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Delaying the inevitable: Phillies 7, Nationals 5

It took some time, but the Phillies completed the sweep of the Nationals

MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies
Rhys Hoskins put a hurting on Nationals pitching on Sunday
Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a rain delay of about three and a half hours, Sunday’s game between the Phillies and Nationals took over seven hours to complete. However, the delay couldn’t change the reality that when the Phillies play the Nationals, the Phillies almost always win. On Sunday, home runs by Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm were the key factors in a 7-5 Phillies win.

If you wanted to be able to watch both the Phillies and Eagles on Sunday, then you might be happy about the delay. If you happened to have tickets to the game, you were probably less excited about the game being suspended for over three hours.

Before the delay, the Phillies got off to a good start when Bryce Harper’s first inning double staked them to a 1-0 lead. That’s how it stood after two innings when play was suspended. Unfortunately, Aaron Nola had pitched the first two innings, and would not be able to return after such a long wait. Last year, in a similar situation when a weather delay seemed inevitable, Joe Girardi chose to hold off his scheduled starter. Thomson declined such a tactic this time around, and it looked like it might cost them.

Asking the Phillies’ bullpen to cover seven innings is always a worrisome prospect, and it didn’t make anyone feel better when Cristopher Sanchez immediately gave up three runs after play resumed.

The good news is that the Nats’ bullpen also had to cover seven innings. Rhys Hoskins erased the deficit with one swing of the bat.

The Nats retook the lead in the following inning, but Hoskins tied it up again with a sacrifice fly in the bottom half. The game remained tied until Alec Bohm stepped up in the seventh.

The final three innings went smoothly. The return of Seranthony Dominguez was a success, and his presence should make everyone feel better about the state of the bullpen. Heck, even David Robertson looked sharp in the ninth, although it’s possible that Nats hitters just wanted the game to be over at that point.

The Phillies have now won five of their last six, and the win put them at 13-2 against the Nats in 2022. With four more games scheduled against their division rivals this season, they’ll need to keep finding ways to win these games, no matter how long it takes.