In an April 15th start in Citizens Bank Park, Washington's Nationals knocked Philadelphia Phillies' right-hander Jeremy Hellickson out after just three innings in which he gave up seven hits and six runs, five earned, on 79 pitches.
Two weeks later, the 29-year-old starter shut the Nationals out over seven innings on the mound in Nationals Park, giving up just two hits and three walks in a 92-pitch effort.
"He probably remembered that, that April 15th, and he was sharp tonight," Dusty Baker told reporters after the 3-0 loss.
"He was very sharp. Some of the guys were complaining about some of the calls and then some of the guys were going and looking at it and he was painting tonight. Changing speeds and he had a very good night. I'm not going to say it was us because you don't want to discredit what he did tonight.
"Some times you're just shut down, and tonight was his night. We got him last time and he got us this time."
Tonight in Citizens Bank Park, Hellickson limited the Nationals to just one run on three hits, but his bullpen blew a lead in the eighth when Daniel Murphy struck again... and Washington took the series opener, 4-2.
Hellickson helped his own cause early this time around, bunting with a man on third to bring in a run and give himself a lead to work with in the second.
Nationals' starter Tanner Roark gave up a one-out walk to Cesar Hernandez, and a stolen base and wild pitch allowed the Phillies' infielder to take third.
An eight-pitch walk to left fielder Tyler Goeddel brought Hellickson to the plate, and the Philly starter got a perfect bunt down, sending a roller toward third that allowed Hernandez to score, 1-0.
Hellickson started with 3 ⅔ scoreless, but an 0-1 fastball up and in to Daniel Murphy ended up in the right field seats. 1-1 game on Murphy's 8th.
It stayed tied until the bottom of the sixth, when Freddy Galvis hit a hanging 1-2 slider out to right for a solo blast that made it 2-1 Phillies. No. 5 for Galvis.
Bryce Harper was hit by a fastball on his right knee in the first at bat of the Nationals' seventh, and he was eventually doubled up off first on a liner to left by Daniel Murphy, when he couldn't beat Tyler Goeddel's throw in to first, 7-3 DP, and it hurt even more when Ryan Zimmerman tripled in the next at bat and Harper left the game between innings.
Jeremy Hellickson's Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 1 HR, 79 P, 53 S, 6/1 GO/FO..
Tanner Roark's Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 97 P, 66 S, 13/3 GO/FO.
Philly right Hector Neris issued one-out walk to Danny Espinosa and a two-out walk to Ben Revere, setting Jayson Werth up with an RBI opportunity he cashed in with a run-scoring, line drive single to left. 2-2.
Chris Heisey took the third walk of the inning to load them up with two out, and Daniel Murphy hit a 2-0 fastball to right for a line drive, two-run single that made it 4-2 Nationals.
Felipe Rivero struck out two in a scoreless eighth.
Jonathan Papelbon gave up a leadoff double by Maikel Franco in the first at bat of the Phillies' half of the ninth and Ryan Howard doubled in the next at bat to bring Franco around and make it 4-3. That's as close as they would get.
Ballgame. Take a deep breath.
Nationals now 31-21
- Washington took the 2015 season series with Philadelphia, 12-7, going 12-5 after they dropped the first two games of the year with the Phillies.
- In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Washington is 53-46 against Philadelphia... since 2011. Before that, the Nats were 39-71 against the Phillies (2005-2010).
- Philadelphia is 13-9 in Citizens Bank Park early this season, and 13-15 on the road. Their 22 home games are the second-fewest in the majors thus far, tied with the Cleveland Indians behind the Colorado Rockies (21).
- Bryce Harper likes hitting in CBP. He has a six-game home run streak in the Phillies' home, and a .325 AVG with four doubles, three triples and 11 HRs in Citizens Bank Park in his career.
- The Phillies took seven of eight series between April 22nd and May 18th, but they've lost each of their last three series against the Braves, Tigers and Cubs.
- Ryan Zimmerman has hit seven home runs in May, after hitting just one in April.
- Daniel Murphy was 1 for 4 on Sunday, leaving him 42 for 105 with seven doubles, five home runs and 15 runs scored this month.
- Murphy's 42 hits are a record for hits in a single month by a Naitonal (2005-present).
- Murphy currently leads the majors in AVG (.387) and multi-hit games, with 24 in 49 games. Murphy doubled and homered in his first two ABs to make it 25 multi-hit games in 50 games played.
- Philadelphia has a four-game winning streak against Washington going heading into the three-game set, their longest against the Nationals since August-September 2014.
- Philadelphia's bullpen also had a streak of 11 ⅓ scoreless innings going heading into the series with Washington. That streak ended in the eighth inning tonight when Jayson Werth's RBI single tied it at 2-2.
Nationals now 31-21