Phillies win wild in Washington to sweep Nats doubleheader

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Phillies win wild in Washington to sweep Nats doubleheader

WASHINGTON — The Phillies didn’t play perfect baseball in their doubleheader against the Washington Nationals, but that didn’t seem to matter when celebration music blared in the clubhouse late Friday night after 12 hours at the ballpark.

The Phils survived a series of errors, including leaving too many base runners in the opener and costly bullpen walks, two base run errors and a near-fatal field error on the nightcap to earn a win over the Nationals.

The Phillies won the opener 5-3. The second game was wild and the Phils won it 8-7.

The two wins put the Phils 35-31 in their best four games of the .500 season. They won the first three games of that five-player and are now winning five straight series for the first time since 2011, when they last made the playoffs.

The Phils are 14-2 in June and 13-2 under new skipper Rob Thomson.

“Great day,” Thomson said when it was over.

He acknowledged that the team overcame some mistakes during the long, hot and tiring day.

“It’s just the character of this club,” he said. “They think.”

The main reason the Phillies were able to make up for their shortcomings in the nightcap — baserunning errors by Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Schwarber, two damaging walks and a wild pitch by Nick Nelson in the sixth, and an error by shortstop Didi Gregorius that allowed the Nats to draw on End of the ninth game – was that they did some little things so well.

JT Realmuto knocked out a potential double-play ball to keep the eighth inning alive for pinch-hitter Bryce Harper to come off the bench and hit a two-barrel game-determining double down right center.

Little things …

Washington assist Kyle Finnegan was clearly trying to round Harper and appeared to lead him by four pitches. However, referee Clinton Vondrak called the fourth throw, which was outside the strike zone, a strike. Harper wasn’t happy with the call — and he still wasn’t after the game. Finnegan’s fifth throw was a punch and Harper smashed it.

“Harp was upset that it wasn’t ball four, but I was like, ‘Fine, let him bat,'” Thomson said. “JT hitting that ball and putting Harper on the plate was really pivotal.”

Realmuto was initially called out, but the Phillies challenged and won.

After Harper leveled the game in eighth, Matt Vierling hit his second homer of the game in ninth to give the Phils a 6-5 lead.

The Phillies went deep in their bullpen that day. Corey Knebel, Jeurys Familia and Andrew Bellatti made key outs in the nightcap and Jose Alvarado was about to close out a one-run win in the ninth when Gregorius committed a two-out throwing error that allowed Washington to tie the game .

Alvarado eventually finished it off in 10th place. He took the win after Realmuto singled two runs home. The two runs were huge because the Nats hit an unearned run to make it a one-run game in the 10th.

Hoskins scored the second run in the 10th thanks to another of those little things, most notably Dusty Wathan’s knowledge of the third-base coach’s obstruction rule. Washington shortstop Luis Garcia blocked Hoskins’ progress to third place when Realmuto’s ball went in the middle. Noticing the obstruction, Wathan saw third base umpire John Bacon raise his hand and angrily waved Hoskins home to ensure the run would count.

“Dusty knows the rule,” Thomson said. “Huge. Really smart.”

“It just goes to show what a great baseball mind he has,” Harper said of Wathan.

The Phillies actually go through this game in spring training. It rarely happens, but when it happened in this game, everyone was ready.

It wouldn’t be hard to imagine the Phillies losing a game like this in the first two months of the season, back when the offense was fickle, the bullpen had occasional breakdowns and the defense was shaky.

Defense and bullpen are far from perfect, but things are improving.

“We find ways to win games that we probably shouldn’t, and that’s what good teams do,” Hoskins said. “I don’t think we ever feel like we’re out of a game. It has a lot to do with how we swing the clubs but I also think the guys in the bullpen have been great lately attacking the zone and when we score we throw some zeros.”

The Phils won the first game in three hours and 32 minutes.

They won the second game in three hours and 45 minutes.

“It was a great baseball day,” Harper said. “Win the series with two more games today to hopefully do good and come out of here feeling good.”

