Just because the Washington Nationals are a bad team that recently traded away its two best players, it doesn’t mean a game against them is a guaranteed victory. Even the worst teams win games every once in a while, so the Phillies can’t just show up and expect to win. That’s why it was refreshing to see the Phillies jump all over the Nationals early on Friday night. Three first inning home runs combined with an excellent start from Kyle Gibson led to an easy 7-2 win.
Nationals’ starter Josiah Gray has given the Phillies some problems this season, but the Phillies showed that wouldn’t be the case on Friday. A good way to avoid an upset is by getting off to an early lead, and a good way to do that is by hitting three first inning home runs.
Rhys Hoskins started things off:
The Big Fella strikes again#RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/neYapettQC— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 5, 2022
Then Nick Castellanos continued his hot month of August with a two-run shot:
CRUSHED by Castellanos#RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/hSfC0HYQRM— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 5, 2022
Finally, Darick Hall chipped in:
Say it with us:— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 5, 2022
Long. Ball. Hall.#RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/zDuPsTVyn1
That seemed to take the fight out of the Nationals, as they spent most of the game not getting hits off of Kyle Gibson. Gibson was perfect through the first six innings, before hitting Victor Robles to start the seventh. That ended the perfect game, and Luis Garcia’s subsequent single ended the no-hitter.
Gibson got out of that inning unscathed but surrendered a run in the following inning. Still, a stellar night for Gibson in his first start coming off the bereavement list.
Kyle Gibson began with six perfect innings, and ended with eight frames of one-run baseball.— Alex Carr (@AlexCarrMLB) August 6, 2022
What a night for him -- and as @AH_Pod pointed out, this was his first start since the passing of his Grandmother. This one probably meant a bit more than the rest.
Not that Gibson needed the extra run support, J.T. Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber added home runs later in the game to make sure the Nationals didn’t even consider making a comeback.
The battle for playoff spots in the National League figures to be intense, and every win may count. If the Phillies want to be one of the teams to earn one of those spots, they need to continue to do what they did on Friday and pick up some easy wins when they can get them.