Winning both games of doubleheaders is hard. You see it some times, but it’s really difficult for a team to get it together twice in a day to claim victory. The Phillies looked like they would be able to do it tonight, but ultimately, the job couldn’t be completed.
The first inning got the scoring kicked off when Trea Turner continued his fan-inspired hot hitting when his two out double drove in Nick Castellanos from first to give the Phillies their first lead of the game.
Trea Turner extends his hitting streak to five games pic.twitter.com/Cuj8dSyhxK— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) August 8, 2023
It was the fourth game in a row in which Turner had gotten an extra base hit, as welcome a stat as any considering the season he’s had. A few hits and a few steals were scattered around the scorecard between both teams over the next few innings, but nary a run to cross the plate. In the fourth, facing Ranger Suarez, Ildemaro Vargas came up with two outs and deposited a sinker that didn’t sink 390+ feet away for the Nationals’ first two runs of the night.
Ildemaro Vargas - Washington Nationals (3) pic.twitter.com/hL55uVINw8— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) August 9, 2023
Bryce Harper would get those runs back in the fifth with a two-run shot of his own, reclaiming the lead for the Phillies.
Bryce Harper's two-run homer gives the Phillies a 3-2 lead. It's his seventh homer of the season, and second in his last three games ... pic.twitter.com/VndfIpsXoF— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 9, 2023
Turner wouldn’t let the inning die, singling after Harper, then stealing second base with Bryson Stott at the plate. As he seemingly has done all year, Stott came through in the clutch by singling Turner home and making the score 4-2.
In the sixth, the Nationals were able to get the bases loaded thanks to three straight singles off of Suarez, the last of which was a bad misplay by Rodolfo Castro that he let play him to get that last runner on. Rob Thomson would lift Suarez from the game in favor of Jeff Hoffman, who averted disaster by getting CJ Abrams to pop up and keep the two-run lead intact.
For an inning.
Trying to get another inning out of Hoffman, the reliever would give up a walk to Lane Thomas before Joey Meneses demolished a baseball, tying the game at four.
Joey Meneses - Washington Nationals (10)— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) August 9, 2023
There weren’t many chances for either team in the seventh or eighth, which meant that Craig Kimbrel came in to the game in the ninth trying to keep it tied.
He was not successful. Facing Meneses with one out, Kimbrel hung a curveball that he never should have had to throw but for the umpire to miss a called third strike the pitch before, yet hang it he did and Meneses did not miss it.
Kyle Finnegan locked down the ninth to help the Nationals split the doubleheader between the two teams.
Like I said, winning both games of a doubleheader is hard.