Murphy's RBI double in 10th lifts Nationals over Phils 3-2

18 April, 2017, 02:51 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Washington Nationals

Mariners 8, Rangers 7: Nelson Cruz singled in the tiebreaking run to cap a two-run, ninth-inning rally, and Seattle overcame a 6-1 deficit to complete a three-game sweep.

Here are five things to know for the series finale. Mike Dunn struck out the two batters he faced in the eighth, Adam Ottavino got another out and Greg Holland pitched a ideal ninth for his seventh straight save this season.

It follows a similar trend to last season. I could have sent him out for one more.

That means Mackanin's early task will be to make sure that the Phillies aren't so deep in the standings by Memorial Day that the season becomes irrelevant, the players lose their passion and the front office begins to leak patience. Scott recoiled after the ball struck the bottom of his mask and staggered backward before going down on one knee in the eighth inning. His reaction was one of qualified relief, an uneasiness at the circumstances that almost sunk his Nationals again, a gratitude for the player who pulled them out of the fire at the last possible moment.

Interestingly enough, Heisey's home run was only one of the two extra base hits the Nationals managed. He faced the Nationals twice in 2016. Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera grounded out softly to first, allowing Altherr to get to third.

As a team, the Nationals haven't hit Eickhoff well. But it doesn't really compare to seeing his hair flowing in the wind as he races around the bases and slides home head first with the winning run. Two on, two out and Bryce Harper got a chance to be the hero. Also seen are Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp, center, and home plate umpire Mike Estabrook, left. Then he drove a Joe Blanton pitch into the right-field seats in the eighth, pushing the Phillies to a 4-2 victory at Nationals Park. Now he's 31 years old and firmly further down in the Nats' rotation.

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"Stayed away from the inner part of the plate for the most part", said Hellickson, now 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA. But Koda Glover and (closer?) Blake Treinen combined to allow three hits, a walk, a wild pitch and two runs to score (one inherited) while getting just four outs. "That was huge. Bailed us out big time".

While Gonzalez won't keep up a 0.69 ERA for long, he tends to hold Phillies in check. And what the Phils are missing on multiple levels.

Eickhoff has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 11 straight starts, dating to last season. He is now 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA this year. He has made 44 starts for the Phillies and the team has averaged just 3.79 runs while he's been in the game. The guy just seems to hit home runs at will whenever he's matched up against Philadelphia pitching.

After Leake was pulled, Adam Eaton hit an RBI single in the eighth inning and Washington put runners at the corners with two outs before Brett Cecil got Bryce Harper to line out to third. Nevertheless, it likely wouldn't have done much else to help the Nationals. In the bullpen Mackanin has been pleased with right-hander Luis Garcia, who threw a scoreless inning with one strikeout Wednesday against the New York Mets. This is all to say, the new back-end of the bullpen has the potential to be a force. The bullpen got credit for another win after blowing another lead in 2017, as the Nats downed the Phillies 6-4. However, it still has three pitchers capable of performing in high leverage situations.

"Once again, you look at Harper and Murphy, they both hit lefthanders well", Mackanin said. Last year, the Phillies" back-end of the "pen was basically just Neris and Gomez and that fell apart when Gomez struggled in September. Consistently batting leadoff with Trea Turner injured, Eaton has been able to give the heart of Washington's lineup something to work with on a consistent basis.

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