Philadelphia Phillies week in review: Weekend ends with a thud after walk-off losses at Nationals
The Philadelphia Phillies entered the week with good vibes after taking a series from NL East rival Washington on a walk-off victory and blowout win. But any momentum that could have been taken out of that series was halted in a three-game sweep against the New York Mets at home before the Phillies dropped two of three in Washington.
Injuries in the rotation and ineffectiveness in the bullpen has already thrown the roster into a bit of flux, while the offense couldn’t quite do enough to get the Phillies past the Mets and the Nats with three one-run losses and another two-run loss in a game that came down to the final strike.
Here’s a look at how the Phillies did last week:
Last week: 1-5
Season: 4-8, fifth in NL East
Games back: 3.0
Cesar Hernandez had one of the best weeks of any of the Phillies, and it showed in Saturday afternoon’s win over the Nationals — Philadelphia’s lone victory of the week. The second baseman blasted a two-run home run in the eighth inning off Joe Blanton to break a 2-2 tie in an eventual 4-2 victory.
There were three painful losses to the Mets early in the week — a pair of comebacks that feel short and a blowout defeat — but the pair of walk-off setbacks in Washington over the weekend likely sting the most. On Friday, Dan Murphy’s double off Jeanmar Gomez scored Bryce Harper in the bottom of the 10th for a 3-2 Nationals win. On Sunday afternoon, it was Harper’s three-run home run to center field in the ninth that sent the Nationals to a 6-4 win and a series victory.
what is Cesar even doing pic.twitter.com/DXMWVdXMos
— chris jones-_(tu)_/- (@LONG_DRIVE) April 16, 2017
The aforementioned Hernandez has been on fire for the Phils in the past week. The 26-year-old batted .423 (11 for 26) with two home runs and four RBI. He’s scored six times and knocked two doubles in that time span. His two-run homer against the Mets was the difference in the Phillies’ lone victory of the week, and he started Sunday’s game with a bang, showing off an effortless, sweet swing on a long ball off Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez. On the season, Hernandez leads the Phillies regulars in average (.346), home runs (three), RBI (eight), runs (13), hits (18), slugging (.615) and OPS (1.008).
— chris jones-_(tu)_/- (@LONG_DRIVE) April 14, 2017
Nearly a week after some bumpy spots in his first start of the season against the Nationals, right-hander Aaron Nola had a sharp outing in Washington, despite earning a no-decision. The 23-year-old went only five innings, but he allowed only one run and struck out six. He allowed fewer hits and fewer walks while throwing more strikes his second time around against the Nats.
Jeanmar Gomez lost his closer’s job after allowing the Nationals to score three runs and tie an eventual Phillies win last Sunday. In his two outings since, he’s allowed runs and has contributed to a leaky Phillies bullpen. On the season, he’s 1-1 with an 11.81 ERA and seven runs allowed and three home runs allowed in 5.1 innings.
The Phillies head to Queens for a three-game series against the Mets starting Tuesday. The Mets are currently in second place in the East at 7-6 after dropping three of four at Miami, including a pair of walk-off losses in the past three games, just like the Phillies. The Mets eked out a pair of one-run wins, plus a blowout, in their sweep in South Philly last week. Thursday night’s matchup looks to be a good one, with Nola taking the hill against Mets flame-throwing righty Noah Syndergaard. Then, the Phillies begin a six-game homestand with three games aginst the Braves this weekend.
Here are the probable starters for the upcoming series:
Tuesday, April 18, 7:10 p.m.: RHP Zach Eflin (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Zach Wheeler (1-1, 7.45)
Wednesday, April 19, 7:10 p.m.: RHP Vince Velasquez (0-2, 9.00) vs. RHP Robert Gsellman (0-1, 9.28)
Thursday, April 20, 7:10 p.m.: RHP Aaron Nola (1-0, 3.27) vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 0.95)