Washington Nationals: Phillies’ Strategy Against Bryce Harper Pays Off

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Apr 26, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) looks to throw first base to complete the double play after tagging out Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco (7) fifth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 26, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) looks to throw first base to complete the double play after tagging out Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco (7) fifth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Apr 26, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) looks to throw first base to complete the double play after tagging out Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco (7) fifth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Check out our three takeaways from last night’s Washington Nationals 4-3 loss to the Phillies

After sweeping the Minnesota Twins over the weekend, the Washington Nationals (14-5) were back in action last night against the Philadelphia Phillies (10-10). It was a good pitching matchup on paper between Vincent Velasquez and Max Scherzer.

However, the Washington Nationals did not get a dominant performance from Scherzer. The Nats’ ace had his first inning struggles once again and the Phillies’ top of the order did their damage against Nats’ pitching, going 5-for-14 with a home run and three runs scored.

Nevertheless, even though Scherzer wasn’t dominant, he kept the offense in the game and they did get three runs against Velasquez, including two in the fifth inning. Plus, the team manufactured a run in the second on a sacrifice bunt by Danny Espinosa.

Scherzer still had a quality start, but the Washington Nationals ended up losing the game on an RBI double by Phillies’ third baseman Maikel Franco against Oliver Perez in the top of the seventh.

After giving up a home run in all three games to Bryce Harper, the Phillies were able to keep Harper in the ballpark last night. Pete Mackanin, the Phillies’ manager, decided to walk the reigning MVP intentionally twice. However, Jeanmar Gomez, the Phillies’ closer, had to face Harper in the ninth as the winning run, but he ended up getting him to groundout to short.

Plus, there was more bad news for the Washington Nationals last night as Matt Belisle had to leave the game after throwing three pitches. Here is what manager Dusty Baker had to say after the game about Belisle’s injury:

Before Gio Gonzalez takes on Jeremy Hellickson tonight (7:05 p.m ET, MASN), here are my three takeaways from last night’s 4-3 loss:

Next: Scherzer's 1st Inning Woes Continue

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