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Phillies handle Nationals in Game 1 of doubleheader; 5-3

Game 1 of the Friday doubleheader got a little close for comfort, but the Phillies’ early scoring held the Nats off.

MLB: Game Two-Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Following up the 10-1 rout of the Nationals on Wednesday night was always going to be a tall order for the Phillies, however their hot start today proved to be enough. Despite only scoring 1 run after the 3rd inning, the Phillies were able to hold on to a 5-3 victory. The bats of Bohm, Castellanos, and Harper led the way offensively for the Phils, with Ranger Suarez picking up the win today.

Kyle Schwarber, who has been red hot this June, started everything with a lead-off double into right field. Just to get an idea of exactly how hot Schwarber has been, take a look at the top three players in baseball in slugging percentage this June:

You just got to love it when the Phils are hot.

Harper would follow up by reaching on an infield single, setting the table for Nicholas Castellanos, who also has been heating up as of late. Castellanos would rip a double into the right-center gap, notching the Phillies their first two runs of the afternoon.

The offense would get right back to business in the top of the 3rd inning, with some very familiar names. Harper led off the inning with a base hit, immediately followed up by yet another double from Castellanos, that hung in the air for so long that Juan Soto seemed to lose track of the baseball. With runners on second and third, Odubel Herrera played fundamentals with a sacrifice ground ball to second base, scoring Harper.

Alec Bohm would follow up with an absolute seed into deep right field, scoring Castellanos, and giving the Phillies a nice 4-0 lead.

Things on the offensive end would come to a screeching halt. However, let’s talk about Ranger Suarez.

This afternoon, it seemed as if we were looking at 2021 Ranger Suarez. He got off to a very strong first two innings, and despite giving up a run in the 3rd, things were still smooth sailing. Through his first 5 innings, Ranger notched 5 strikeouts, 3 hits, and 1 run. By the time we reached the 6th inning, Ranger started to lose his composure with the home plate umpire, and it showed as he gave up a lead off single to former Phillie Cesar Hernandez, followed by a 390 foot homer to right field from Josh Bell.

Ranger would give up another hit to yet another former Phillie, Maikel Franco, and then all of a sudden his day was done. Despite the shaky 6th, it was still a quality start for Ranger Suarez: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, and a win. Today, Ranger looked more and more like his 2021 self, for the most part.

The Phillies offense would score their fifth and final run in the 6th inning, in strange fashion. Bohm got it started with his third hit of the day, which would lead to Stubbs and Schwarber drawing walks to load up the bases with two outs for Rhys Hoskins. Bohm then scored on a pickoff error to first base from Nationals catcher Riley Adams.

The 7th inning is where things got... even weirder. Evan Lee had entered the game for the Nationals in the 6th inning, but the 7th is where the wheels came off. Lee walked Harper and Castellanos on four pitches each, including this wild pitch to Castellanos that may be the worst pitch I have ever seen thrown on the Major League level.

Nationals reliever Carl Edwards Jr. would enter the game, and initially was more of the same. He went on to walk Didi Gregorius on 4 pitches, and all together Lee and Edwards Jr. threw a combined 13 straight balls. Strikes were hard to come by, until Edwards suddenly flipped a switch. He would strike out Herrera, Bohm, and Stott all looking, and the Phillies somehow couldn’t manage to score a single run in this chaotic inning.

The Phillies brought out their three best bullpen arms for Game 1 of the doubleheader. Connor Brogdon, Seranthony Dominguez, and Brad Hand combined for: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, and 3 K. Hand earned the save, and the Phillies slammed the book shut on the Nats with a 5-3 victory, looking to handle business again in Game 2 at 7:05 pm EST.

MLB: Game Two-Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports