for Wednesday. They may have to wait an extra day to attempt to extend their seven-or-more-runs streak to seven games. Maybe the weather will be able to slow down the Phillies momentum, because regardless of who’s been in the Phillies’ lineup, the Nationals pitching staff has proven woefully unable to do so.