It is the first five-game sweep the team has recorded in the franchise’s history, according to the Nationals’ pregame notes, which cited information from the Elias Sports Bureau.
Stephen Strasburg gave up one run in six innings, striking out 10 of the 20 batters he faced in a 92-pitch outing, lowering his ERA to 3.32 in his final regular season start of 2019, while earning his 18th win in what ended up a 6-3 game in the home team’s favor.
Strasburg vs the Phillies: In two outings against Philly this season, before this afternoon’s start in the nation’s capital, Stephen Strasburg gave up 13 hits, five walks, and six runs in 10 innings (5.40 ERA), with Phillies’ hitters putting up a .302/.375/.512 line against him on the season.
All six runs he allowed came in his first outing against the Nationals’ NL East rivals, way back in April in D.C., however, and last time out, in July, he tossed six scoreless innings, giving up a total of seven hits in a 4-0 win in Citizens Bank Park.
Back home in Nationals Park for his third start against Washington’s divisional rivals in 2019, Strasburg tossed three scoreless on 48 pitches, as the Nats jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but a 2-1 curve up on the zone inside to César Hernández in the first at bat of the third went out to right for a solo home run that made it a 2-1 game.
Strasburg needed 15 pitches in the fourth, eight in the fifth, and he struck out three in a row in the sixth, after giving up a leadoff double in a 21-pitch frame that left him at 92 total with 10 Ks from 20 batters faced on the day.
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 Ks, 1 HR, 92 P, 61 S, 5/0 GO/FO.
Vargas vs the Nationals: Jason Vargas was winless in his first nine outings for the Phillies, who acquired the lefty from the New York Mets before the trade deadline.
Vargas, 36, had a 5.48 ERA and a .290/.364/.444 line against in 44 1⁄3 IP over that stretch, but he snapped the winless streak last time out before today, earning the win with 6 2⁄3 IP against the Cleveland Indians in which he gave up five hits, two walks, and four runs, two earned.
Going up against the Nationals today in the fifth game of five for the Phillies in D.C., the left-hander gave up a one-out walk to Anthony Rendon with Victor Robles on first in the home-half of the first inning, and a double steal put both runners in scoring position with Asdrúbal Cabrera at the plate, so his sac fly made it a 1-0 game early.
Michael A. Taylor led off the bottom of the second with a solo home run to center on a first-pitch fastball from Vargas, hitting his first blast of 2019 over the out-of-town scoreboard to make it a 2-0 game in the Nationals’ favor.
It was 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, when Vargas gave up a one-out single to Rendon and a double to center by Cabrera, putting two runners in scoring position for Ryan Zimmerman, who walked to load them up with one down, ending the Philly starter’s outing...
Jason Vargas’s Line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 101 P, 57 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
More BB than Ks in college?: It’s true. Anthony Rendon walked more than he K’d in college, and coming into today’s game, the Nationals’ 29-year-old three-hole hitter was 1 for 7 in the three games of four he played in against the Phillies this week, with four walks, leaving him with 74 total vs 82 Ks in 633 plate appearances on the season, and he took his fifth walk of the series in his first trip to the plate this afternoon (75 BB/82 Ks), moving Victor Robles into scoring position before he scored on a sac fly to make it 1-0 early.
Rendon walked in his second trip to the plate as well (76/82), and in his third, (77/82) as well, and finished the game 0 for 2 with three walks and a run scored.
MAT in D.C.: Michael A. Taylor hadn’t homered since August 9th ... 2018, before he hit one out to center off Jason Vargas in the second inning of today’s game, making it a 2-0 in the Nationals’ favor.
Taylor hit nine at Double-A Harrisburg this season, where he spent most of the campaign. He doubled the second time up today, but was left on base and finished the game 3 for 4.
BULLPEN ACTION: Edgar Garcia inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam from Jason Vargas when he took over on the mound in the home-half of the fifth, and he walked catcher Yan Gomes in a five-pitch at bat, 3-1 Nationals. A wild pitch with Gerardo Parra up allowed the fourth run of the game to come in, 4-1, and a passed ball on a swinging strike by Stephen Strasburg brought Ryan Zimmerman in, 5-1.
Austin Davis came on for the Phillies in the bottom of the sixth and retired the Nats in order.
Tanner Rainey took over for Stephen Strasburg in the bottom of the seventh, and worked around a walk, striking out two in a 20-pitch frame.
Davis returned to the mound in the Nationals’ seventh, and gave up a leadoff home run to center by Asdrúbal Cabrera, who cleared the GEICO wall for his 18th of 2019, 6-1.
Javy Guerra gave up a leadoff single by Maikel Franco and a two-run shot to left-center by Andrew Knapp in the first two at bats of the eighth, 6-3. A one-out single, on Guerra’s 24th pitch, prompted Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez to go to the pen again.
Fernando Rodney took over on the mound, with a runner on first and one out, and got a double play grounder out of Bryce Harper to end the frame, 6-5-3 in the shift. 6-3 Nats.
Nick Pivetta retired the Nationals in order in the bottom of the eighth.
Daniel Hudson came on for the save opportunity in the ninth and struck out Rhys Hoskins, then gave up a one-out walk to Brad Miller, but got Sean Rodriguez looking for out No. 2, and got Adam Haseley to chase a 1-2 slider out of the zone to end it.
Final Score: 6-3 Nationals
Nationals now 90-69