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Phillies win wild in Washington to sweep Nats doubleheader

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Phillies win wild in Washington to sweep Nats doubleheader

WASHINGTON — The Phillies didn’t play perfect baseball in their doubleheader against the Washington Nationals, but that didn’t seem to matter when celebration music blared in the clubhouse late Friday night after 12 hours at the ballpark.

The Phils survived a series of errors, including leaving too many base runners in the opener and costly bullpen walks, two base run errors and a near-fatal field error on the nightcap to earn a win over the Nationals.

The Phillies won the opener 5-3. The second game was wild and the Phils won it 8-7.

The two wins put the Phils 35-31 in their best four games of the .500 season. They won the first three games of that five-player and are now winning five straight series for the first time since 2011, when they last made the playoffs.

The Phils are 14-2 in June and 13-2 under new skipper Rob Thomson.

“Great day,” Thomson said when it was over.

He acknowledged that the team overcame some mistakes during the long, hot and tiring day.

“It’s just the character of this club,” he said. “They think.”

The main reason the Phillies were able to make up for their shortcomings in the nightcap — baserunning errors by Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Schwarber, two damaging walks by Nick Nelson in the sixth, and an error by shortstop Didi Gregorius that allowed the Nats to finish the game Late ninth – was they did some little things so well.

JT Realmuto knocked out a potential double-play ball to keep the eighth inning alive for pinch-hitter Bryce Harper to come off the bench and hit a two-barrel game-determining double down right center.

Little things …

Washington assist Kyle Finnegan was clearly trying to round Harper and appeared to lead him by four pitches. However, referee Clinton Vondrak called the fourth throw, which was outside the strike zone, a strike. Harper wasn’t happy with the call — and he still wasn’t after the game. Finnegan’s fifth throw was a punch and Harper smashed it.

“Harp was upset that it wasn’t ball four, but I was like, ‘Fine, let him bat,'” Thomson said. “JT hitting that ball and putting Harper on the plate was really pivotal.”

Realmuto was initially called out, but the Phillies challenged and won.

After Harper leveled the game in eighth, Matt Vierling hit his second homer of the game in ninth to give the Phils a 6-5 lead.

The Phillies went deep in their bullpen that day. Corey Knebel, Jeurys Familia and Andrew Bellatti made key outs in the nightcap and Jose Alvarado was about to close out a one-run win in the ninth when Gregorius committed a two-out throwing error that allowed Washington to tie the game .

Alvarado eventually finished it off in 10th place. He took the win after Realmuto singled two runs home. The two runs were huge because the Nats hit an unearned run to make it a one-run game in the 10th.

Hoskins scored the second run in the 10th thanks to another of those little things, most notably Dusty Wathan’s knowledge of the third-base coach’s obstruction rule. Washington shortstop Luis Garcia blocked Hoskins’ progress to third place when Realmuto’s ball went in the middle. Noticing the obstruction, Wathan saw third base umpire John Bacon raise his hand and angrily waved Hoskins home to ensure the run would count.

“Dusty knows the rule,” Thomson said. “Huge. Really smart.”

“It just goes to show what a great baseball mind he has,” Harper said of Wathan.

The Phillies actually go through this game in spring training. It rarely happens, but when it happened in this game, everyone was ready.

It wouldn’t be hard to imagine the Phillies losing a game like this in the first two months of the season, back when the offense was fickle, the bullpen had occasional breakdowns and the defense was shaky.

Defense and bullpen are far from perfect, but things are improving.

“We find ways to win games that we probably shouldn’t, and that’s what good teams do,” Hoskins said. “I don’t think we ever feel like we’re out of a game. It has a lot to do with how we swing the clubs but I also think the guys in the bullpen have been great lately attacking the zone and when we score we throw some zeros.”

The Phils won the first game in three hours and 32 minutes.

They won the second game in three hours and 45 minutes.

“It was a great baseball day,” Harper said. “Win the series with two more games today to hopefully do good and come out of here feeling good.”

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