Josh Bell hit an opposite field, three-run home run off Philadelphia Phillies’ lefty Matt Moore in the top of the first, 3-0, Juan Soto sent one out to left field off the southpaw in the top of the second in Citizens Bank Park, 6-1, and the Washington Nationals held on for a 6-4 win in the City of Brotherly Love, snapping a five-game losing streak, but just because good things just won’t happen to the club this season, Trea Turner left tonight’s game in the middle of the first inning after he apparently tested positive for COVID-19. Also Victor Robles tweaked something on a swing in the ninth and left the game...
Fedde vs the Phillies: In two starts against the Phillies earlier this season, Erick Fedde gave up a combined 11 hits (3 HRs), six walks, and eight earned run in nine innings [checks math] for an 8.00 ERA with a .306/.395/.639 line against on the mound opposite the Nationals’ NL East rivals, but heading into tonight’s outing, the 28-year-old 2014 1st Round draft pick was coming off a solid start against the Marlins in which he went six strong, giving up four hits and a walk with just one unearned run crossing the plate while he was on the hill in D.C.
At the very least, it was a significant improvement over his previous outing, which saw him give up three hits, four walks, and six runs in 1 1⁄3 IP. What was different?
“Probably just my aggression with the fastball,” Fedde said. “I think I started out in the first inning and just went right after guys, and then just the ability — I made a few adjustments mechanically, I think I just kept myself much more under control and consistent, which helped being in the zone.”
Fedde took the mound tonight with a 3-0 lead, courtesy of a three-run home run by Josh Bell, but gave one back in the first, with Jean Segura singling with one out and scoring a batter later when Bryce Harper doubled to right-center field, 3-1.
It was 6-1 in the Nationals’ favor in the fourth when Rhys Hoskins doubled to start the inning and scored on a two-out double by Odubel Herrera, 6-2.
Bryce Harper bounced a fly ball off the high wall in Citizens Bank Park with two out in the bottom of the fifth, and he raced around the bases as Victor Robles mistimed his jump at the wall and had the ball bounce off it and roll away from him. Harper scored for an inside-the-park home run, and Andrew McCutchen followed with a more traditional blast to left field, making it a 6-4 game in the Nationals’ favor. Harper’s 16th. McCutchen’s 19th.
A single by Rhys Hoskins in the next at bat ended Fedde’s night...
Erick Fedde’s Line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 2 HRs, 86 P, 53 S, 8/0 GO/FO.
Moore vs the Nationals: Signed as a free agent by the Phillies this winter, 32-year-old, 10-year veteran Matt Moore started the night (0-2) in 14 games (eight starts) and 42 IP on the season, over which the southpaw had a 5.79 ERA, a 5.68 FIP, 20 walks, 37 strikeouts, and a .281/.360/.521 line against on the year.
Moore was in a hole early tonight, with Trea Turner and Juan Soto connecting for back-to-back, one-out hits in the top of the first, which set Josh Bell up with an RBI opportunity he cashed in with an opposite field, three-run home run to right field that made it a 3-0 Nats’ lead early in Citizens Bank Park.
Victor Robles walked to start the second, and two outs later, Gerardo Parra singled to keep the inning alive for Juan Soto, who hit a first-pitch cutter from Moore out to left field for a three-run, opposite field home run and a 6-1 lead after the Phillies got on the board in the home-half of the first. Soto’s 18th.
Moore held it there through four, but with a runner on second and two out in a 6-2 game when his spot in the order came up, the Phillies hit for their starter in the bottom of the fourth...
Matt Moore’s Line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 69 P, 45 S, 6/1 GO/FO.
Turner Exits: Anything out of the ordinary right now, when everyone on the roster but Juan Soto is reportedly considered available in the right deal with MLB’s 2021 Trade Deadline approaching, is going to cause a stir, and Trea Turner singling, going first to third on a hit by Soto, and scoring on Josh Bell’s home run and then leaving the game tonight between the top and bottom of the first was sure to get the rumor mill going. It didn’t last that long...
Hearing Turner came out after hurting himself. No trade.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 27, 2021
Hearing Turner has NOT been traded. Dan’s tweet indicates potential physical issue. https://t.co/HZfXEZ4P0I— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2021
Unfortunately (?) it wasn’t just a tweak or something that took Turner out as the team announced:
#Nationals: Trea Turner tested positive for Covid-19 and was removed from tonight’s game per MLB protocols.— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) July 28, 2021
Bullpen Action: Phillies’ righty Chase Anderson took over on the mound in the fifth and set the Nationals down in order.
Sam Clay took over for Erick Fedde with a runner on second and two out in a 6-4 game in the Nationals’ favor in the fifth, and got the final out of the inning on two pitches.
Anderson worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless top of the sixth.
Clay came back out for the bottom of the sixth, and retired one batter, but gave up a single to left by Odubel Herrera before the Nationals went to the pen again.
Wander Suero took over and got the final two outs of the Phillies’ sixth, stranding the runner he inherited.
José Alvarado came on for the Phillies in the top of the seventh and retired the Nationals in order to keep it a two-run game.
Connor Brogdon set the Nationals down in order in a scoreless top of the eighth.
Kyle Finnegan gave up leadoff and two-out walks in the Phillies’ half of the eighth, but left them both on base in a scoreless frame.
Enyel De Los Santos tossed a scoreless top of the ninth to keep it a one-run game, and Victor Robles left mid-at-bat after tweaking something on a swing.
Brad Hand came on trying
for the not to blow a save for the third straight day and Jean Segura sent a grounder to third on which Carter Kieboom committed a throwing error, which allowed Segura to take second. J.T. Realmuto lined out to left. One down. Bryce Harper? Popped up behind home. Two down. Andrew McCutchen (?) ... backwards K.
Final Score: 6-4 Nationals
Nationals now 46-54