Dusty Baker was talking about holding on to a lead after the series opener when he said what everyone knows about Citizens Bank Park: No lead is safe in Philadelphia.
“You’ve seen some weird stuff happen in this ballpark,” Baker said, “cause you’re never really safe with the lead here because the fences are so accessible.”
The Nationals survived a late scare to take the series opener in the City of Brotherly Love.
It was the Phillies who blew a late 3-0 lead in the finale, however, when closer Jeanmar Gomez put two runners on with two out in front of pinch hitter Ryan Zimmerman and grooved a 2-0 changeup that Zimmerman demolished, sending a game-tying three-run home run out to left field.
It wasn’t a home run that won it though, but a leadoff walk and a two-out single that cost the Nationals a chance to win the series.
Koda Glover, who fell behind hitter after hitter in the Phillies’ half of the ninth, issued a leadoff walk to Daniel Nava, then gave up a one-out single to right by Freddy Galvis on which Nava took third, putting the winning run 90 feet from home.
Glover popped Brock Stassi up for out No. 2 of the bottom of the inning, but Cesar Hernandez sent a bloop single into short left for a walk-off single and a 4-3 win.
“To win two out of three from what I think is one of the better teams in the National League was really special,” Phillies’ skipper Pete Mackanin said after the game.
“Especially after the seventeen runs we scored yesterday, you kind of expect a letdown and you don’t know what to expect the next day, but the guys battled and we got enough to win.”
“Leadoff walks have been killing us late” Baker said. “Everybody knows it. It’s just tough to take when they get like one hit and win the game.
“I thought we’d gotten out of that, but that shows you the importance of contact.
“When you make contact anything can happen. They played us tough this series, but we definitely let that one get away today.”
We talked about the Nationals’ loss, Zim’s game-tying blast and more on Nats Nightly after the game: