Daniel Murphy has brought the success he had last season, where he finished second in the NL MVP race, into the 2017 campaign.
Murphy has come up big at the plate through 10 games and did again in the series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies tonight.
After Bryce Harper hit a leadoff single to start the tenth inning, with the score tied at 2-2, Murphy belted a RBI double to left field to lift the Nationals over the Phillies, 3-2.
Nationals now 6-4
Here’s how it happened:
• Stephen Strasburg got things going in the right direction, by striking out two of the three batters he faced in the top of the first inning.
• Nola got through the Nationals’ top half of the lineup with ease as he struck out Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon flied out to right field.
Nola also got Bryce Harper looking at a 3-2 pitch at the knees.
• Strasburg gets Maikel Franco swinging at a curveball for his third strikeout on the day.
Michael Saunders grounded out to second before Tommy Joseph hit a home run to center field. 1-0 PHI.
• The inning continues when Strasburg walked Cameron Rupp on a full count. Strasburg threw a changeup in the dirt to Freddy Galvis to get out of the second inning.
• Ryan Zimmerman puts the Nationals in the hit column as he doubled to right-center field in the bottom of the second. Jayson Werth followed with an infield single, which put runners at the corners with one out. Wieters tied the game at 1-1 with a RBI single to center.
• Nola managed to get out of the inning without allowing any more damage by striking out Wilmer Difo and getting Strasburg to ground into a force out at second base.
• Strasburg had Cesar Hernandez looking at a 1-2 changeup for his fifth strikeout through three innings.
Howie Kendrick hit a two-out ground-rule double to keep the inning alive. Herrera grounded out to first base.
• Rendon reached first base on a infield single after beating out the throw for short.
Murphy singled to right, which sent Rendon to third. Zimmerman struck out to end the inning.
• Difo hit the ball up the middle for a two-out single. That was the only offense from the Nationals in the fourth.
• Rupp kicked off the fifth inning with a double to right-center. Galvis hit a fly ball, but Eaton made a leaping catch, while hitting the right-center scoreboard. Phillies took the lead on a two-out RBI single by Hernandez. 2-1 PHI. Strasburg struck out Kendrick to send the Nationals back into the dugout.
Franco grounded into a double play in the top of the sixth inning. Phillies were still up 2-1. Saunders singled to right field for the Phillies fifth hit of the game.
• Pat Neshek comes out of the bullpen for the Phillies in the bottom of the sixth.
• Aaron Nola’s Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 7/1 GO/FO
• Neshek walked Werth then got Wieters to fly out to left field.
• Strasburg threw a 96 mph fastball to strike out Rupp in the top of the seventh. He finished the inning with 111 pitches.
• Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 9/1 GO/FO
• Chris Heisey pinch hit for Strasburg in the top of the seventh and walked. Heisey reached second on a passed ball. Eaton struck out for the third time by Edubray Ramos.
Rendon came up big in the clutch with a two-out RBI double to tie the game at 2-2.
Ramos walked Harper, which sent Murphy up to bat with runners on first and second. However, Murphy grounded out to end the inning.
• Phillies pitcher Hector Neris hit Zimmerman on the first pitch he threw out of the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth inning. Werth struck out and Wieters grounded into a double play.
• Blake Treinen came in to pitch the ninth inning. After forcing a ground out, Treinen gave up a single to Saunders and walked Joseph on four pitches. A double play got the Nationals into the bottom of the ninth with the game still tied.
Eaton walked with two outs. Rendon hit a groundball to third and Franco made a solid defensive play to record the out. The game went into extra innings.
• Shawn Kelley kicked off the 10th inning by striking the first two batters he faced. Hernandez hit a fly ball right into Werth’s glove.
• Harper hit a leadoff single, which led to a walk-off double by Murphy to win the series opener, 3-2.
Nationals win, 3-2
Washington is now 6-4