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Washington Nationals drop fifth straight, 10-1 Philadelphia Phillies in series opener in D.C.

Patrick Corbin was cruising early, then a two-out error in the third started things rolling the Phillies’ way...

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Corbin vs the Phillies:

Patrick Corbin’s 6.75 ERA and 4.24 FIP in his last four starts before tonight, weren’t too far off his 6.65 ERA and 4.55 FIP overall on the season, but the Washington Nationals’ 32-year-old left-hander earned Ws in three of those four turns in the rotation after going winless in his first nine starts of the 2022 campaign (6.60 ERA, 4.72 FIP).

Corbin and the Nats beat the Milwaukee Brewers in his previous outing before tonight, with the southpaw surrendering seven hits, two walks, and four runs in six innings of work in the 8-6 win. He gave up a leadoff home run on the fifth pitch he threw, then settled in and held the visitors off the board until the seventh, when he was suddenly up in the zone and got hit hard.

“He just fell behind. He fell behind every hitter,” manager Davey Martinez said of what went wrong in Corbin’s final inning of work in that start.

Corbin was sharp early in the series opener with the Philadelphia Phillies tonight, retiring the first eight batters he faced, but a two-out grounder up the middle that skipped off the mound, and shot by César Hernández, gave the Phils their first baserunner, and Mr. June, Kyle Scwhwarber stepped in next and hit a 1-0 fastball 424 feet to center for a 2-run shot and a 2-0 lead. A double by Rhys Hoskins and a walk to Bryce Harper followed, and then Nick Castellanos hit a two-out RBI single, 3-0, and 4-0 on an infield hit by J.T. Realmuto ... and 6-0 on a two-run double by Didi Gregorius.

Gregorius scored on a misplay at first base on Alec Bohm’s grounder to Josh Bell, 7-0, as Corbin, who was almost out of the third at 38 pitches, ended up at 73, down by seven.

Schwarber hit a 1-2 slider to right-center for his second of the game and 18th of the season, 8-0 Phillies in the fourth.

One out later, a Bryce Harper single, on Corbin’s 84th pitch, and it was time for the starter to hit the showers...

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HRs, 84 P, 53 S, 8/0 GO/FO.

Wheeler Dealer:

Phillies’ right-hander Zach Wheeler was winless (0-3) with an 8.53 ERA, a 4.08 FIP, and a rough .309/.387/.455 line against in his first three starts this season, but was unbeaten since, going (5-0) with a 1.42 ERA, a 1.64 FIP, and .203/.256/.291 line against over eight starts and 50 23 IP during that run.

Last time out before tonight, the 32-year-old righty threw six scoreless against Arizona, holding D-backs’ hitters to two hits in a 4-0 win for Philadelphia.

Taking on the Nationals for the first time this season, Wheeler tossed two scoreless to start, on 29 pitches, and came out for the third with a 7-0 lead, and stranded a two-out triple in a 17-pitch inning.

Josh Bell got hold of a full-count changeup, knee-high outside, and powered it out to right field for a two-out solo shot that got the Nationals on the board in the fourth, 9-1, but a 16-pitch frame for Wheeler left him at 62 total, and he retired the side in order on six pitches, leaving him at 68 overall with an eight-run lead.

Wheeler retired the side in order in a nine-pitch sixth, and worked around a one-out single by Bell in a nine-pitch seventh which left him at 86 total...

Zach Wheeler’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 86 P, 57 S, 10/2 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action:

Andres Machado inherited a runner (Bryce Harper) at first from Patrick Corbin, and he let him score on an RBI double by Nick Castellanos, then retired the next two batters, 9-0...

Machado worked around a leadoff single in the fifth, and handed it over to Erasmo Ramírez in the top of the sixth, with the Phillies up 9-1.

Ramírez worked around a two-out walk, and threw 15 pitches in the top of the sixth.

Reed Garrett worked around a leadoff walk in his first inning of work in the seventh, but he gave up a leadoff home run by Yairo Muñoz in the first at-bat of the Phillies’ eighth, 10-1.

Nationals now 23-43