Washington’s Nationals fielded a “hangover” lineup after last night’s celebration of the team clinching an NL Wild Card spot, but even with a different look on the field, the Nats beat the visiting Philadelphia Phillies for the fourth straight game, rallying for two in the home-half of the seventh to go up 3-2 a half-inning after the Phils jumped out to a 2-1 lead. It ended up a 5-2 game in the Nats’ favor.
Sánchez vs the Phillies: In four starts against the Phillies this season before tonight’s outing in the nation’s capital, Nationals’ starter Aníbal Sánchez was (0-2) with a 4.43 ERA, 12 walks, 20 strikeouts, and a .235/.333/.395 line against in 20 1⁄3 IP, though he hadn’t faced the Nats’ NL East rivals since back on July 14th.
Going into his fifth start of the season against the Phillies, Sánchez had won back-to-back starts, throwing seven scoreless against the Braves and five strong against the Marlins to improve (10-8) overall on the season with a 3.91 ERA, 58 walks, 127 Ks, and a .237/.305/.406 line against in 159 IP.
Sánchez tossed three scoreless on 35 pitches to start, but Bryce Harper doubled to lead off in the fourth, and scored on an RBI single to center by Rhys Hoskins, who was 0 for 26 over eight games before the hit put the Phillies up, 1-0.
That’s all the right-hander gave up through six, but he took the mound in the seventh with the score tied at 1-1, at just 76 pitches, and his 77th offering ended up in the upper deck in right field in Nationals Park, with Brad Miller connecting for his 3rd home run of the series, putting the Phillies up 2-1.
Five homers in five days?— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 26, 2019
Not bad, Brad. pic.twitter.com/xi4W51Qu3G
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 90 P, 60 S, 9/3 GO/FO.
Smyly vs the Nationals: Signed as a free agent in July, after he was released by the Brewers, 30-year-old lefty Drew Smyly was (3-2) in 11 starts for the Phillies, with a 4.63 ERA, 21 walks, 58 Ks, and a .269/.336/.519 line against in 56 1⁄3 IP before he took on the Nationals tonight in the fourth game of the five-game series this week in D.C.
Smyly retired the first eleven batters he faced, striking out seven, but Howie Kendrick got to a full count in his two-out at bat in the fourth, and the Nationals’ first baseman hit one out to left field to tie things up at 1-1 with his 17th blast of the 2019 campaign.
Smyly gave up just two other hits through six, striking out 10 of 21 batters faced on 89 total pitches, keeping it tied.
He took the mound in the seventh with a 2-1 lead, courtesy of a Brad Miller homer, and gave up a one-out single by Asdrúbal Cabrera on his 97th pitch before Philly skipper Gabe Kapler went to the bullpen...
Yesterday, he popped bottles. Today, he brought his own pop. pic.twitter.com/6vq8vnC5rt— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) September 26, 2019
Drew Smyly’s Line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 Ks, 1 HR, 97 P, 71 S
Iron Yan: While Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner got a night off today, with the Nats trying to give some players a rest a day after they clinched a spot in next week’s Wild Card game, Yan Gomes was once again penciled into the lineup for tonight’s matchup with the Phillies.
The veteran backstop had started 18 of the Nationals’ 21 games in September, and in a total of 23 games going back to August 18th, the catcher had put up a .298/.348/.607 line, eight doubles, six home runs, 16 RBIs, six walks, and 13 runs scored, turning things around after a slow start offensively this season.
Gomes connected for his ninth double in the last 24 games and 16th two-base hit overall on the season in the seventh, and scored the go-ahead run.
BULLPEN ACTION: Right-hander Mike Morin took over for Drew Smyly after a one-out single by Asdrúbal Cabrera in the Nationals’ half of the seventh, and promptly gave up a double by Yan Gomes. Cabrera took third on the hit by Gomes, and scored on a sac fly to center off of Victor Robles’s bat, 2-2, before Gomes scored on an RBI single to center by Wilmer Difo, 3-2.
Give the good guys the lead! pic.twitter.com/miT80h9WrK— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) September 26, 2019
Wander Suero got two outs in the eighth, but Bryce Harper singled to keep the inning alive, and took second on the hit when Victor Robles bobbled the ball in left-center.
That was it for Suero. Hunter Strickland came on to face Rhys Hoskins with the potential tying run on second and popped him up for out No. 3 of the Phillies’ eighth. Still 3-2 Nats.
José Álvarez took over for the Phils in the bottom of the eighth, and gave up Brian Dozier’s 20th home run of the season on a 2-0 fastball that Dozier crushed, 4-2 Nationals.
Adam Eaton reached on an error and Howie Kendrick singled in the at bats after Dozier’s blast. Eaton took third on Kendrick’s hit, and scored on a sac fly to left by Juan Soto, 5-2.
Juan Nicasio came on for the Phillies and walked Asdrúbal Cabrera to put two on with one out, but got two outs to keep it a three-run game.
Sean Doolittle came on in the ninth with a three-run lead, and worked around a one-out single for a scoreless frame.
Final Score: 5-2 Nationals
Nationals now 89-69