Eighth Inning Strategy Against Neris Pays Off
Other than that Murphy home run in the fourth, the Nats didn’t do much against Hellickson for the majority of the night. The Phillies’ right-hander went seven innings, gave up the lone home run on three hits, struck out eight, and did not walk a batter on just 79 pitches (53 strikes). Hellickson has now only given up one run in his last two outings against the Washington Nationals.
In the eighth, the Nats went up against Hector Neris, who had a 0.98 ERA in the eighth inning coming into the night. With one out, Danny Espinosa drew a walk. Two batters later, after a great leaping grab by Maikel Franco took a hit away from Clint Robinson, Ben Revere took a 3-2 pitch and drew another walk.
Then, Jayson Werth had his second clutch hit in as many days when he tied the game with a RBI single to left. After Chris Heisey (in for Harper) drew the third walk of the inning, Murphy hit his two-run single which eventually gave the Nats the win.
Neris didn’t finish the inning as he threw 29 pitches to get two outs and was eventually replaced by Jeanmar Gomez. The 29 pitches he threw last night were the third most he’s thrown in any game this year. In his previous for appearances against Washington, his maximum pitch count was 17 (April 26). Plus, three of Neris’ ten walks came in last night’s game.
Give the Washington Nationals lineup credit last night for staying patient and drawing those walks to set themselves up for a big inning that helped their starting pitcher pick up a well-deserved win.