Phillies Bounce Back with Win Over the Nationals

The Philadelphia Phillies did what they have done all season… bounce back from a tough loss, put it behind them, and come up with a win. It’s been that simple. The Phillies scored all their runs in the first three innings, then coasted the rest of the way to a 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on the arm of Zack Wheeler and their bullpen.

Jose Alvarado and Jeff Hoffman combined to pitch one and two-thirds innings of shutout baseball in front of a sellout crowd of 44,507 at Citizens Bank Park. Under an overcast sky, it was otherwise a very pleasant evening in South Philadelphia.

Brandon Marsh drove in the final run of the game for Philadelphia (32-14), which bounced back after dropping a tough extra-inning game against the Mets Thursday night. Washington’s bullpen was also impressive. Jacob Barnes and Jordan Weems retired 16 consecutive Phillies batters. Marsh, whose double in the third inning was the last Phillies’ hit of the night, said the pitching staff has been the story.

“Our pitching has been carrying us,” said Marsh after the game in the Phillies locker room. “They set the tone for us. As of late, we only have to get them a couple, and they get the job done for us. Hat’s off for all the pitching staff.”

Marsh was asked if early runs are now part of the team’s personality.

“I hope so,” said Marsh, who finished 1 of 2 and scored a run. “I really hope so. It’s good to get it going early, especially with the (pitching) staff that we’ve got.”

Flyers Let Early Lead Slip Away, Lose to Capitals

The Phils took a 1-0 lead at the bottom of the first when Alec Bohm doubled to the right to score J.T. Realmuto from first base. Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper popped out, and Nick Castellanos grounded out in that first at-bat. Washington tied in the second when Keibert Ruiz doubled to deep left center, and Ildemaro Vargas scored. Starter Zach Wheeler had struck out three at this point.

Righty Jake Irvin relied on his defense on the field through two innings…no strikeouts and one hit batter. The Phillies went up in the second when, with one out and Schwarber at the plate, Marsh scored on a wild pitch by Irvin. Philadelphia scored 3-1 when Schwarber scrubbed a ball down the first base line, allowing Edmundo Sosa to score. Sosa had made it to third base on the wild pitch by Irvin.

In the third inning, Bryson Stott’s two-out perfect bunt to the opposite field put the second baseman in first. Irvin then hit his second batter of the game when he clocked Nick Castellanos on his left arm…man of first and second. Brandon Marsh drilled a shot down the third base line, scoring Stott, making the score 4-1 after three innings. After three innings, Wheeler had thrown 41 pitches and 25 for strikes. The 33-year-old was in a groove.

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The Nationals came back with a run in the top of the fifth when, with two outs, Eddie Rosario doubled to right center, scoring CJ Abrams, who was rewarded with a double after Castellanos didn’t make a big play diving for the soft-lined ball to shallow right-center field. Rosario ended the inning with a weak attempt to steal third.

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As he entered the eighth inning, Wheeler had thrown 100 pitches, 65 for strikes. After he got Victor Robles to fly out, Manager Rob Thomson brought in Alvarado, and that was that. Wheeler (5-3) ended up throwing 104 pitches, 68 for strikes. He struck out six and allowed just three hits, two earned runs, and three walks. Wheeler was asked about how this Phillies team bounces back so well after a loss.

“It’s what good teams do,” Wheeler said. “We bounce back…come from behind…we do a lot of things right.”

Al Thompson is the Sports Director for the Delaware Valley Radio Network (WRDV). His Footballstories Live Podcast with Matt Santoleri is part of the Edge of Philly Sports Network.

Photos by Al Thompson

  • Brandon Marsh said the Phillies pitching is carrying the team right now.
  • Zack Wheeler says the Phillies bounce back from losses so well, is because they do things the right way. 
Al Thompson
Al Thompson

Covers High School, College and Pro Sports for the last 35 years, Writer, radio host and Sports Director at WRDV Radio 89.3 FM in Hatboro, PA. Publisher, Editor of Footballstories The Magazine. Author of “The Gilmore Years.” Email Al Thompson at al.thompson@footballstories.com.

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