Two RBI singles by Yan Gomes and another by Josh Bell were enough in a 3-2 Washington Nationals’ win over the Philadelphia Phillies last night. Max Scherzer gave up a solo home run by Bryce Harper in the Philly second, and Tanner Rainey threw a high fastball to Rhys Hoskins that went out to left in the eighth, but Davey Martinez’s club held on for an eighth win in the last nine games.
It was a tight one, with plenty of drama, especially after Phillies’ skipper Joe Girardi called for extra scrutiny of Max Scherzer beyond the new-normal, between-innings checks on all pitchers MLB has instituted to make sure no foreign substances are in use, but Martinez didn’t want to discuss that whole controversy in his post game Zoom call, focusing on his club’s win instead.
“As far as Joe is concerned, I think he’s got to answer the tough questions about that,” the manager said of the Phillies’ skipper.
“I don’t need to answer that. So, bottom line is we went 1-0 today. Boys came out and played, they kept their composure. We finished the game and it was a good win for us.”
His team scored three runs on nine hits, but also went just 3 for 10 with runners in scoring position and nine left on base in what ended up a one-run win, so Martinez did acknowledge it wasn’t all positive, but they did get the win, pulling themselves into a three-way tie for 2nd in the NL East.
“We could have scored some more runs for sure, but you got another guy that was pitching for them in [Zack] Wheeler that was a tough opponent, so the thing is we knocked him out of the game, I thought we’d score some more runs, but that [Ranger] Suárez kid is throwing the ball really well for them and they kept us there.
“It was a heck of a game, barring a little tiff there, the game was actually really good.”
“It was a good win,” Trea Turner said, after going 0 for 4 with a run scored and a walk.
“Another division opponent we’re playing, we’re playing good baseball, pitching really well, getting the hits when we need them. Would love to score some more runs, but our pitchers did great tonight.
“Max did great, Austin [Voth] did great. And the other two at the back end, Brad [Hand] and Tanner [Rainey] did their jobs.”
Hand got the final out of the eighth, and came back out for the ninth, loading the bases, but escaping the jam with the save.
“Bases loaded at the end,” Turner said, “but it doesn’t matter how it looks as long as you get it done.”
The Nationals have now won three in a row, and as mentioned above, eight of the last nine, and 10 of the last 13, but while the run is nice, as Turner explained, for the 34-36 club, they have to continue winning or it doesn’t really matter.
“If we don’t play good baseball for the next 90 games then it doesn’t really matter. So, a lot of baseball left.
“I think we’re starting to play how we feel like we should. We should win a lot of games.
“We’ve got the talent in the room, and it’s a matter of executing when we need to and we’ve done that for the last 10-15 games, whatever it may be, and I think we’re playing good and we’ve just got to keep it rolling, and ride it out as long as possible and have fun with it and enjoy it.”
Another win in Philly before four in Miami would be a good next step... Will they go 1-0 today?