The Nationals played the final game of a three game set with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday afternoon at Nats Park, and won 4-2 to sweep the series against the Phillies.
The game had a 4:00 p.m. start time due to the Nats post-game concert series, which featured the group Plain White T’s right after the game. During the game, the stands were full of bright red T’s with the Nats and Phillies fans mostly wearing red. The fans were treated to another great pitching outing by Doug Fister, who gave up two runs in seven innings. Fister’s record is now 4-1.
The fans were also treated to watching Fister make gold-glove caliber defensive plays. Fister is a delight to watch field his position. He always is ready to throw to first, run over to first or back up the play at first. He also laid down two sacrifice bunts.
Due to the long rain delay on Wednesday night and the late finish, Matt Williams elected to make changes in the line up. Wilson Ramos got the day off and Jose Lobaton did the catching. Ian Desmond got the day off due to general soreness, and Danny Espinosa played short. Anthony Rendon moved over to play second base, and Kevin Frandsen got the start against his former team at third. Ryan Zimmerman was again in left field.
The Phillies struck first in the game, scoring in the top of the first. Ben Revere doubled to lead off the game. Jimmy Rollins laid down a sacrifice bunt that got Revere to third, and Chase Utley singled to drive him in. Fister set down Ryan Howard and John Mayberry, Jr. to get out of the inning only allowing one run. The Phillies would not score another until the seventh inning.
The Nationals answered right back in the bottom of the first off Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. After Denard Span struck out, Rendon reached on an infield single. Rendon went to second on Jayson Werth’s groundout. Adam LaRoche drew a walk, and then Zimmerman singled to get Rendon across the plate. Frandsen ground out to end the inning, but the Nats had evened the score.
Fister then went to work, getting sixteen of the next eighteen batters out. Rollins doubled in the third, but was stranded and Utley was hit with a pitch in the sixth.
The Nationals had an opportunity to take the lead in the bottom of the third, when Rendon was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Werth drew a walk. LaRoche and Zimmerman lined out and Frandsen grounded out to end the inning and get Kendrick out of the jam.
The bottom of the fifth would have a better outcome for the Nats. Span doubled to lead off the inning and Rendon got hin to third on a deep fly ball to right. Werth singled to score Span and then LaRoche hit a home run driving in two more. At the end of the inning the Nats led 4-1 and made it stand up.
Fister pitched the seventh inning, giving up a lead off home run to Mayberry, who has been hitting for power against the Nats in this series. Fister retired the next three batters, leaving the game with the lead and a possible win.
Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless eighth inning for another hold. Rafael Soriano got into the game in the top of the ninth in what has been a rare opportunity for him over the last ten games–a save. Soriano nailed it down against the heart of the Phillies order. He induced a groundout by Utley and struck out Howard and Mayberry to secure the win.
The Nationals now go on a ten game road for a trip to the west coast. They start with a series against the San Diego Padres Friday night, with the game start time of 10:10 p,m, EST. After the Padres series, they then play the San Francisco Giants in a four game series, then travel to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals for a weekend series.