The Phillies were six innings into what was looking like it was going to be another devastating loss to the Nationals. They were down 3-0 and they were struggling to get any offense going against a starter in Jake Irvin who entered with a 4.76 ERA. Irvin shut down Philadelphia through six innings, allowing five hits, two walks, and collecting 7 strikeouts. They were 1-4 with runners in scoring position but couldn’t score due to outs on the bases and strikeouts in clutch moments.
But then the 7th inning happened.
Johan Rojas struck out to begin the inning against newly entered Nats pitcher Jose A. Ferrer. Kyle Schwarber then drew a five pitch walk before Alec Bohm singled, putting runners on first and second with one out. Bryce Harper stepped up to the plate and grounded into a near inning ending double play but was safe at first, putting runners at the corners with two outs. It appeared the Phillies were about to waste another golden scoring opportunity in an afternoon that didn’t have many.
Andres Machado replaced Ferrer and was tasked with getting Nick Castellanos out to end the inning.
Castellanos hammered a sinker that was left up in the zone to right center for a three-run home run, tying the game at 3-3 and rejuvenating a stagnant Phillies offense.
Phillies starter Cristopher Sanchez also exited after six innings but delivered a quality start with 3 runs (2 earned) on seven hits and 5 K’s. Seranthony Dominguez was called upon to deliver a shutdown inning in the now-tied ballgame. He accomplished that task, but not without a little adventure first.
Dominguez got Jake Alu to groundout to begin the inning but failed to record an out on a ball bunt back to him by Alex Call. In fact, Call was able to go all the way to third thanks to a throwing error from Dominguez. But Dominguez was able to get the next two batters to fly out to Schwarber and not allow the run to score.
Trea Turner led off the eighth inning with a home run to left, putting the Phillies ahead for the first time in the game. Turner laid off two breaking balls outside the zone to get to 2-0 and then drove a middle in fastball over the left field wall for his 13th home run of the season.
But the fun was just getting started. J.T. Realmuto singled up the middle after Turner and advanced to second on a Jake Cave groundout. Rojas then hit an infield single to third to put runners on the corners with one out. Schwarber then added a single to center to add a fifth run, giving the Phillies a 5-3 lead. Alec Bohm followed that up with another single, pushing the score to 6-3. Harper then walked before Castellanos hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Schwarber (who did his best Trea Turner slide impression) to make it 7-3.
Bryson Stott put the exclamation point on the inning with the Phillies third homer of the day, a three-run blast to right to put them up 10-3.
Well, it looked to be the exclamation point, but then Turner homered again for the second time in the inning, becoming the first Phillies player since Von Hayes in 1985 and third in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
2 in one inning calls for this..... SLEA TURNER pic.twitter.com/ePbuWUZDzR— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 19, 2023
The Nationals elected to leave reliever Cory Abbott in for the entire inning with no one warming in the bullpen. His final line was 1 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 HRs.
Not done yet
Position player Ildemaro Vargas pitched the ninth for Washington, and he also surrendered a home run, this time to Jake Cave for the fifth of the day for the Phillies. All five came from the seventh inning on and it was the second time this season the Phillies have clubbed five homers in a game. The other time was also in Washington on June 4th in an 11-3 win.
The Phillies will look to capture a series win against the Nats tomorrow night on a Little League World Series edition of Sunday Night Baseball in Williamsport, PA. Zack Wheeler (9-5, 3.63 ERA) starts for Philadelphia against Trevor Williams (5-7, 5.20 ERA) for Washington.