In tonight's series opener in the first of three games between NL East rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Washington Nationals, 3-2. The Phillies, who are 7-2 in their last nine games at home, were able to score two runs in the bottom of the eighth after the Nationals took the lead in the top of the eighth. Tonight's game was close all along – Cole Hamels and Stephen Strasburg both pitched very well, giving up just one run each.
It wasn't a very offensive minded game for either team – the Phillies went 4-27 in tonight's game against a locked-in Stephen Strasburg. With just a total of nine hits between the two teams, the Phillies were able to pull out the win with just four of those hits. One of those hits, a Carlos Ruiz RBI single, put the Phillies on the board early in the game, after they had gone down 1-0 on a first inning Ryan Zimmerman home run.
Hamels and Strasburg owned the middle innings. Hamels, who was pulled after just 87 pitches in seven innings, gave up just two hits and one run, did not give up a walk, and struck out eight. According to manager Ryne Sandberg, Hamels was pulled after such a low pitch count due to the fact that he "didn't throw a good bullpen session". Hamels does not appear to be injured.
Strasburg was equally as good, giving up just one run, two hits, two walks, and struck out ten. Neither pitcher would receive a decision in this game though, as both bullpens were working by the seventh inning. In the top of the eighth, after a handful of walks issued by the Phils' bullpen, the Nationals went in front 2-1 on a Scott Hairston sacrifice fly.
The Phillies would move in front in the home half of the eighth inning against Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard. After a two-out walk by Cesar Hernandez, who had just been called up to the big league level, Jimmy Rollins laced a double back to the wall in right field to tie the game. Ruiz would drive home Rollins to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Jonathan Papelbon came in for the save and made things a little interesting, allowing some base runners, but was able to close the door in the end to secure the win for the Phillies.
The Nationals playoff hopes take a hit with tonight's loss, as they fall to 69-68, and 7.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. The Phillies move to 63-75 with their win. Gio Gonzalez will take the hill for the Nationals tomorrow night against Ethan Martin and the Phillies in game two of this series.
The Phillies announced their September callups before tonight's game. The minor league players who have been called up to the big league club are:
- Freddy Galvis, infielder - 3 HR, 25 RBI in 62 games with triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, .218 career hitter between 2012 and 2013 with the Phillies
- Cameron Rupp, catcher - .260 BA, 14 HR, 45 RBI in 90 games between double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2013
- Tyler Cloyd, starting pitcher – his fourth call-up this season, Cloyd has a 2-3 record with a 3.57 ERA in eight starts for the Phillies
- Luis Garcia, relief pitcher – demoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley in August after a rough patch, Garcia retired all 12 batters he faced in that period
- Joe Savery, relief pitcher - back from injury, Savery went 3-1 over 20 appearances with a 3.85 ERA at triple-A Lehigh Valley, while posting a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings with the Phillies earlier in the season
- Mauricio Robles, relief pitcher – 5-3 with a 1.97 ERA over 64 innings at both Reading and Lehigh Valley, Robles carries a 19 inning scoreless streak into the big leagues
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