WASHINGTON, DC: After blowing a 3-1 lead late in this afternoon’s game, the Washington Nationals rallied in the bottom of the ninth and walked off on the Philadelphia Phillies on a two-out blast by Bryce Harper, who drove in the winning runs with a three-run, walk-off home run to center. 6-4 final.
Nationals now 7-5.
Here’s how it happened:
• Gio Gonzalez’s third pitch of the game, a 1-1 fastball to Cesar Hernandez, ended up in the left field bullpen as the Phillies jumped out to an early lead, 1-0. Hernandez’s third of the season, and second in his last two at bats.
• Two batters into the Nationals’ half of the first it was a tie game, after Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon hit back-to-back doubles off Philly right Jerad Eickhoff, 1-1.
• Rendon beat out an infield single in the bottom of the third, keeping the inning alive with his two-out hit, and Bryce Harper was first-pitch swinging in the next at bat, and he clobbered the slider Eickhoff threw him, sending a two-out, two-run home run into the right field seats. 3-1 Nationals.
• Gio Gonzalez walked just one batter in 13 IP in his first two starts, but walked three in the first four innings this afternoon, though none of those three came around to score.
• Dusty Baker sent Gio Gonzalez back out for the seventh at just 83 pitches, (though his spot in the order came up in the sixth), and the left-hander retired the Phillies in order in a 10-pitch frame, retiring his seventh, eighth and ninth straight batters overall.
• Jerad Eickhoff’s Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 94 P, 67 S, 5/4 GO/FO.
• Gonzalez came back out for the eighth and retired the first batter he faced, but a single by Cesar Hernandez ended his streak of retired batters at 10, and Daniel Nava lined a single to left in the next at bat that got by Jayson Werth (E:7) and allowed Hernandez to score, 3-2 Nationals. That was it for Gonzalez.
• Gio Gonzalez’s line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 105 P, 61 S, 10/4 GO/FO.
• Koda Glover took over with a runner on second and one out in the eighth and threw a wild pitch that put the tying run at third. Mikael Franco went down swinging for out No. 2, but Tommy Joseph tied it up with a two-out single to left.
• Blake Treinen took over in the ninth, fell behind 3-0 to the first batter, Aaron Altherr, and gave up a hard-hit double to right on a 3-2 sinker that put the potential go-ahead run at second with no one out. Odubel Herrera’s swinging bunt moved Atherr to third and he scored on a grounder to second by Odubel Herrera when Daniel Murphy threw home and Matt Wieters couldn’t handle it. 4-3 Phillies.
• Chris Heisey walked and Adam Eaton singled with one down in the ninth, and Joaquin Benoit on the mound for the Phillies.
Anthony Rendon stepped in with runners on first and second, but Rendon lined out to right.
Bryce Harper stepped in next, and sent a walk-off home run to center to win it!
Bryce Harper does it again!!! 3-run HR to win it.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- In 2015-16, the Nationals were 26-12 against the Phillies, but the Nats’ NL East rivals have taken three of five heading into today’s series finale in D.C.
- The Phillies are 41-45 all time in Nationals Park, tied for the most wins by a visiting team after yesterday’s win.
- Daniel Murphy was held hitless for the first time this season on Saturday, but he has seven multi-hit games in the Nationals’ first 11 games this season.
- Murphy’s 63 multi-hit games since the start of the 2016 are the second-most in the NL, behind only DJ Lemahieu’s 64.
- Adam Lind, who got the start in place of Ryan Zimmerman at first today, is 5 for 11 (.455 AVG) to start his first season in D.C. after signing as a free agent this winter.
- Washington has announced that Max Scherzer will start the series opener in Atlanta, with Stephen Strasburg going in the third of three in the Braves’ new home. Will it be Joe Ross in the second game of the three-game set?
- Gio Gonzalez started the day (10-6) with a 2.67 ERA in 20 career starts vs the Phillies.
- Joaquin Benoit, 39, earned the save in Saturday’s win, making him the oldest reliever to earn a save for the Phillies since Jose Contreras saved one at 39 years old in 2011.