The night after trading away a couple of their stars, the Washington Nationals came from behind against the Philadelphia Phillies to win 10-4.
Nobody would’ve had Wilmer Difo and Andrew Stevenson leading the Washington Nationals to victory on Tuesday. But, that’s exactly what happened as the hosts cranked out 10 runs, and nine unanswered to take the first game of the series.
Stevenson was just called up from Triple-A following the trades earlier in the day and made the most of his opportunity. He pinch-hit for Matt Grace in the sixth inning and hit a two-run bomb to deep center for his first career major league home run.
While the outfielder may not see too many starts the rest of the way, he can certainly help out off the bench. He’s been known for good defense throughout his career and if he can keep hitting like he did on Tuesday, he’ll be a nice player to have around.
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Difo was also getting a chance to impress too. With Daniel Murphy dealt, he has the chance to make a case to be the team’s future at second base. His go-ahead blast in the sixth inning will be another feather in his cap.
Although the Nats’ front office has somewhat conceded the season with those trades, there are chances for younger players to impress. Difo and Stevenson were the stars this time, and hopefully, more will step up soon.
Herrera returns from the DL
After a brief stint on the disabled list, Kelvin Herrera returned from injury on Tuesday night. He pitched a perfect ninth and looks to re-establish himself.
With the game still close before the Nationals scored three in the eighth, it looked like Herrera would be thrown right back into the closer’s role. With Koda Glover still struggling, they could do with Herrera’s veteran presence back there.
In the end, it was good to get him some work in a low-pressure spot to ease him back. It’s going to be a key few weeks for Herrera as he looks to build up his value heading into free agency.
Wieters still raking at the dish
Probably the most surprising hitter on the team in August is catcher Matt Wieters. He continued his recent tear with a 2 for 5 performance in the series opener.
The slight mechanical change he made to his swing is finally paying dividends and giving the Nats some production from catcher again.
Like Herrera, he’ll need a strong showing to finish the season heading to free agency. At the very least, it’s still nice to see things finally clicking after a miserable year and a half in D.C. for Wieters who’s always been well respected around the league.