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Washington Nationals lose 11-0 opener to the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park...

Yep, maybe a rainout would have been better. Nationals lose big. Alcides Escobar pitches in eighth... Kyle Schwarber can not stop hitting homers...

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Espino vs Philly:

Paolo Espino has been a reliable part of the bullpen or the rotation over the last few years, stepping in where needed and doing solid work for the Nationals, but he struggled in last week’s outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the nation’s capital, giving up five hits, one walk, and four earned runs in 4 13 innings pitched before he was lifted by Davey Martinez.

“Espino just — we talk about Espino, how good he is, and we had to be careful because all of a sudden his role changed and he’s been going every five days. We thought he was off today so we got him out of there,” Martinez explained, noting that Espino started the year throwing out of the bullpen before transitioning to starting role.

The rough outing took Espino from a 2.57 ERA and a 4.61 FIP in three starts and 14 IP to a 3.93 ERA, and a 5.40 FIP, with a .257/.316/.471 line against in 18 13 IP as a starter this year.

Going up against the Phillies tonight in Philadelphia, PA’s Citizens Bank Park, Espino, who gave up three hits, four walks, and three runs, two earned, in 5 IP when he faced the Nats’ NL East rivals in D.C. last month, got off to a tough start, giving up a 412-foot leadoff home run to center by Kyle Schwarber on the seventh pitch of the game for the Nationals’ starter, 1-0 Philly. No. 24 for Schwarber.

Schwarber’s 25th home run of the season went 431 feet to right in CBP, into the upper tank, with two out in the home-half of the third. 1-0 fastball this time. (3-2 FB on the 1st). 2-0.

Nick Castellanos and Darick Hall hit back-to-back doubles off the Nats’ righty to start the fourth, with Hall’s a maybe-catchable fly to the fence Victor Robles misjudged, and let hit off the fencing. Castellanos scored on a sac fly to center by J.T. Realmuto, on which both runners advanced, 3-0.

Alec Bohm drove Hall in with a single, 4-0, and Bryson Stott lined an 0-2 fastball to left for the fourth hit of the inning. A walk to Matt Vierling loaded the bases, but Espino struck out Mickey Moniak for the second out of the inning, and was yanked at that point with three on and Kyle Schwarber due up...

Paolo Espino’s Line: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 82 P, 53 S, 2/5 GO/FO.

Sánchez vs the Nationals:

Signed by Tampa Bay out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, and acquired by Philadelphia in a 2019 trade, Cristopher Sánchez, 25, debuted in the majors in 2021, and the righty took the mound tonight at home in Citizens Bank Park with a 4.60 ERA, a 4.58 FIP, six walks, 15 Ks, and a .207/.313/.345 line against in eight games, one start, and 15 23 IP overall in 2022.

Sánchez allowed one hit and two walks through four scoreless to start tonight’s game, with Kyle Schwarber homering in the first and third to give the pitcher a 2-0 lead to work with.

It was 4-0 when Sánchez came out in the fifth, and erased a one-out single to center field by Yadiel Hernández on an inning-ending 4-6-3 DP off Victor Robles’s bat. 11-pitch frame.

Cristopher Sánchez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 60 P, 35 S, 7/2 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action:

Andres Machado came on with the bases loaded and two out in the Philly half of the fourth, with Kyle Schwarber up, after homering in each of his first two at-bats tonight, and got him swinging to end the threat. 4-0 Phillies.

Darick Hall singled off Erasmo Ramírez to keep the Philly fifth alive, and J.T. Realmuto followed with a two-run shot to right field on an 0-2 cutter up and over the middle of the plate, 6-0. No. 7 for Realmuto.

Jeurys Familia struck out two in a 1-2-3 top of the sixth.

Reed Garrett gave up a leadoff walk and single in the first two at-bats of the Phillies’ sixth, and a one-out intentional walk to Kyle Schwarber loaded the bases, then he struck Mickey Moniak out for out No. 2, but gave up a broken-bat, two-run single to short right by Nick Castellanos, 8-0 Philly, and 9-0 on an infield single on a grounder to the left side by Darick Hall. Alec Bohm shot a single to center with two out to drive in two more, 11-0. That was it for Garrett... who threw 44 pitches in the inning.

Andrew Bellatti worked around a two-out single by Luis García for a scoreless top of the seventh, and Jordan Weems, who finished off the sixth, returned to the mound and held Philly off the board in the bottom of the inning.

Mark Appel got an inning-ending double play out of Lane Thomas after a walk to Victor Robles in the top of the eighth.

Alcides Escobar pitched the bottom of the eighth, and threw a scoreless frame. #SuperU.

Appel returned in the ninth and finished things off. Final Score: 11-0 Phillies.

Nationals now 29-54