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Make it stop! Washington Nationals drop 2 of 3 to Philadelphia Phillies; 12-6 loss in finale

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It’s not getting better. It might be getting worse. Nationals drop 2 of 3 to Phillies.

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies
Lord, help the Nationals.
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Austin Voth got hit in the face with a pitch. Kyle Finnegan issued two bases-loaded walks as part of a seven-run fourth for the Phillies. Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez tried to piece a game together with his bullpen arms, but it didn’t go well for Washington, as they dropped the finale in Philadelphia by a final score of 12-6, and lost another series.

Bullpen Day: Davey Martinez told reporters in his pregame Zoom call on Saturday afternoon that he would make a decision on how the Nationals would handle the pitching in the series finale with the Phillies in CBP after the second game of three with their NL East rivals, and after yesterday’s 5-1 loss, the skipper announced that it would be a group effort.

“Tomorrow is going to be a bullpen day,” he explained. “I don’t know who necessarily is going to start, but the bullpen is definitely on alert right now.”

It was Austin Voth who got the nod in the end, with Martinez explaining that, “just looking at everything, we want him to start the game, he matches up fairly well, so we’re going to go with Austin.”

The right-hander tossed two scoreless to start, retiring all six batters he faced on 24 pitches total, but his outing ended in the top of the third when he stepped to the plate for his first at bat.

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Voth squared to bunt with a runner on and no one out, after a HBP on Victor Robles, and Phillies’ righty Vince Velasquez came up and in with a 90 MPH fastball and hit the pitcher in the face. It glanced off of the brim of his batting helmet, which might have saved Voth from a worse outcome, but either way it didn’t look good.

That obviously ended Voth’s outing. Hopefully he’s okay, but it looked bad.

Velasquez vs Nationals: Phillies’ righty Vince Velasquez was on his way to an impressive May with a 1.11 ERA and a .146/.247/.293 line against in five games, four starts, and 24 13 innings of work, but he struggled the last time out before today, giving up five hits, three walks, and six earned runs in just three innings on the mound in an 11-1 loss to Cincinnati’s Reds.

“It all starts with pitching,” Velasquez told reporters after that start, “and I didn’t do my part by creating that momentum and having a good day. It’s kind of a [bad] feeling.”

Looking to bounce back in his first June outing, the 28-year-old starter tossed two scoreless to start, working around only a two-out walk in the second, but back-to-back hit-by-pitches, the second to pitcher Austin Voth’s face, and a line drive single to left by Trea Turner loaded the bases with no one out in the third. Juan Soto sent an opposite field single to left field to get the Nationals on the board, 1-0, but Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber K’d swinging in back-to-back at bats, before Starlin Castro popped out to short right to end the threat.

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Jordy Mercer doubled with one down in the fourth, and scored on a Victor Robles’ gapper to right-center in the next at bat, 2-0, with the hit snapping an 0 for 18 streak, and Robles tried to take third base in the next at bat, and scored on a throwing error by Philly catcher J.T. Realmuto on the play, 3-0.

Vince Velasquez’s Line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 2 HBPs, 80 P, 50 S, 4/2 GO/FO.

Bullpen Day: Wander Suero came on for the bottom of the third after the HBP on Voth in the top of the inning, and retired the Phillies in order in a 14-pitch frame.

Sam Clay was the third pitcher of the day for the Nats, and he got one out, before a walk to J.T. Realmuto and an infield single by Bryce Harper sent Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez to the pen again for right-hander Kyle Finnegan. Rhys Hoskins popped up to short right in the at bat that followed, and it bounced off Jordy Mercer’s glove and fell in for a base-loading hit, and Andrew McCutchen followed with an RBI single to center that got the Phillies on the board, down 3-1. Back-to-back, bases-loaded walks followed and it was tied at 3-3, and the Phils took the lead on a ground ball to third on which Starlin Castro threw late to second trying for the force, 4-3, still bases loaded. Finnegan got Matt Joyce swinging for out No. 2, but strike three bounced in the dirt and got away from Alex Avila, allowing the fifth run of the inning to come in, 5-3.

Two more scored on a two-out single to left by Odubel Herrera and it was 7-3 Phillies.

Paolo Espino took over on the mound with a runner on first and two out and got the Nats out of the inning.

Archie Bradley worked around back-to-back walks that started the fifth for a scoreless frame which ended with a 4-6-3 DP off Starlin Castro’s bat.

Espino gave up a double to right by Andrew McCutchen that nearly went out with one down in the bottom of the fifth, and a two-run blast by Brad Miller in the next at bat that went way out to right to make it 9-3 in the Phillies’ favor.

Brandon Kintzler gave up a leadoff single by Alex Avila, a one-out double by Victor Robles (2 for 2, 2 2B, HBP), and a run on a groundout by Andrew Stevenson, 9-4 Phillies. Trea Turner’s RBI single brought Robles in, 9-5, and Juan Soto tripled off the wall in center to make it 9-6.

Tanner Rainey hit Nick Maton, and gave up a double by Odubel Herrera, and a three-run HR by J.T. Realmuto, as the Phillies jumped out to a 12-6 lead.

Sam Coonrod finished up the sixth for the Phillies and came back out for the seventh and retired the side in order.

Kyle McGowin worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless bottom of the seventh.

Lefty Christopher Sánchez made his MLB debut in the top of the eighth, and tossed a scoreless frame that was interrupted by a ridiculously long delay when the protective netting around the stands fell down.

McGowin came back out in the bottom of the eighth and struck out three around a one-out single by J.T. Realmuto.

Sánchez came out for one out in the ninth, and Héctor Neris got the final two outs.

Final Score: 12-6 Phillies.

Nationals now 24-32