In a game that many expected to be a classic pitchers’ duel between Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg and Phillies starter Cliff Lee, the Nationals overcame an early three-run deficit and beat the Phillies by a score of 5-3. It was the ninth come from behind win for the Nationals this season.
Although the Nationals got the last say in this one, things did not look so great early on. Strasburg, who threw seven scoreless innings his last time out against the Padres, gave up a three-run home run to Marlon Byrd after Jayson Werth dropped a foul ball pop up that would have ended the inning. Being let down by his defense is nothing new for Strasburg. Not being able to recover from errors cost him several wins last season and have already hurt him in 2014. But while the right-hander tends to get amped up after allowing unearned runs and ends up making the situation worse, today was a different story.
After allowing those first inning runs, Strasburg was lights out, throwing five scoreless innings before being taken out in the sixth inning after just 83 pitches. He wasn’t spotless, but he kept the Nationals in the game.
The Nationals began their comeback in the top of the third inning when Tyler Moore deposited a 2-2 cutter from Lee into the left field seats, making it a 3-1 game. Washington cut the Phillies lead to 3-2 in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Denard Span.
Both starters settled down after the fifth inning and it remained a 3-2 game until the Nationals broke through against the Phillies bullpen in the top of the eighth. RBI singles by Anthony Rendon and Adam LaRoche, followed by an RBI double by Ian Desmond plated three runs for the Nationals and gave Washington a 5-2 lead. Five of the Nationals’ ten hits came in the eighth inning.
After a stressful but scoreless eighth inning by Tyler Clippard, Rafael Soriano shut the door in the bottom of the ninth and picked up his sixth save of the season, securing a 5-3 win for the Nationals. With today’s win, the Nationals are now 17-12 and trail the Atlanta Braves by a half a game in the National League East.
Tags: Washington Nationals