Phillies win wild game in Washington to sweep Nats doubleheader

Phillies win wild game in Washington to sweep Nats doubleheader

WASHINGTON — The Phillies didn’t play perfect baseball in their doubleheader against the Washington Nationals, but that didn’t seem to matter as party music blared through the clubhouse after 12 p.m. stadium late Friday night.

The Phils survived a series of mistakes that included leaving too many runners on base in Game 1 and costly walks in the bullpen, two base-run errors and a near-fatal fielding error. in the last drink to win a sweep of the national championships.

The Phillies won Game 1, 5-3. Game 2 was wild and the Phils won it 8-7.

The two wins pushed the Phils to a season-high four games over .500 at 35-31. They won all five of those first three games and have now won five straight series for the first time since 2011, the last time they made the playoffs.

The Phils are 14-2 in June and 13-2 under new skipper Rob Thomson.

“Great day,” Thomson said when it was over.

He acknowledged that the team overcame a few mistakes during the long, hot and exhausting day.

“It’s just the character of this club,” he said. “They believe.”

The main reason the Phillies were able to cover their shortcomings in the last drink – base running errors from Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Schwarber, two damaging walks from Nick Nelson in the sixth and an error from shortstop Didi Gregorius that allowed the Nats to tie the game. the bottom of the ninth – was that they did some little things so well.

JT Realmuto beat a potential double-play ball to keep the eighth inning alive for pinch hitter Bryce Harper to come off the bench and hit a two-run tying double to right center.

Little things …

Washington reliever Kyle Finnegan was clearly trying to get around Harper and appeared to walk him four pitches. However, umpire Clinton Vondrak called the fourth pitch, which was out of the strike zone, a strike. Harper wasn’t happy with the call – and he still wasn’t after the game. Finnegan’s fifth pitch was a strike and Harper crushed it.

“Harp was upset that it wasn’t the fourth ball, but I was like, ‘Fine, let him hit it,'” Thomson said. “JT batting that ball and getting Harper home plate was really key.”

Realmuto was called first, but the Phillies challenged and won.

After Harper tied the game in the eighth, Matt Vierling hit his second homer of the game in the top of the ninth to give the Phils a 6-5 lead.

The Phillies went deep in their bullpen that day. Corey Knebel, Jeurys Familia and Andrew Bellatti had big outs in the last drink and Jose Alvarado was close to wrapping up a one-run victory in the ninth when Gregorius made a two-out throwing error that allowed Washington to tie the game.

Alvarado finally ended up shutting it down late in the 10th. He took the win after Realmuto managed two points at home. Both runs were huge because the Nats scored an unearned run to make it a one-point game in the 10th.

Hoskins scored the second run in the 10th thanks to another one of those little things, particularly third baseman coach Dusty Wathan’s knowledge of the obstruction rule. Washington shortstop Luis Garcia interfered with Hoskins’ path to third as Realmuto’s ball rose up the middle. Wathan noticed the obstruction, saw third base umpire John Bacon’s hand go up, and angrily waved Hoskins home to make sure the run would count.

“Dusty knows the rule,” Thomson said. “Huge. Really smart.”

“It shows what a great baseball spirit he has,” Harper said of Wathan.

The Phillies review this play during spring training. It rarely comes back, but when it happened in this game, everyone was ready.

It wouldn’t be hard to imagine the Phillies losing a game like this in the first two months of the season, back when the offense was inconsistent, the bullpen had occasional meltdowns and the defense was fragile.

The defense and bullpen are still far from perfect, but things are looking up.

“We find ways to win games that we’re probably not supposed to win and that’s what good teams do,” Hoskins said. “I don’t think we ever felt like we were out of a game. It has a lot to do with how we swing the sticks, but I also think the guys in the bullpen have been great lately, attacking the zone, and when we score, we throw zeros.

The Phils won Game 1 in three hours and 32 minutes.

They won Game 2 in three hours and 45 minutes.

“It was a great day of baseball,” Harper said. “Win the series today with two more games to hopefully do some good and walk out of here feeling good.”

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