The Washington Nationals secured a three-game series sweep over the Philadelphia Phillies after a 7-4 victory on Thursday night.
After fighting off multiple rain delays, postponements, and a double-header, the Washington Nationals swept the Phillies and are at their highest point, morality-wise, of the entire season.
The Nationals have won four consecutive games, bringing them to a 36-38 record. The last time the Nationals were two games under .500 was back on April 26. The Nats got as low as 11 games under .500 on May 23.
It has been a meteoric climb since that point when lots of Nats fans, myself included, pronounced the season all but over.
The Nationals stomped the Phillies, increasing their run differential against them to +16 in 11 games. The Nats have stamped a Curly W on seven of those 11 games.
This series not only boosts the Nats’ standing but demoralizes Philadelphia’s. Over their last ten games, the Phillies have lost eight. In that span, they have gone 1-5 against the Braves and Nationals.
Phillies fans strutted out of Nats Park in early April after Bryce Harper’s return to D.C. But for now, Nats fans are laughing as both the Phillies and Harper are struggling against the Nats.
In this series, Harper recorded one hit in nine official at-bats, along with three strikeouts compared to four walks.
Overall, Harper is having his worst season since 2016 in just about every stat category. His 29 percent strikeout rate is on pace to be the highest of his career by three points.
Meanwhile, Harper’s replacement, Victor Robles, is turning into a Phillie killer.
Robles homered in back-to-back games and is riding a five-game hit streak. Including tonight’s game, Robles has four home runs against Philadelphia with an OPS over .950.
Slowly but surely, Robles is turning himself into a competent Major League hitter. Harper’s season stats are still better, and that is no surprise. But right now, the Nats are getting much better per dollar production from Robles than Harper.
All things considered, the Nats have to be feeling great about themselves heading into an enormous series this weekend against the Atlanta Braves. Now, it is time to carry that momentum forward and take at least two out of three from the division leaders.