2019 Postgame Recaps

Key Hoskins error, struggles from Robertson cost Phillies in roller-coaster loss



WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 03: Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) in the dugout after scoring in the third inning during a MLB game between the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies on April 03, 2019, at Nationals Park, in Washington D.C.
(Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire)

Final: Nationals 9, Phillies 8 

The great thing about baseball is that day-to-day, it’s very difficult to predict the results of a given game. That was especially true Wednesday afternoon. The unpredictability of baseball just didn’t ultimately work out in the Phillies favor.

After one of the worst starts of Aaron Nola’s career, it appeared that the Phillies may have blown an opportunity to start the 2019 season 5-0.Ultimately, though, it was a crucial eighth inning error from Rhys Hoskins and David Robertson’s inability to find the strike zone in the ninth inning that cost the Phillies a chance to pull out a victory.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

After a dramatic 8-2 win over the Nationals Tuesday evening, the Phillies put two runs on the board in the top of the first inning Wednesday. Given that Aaron Nola went 3-1 with a 2.14 ERA in five starts against the Nationals in 2018, you thought those two runs may be all Nola needed to help the Phillies complete a two-game sweep over their division rivals. But again, anything can happen on any given day in baseball.

Nola was spotted a two-run lead, but immediately gave it back in the bottom of the first inning. Anthony Rendon hit a 407-foot solo shot in the home half of the inning, his second home run in as many days:

Later in the inning, Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run home run off of Nola, his 27th career home run against the Phillies.

It’s not uncharacteristic for Nola to hit some bumps in the road in the first inning – that’s often the only inning you can do damage off of the All-Star righty. But Nola normally settles in after the first inning, something he wasn’t able to do Wednesday afternoon.

After retiring the Nationals in order in the bottom of the second, Nola surrendered a three-run home run to Nationals star Juan Soto in the bottom of the third:

That was all for Nola, who allowed six earned runs over just three innings. As Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia noted, Nola’s start today ended a streak of 38 consecutive starts allowing four earned runs or fewer, the longest such streak in franchise history.

Anibal Sanchez, meanwhile, had a peculiar Nationals debut.

After allowing two runs in the top of the first inning, Sanchez had a ball lined directly off of his thigh in the top of the third inning by Andrew McCutchen. Sanchez caught the ball, but he never seemed to get his legs back under him the rest of the start. After allowing RBIs to Cesar Hernandez and Nick Williams in the bottom of the fourth, Sanchez came back out to start the fifth inning, but was ultimately pulled from the game before the inning began after the training staff met with him on the mound.

The Eighth Inning

Tuesday, Nationals closer Sean Doolittle suggested that the Phillies have the best lineup in the sport. Wednesday, the arms in front of him blew a two-run eighth inning lead before he get the chance to potentially close out a Nationals victory.

After Hector Neris pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh inning for the Phillies, Andrew Knapp pinch-hit for him in the top of the eighth inning. Knapp was struck out by Nationals lefty Tony Sipp, following an Odubel Herrera single. That strikeout wasn’t a precursor of things to come.

Trevor Rosenthal, a former All-Star with the St. Louis Cardinals, then came on to replace Sipp. While Rosenthal, who missed 2018 with Tommy John Surgery, was regularly pushing 100 on the radar gun, he couldn’t find the strike zone. Rosenthal walked Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery, the only two batters he faced.

Former Miami Marlins reliever Kyle Barraclough was then asked by Nationals manager Dave Martinez to come into a bases-loaded jam and face Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen won that battle:

The slide by Scott Kingery, who came on to replace Cesar Hernandez in the sixth inning, was pretty remarkable:

Jean Segura would flair a single into left-center after McCutchen’s bases-clearing double, which McCutchen read well, allowing him to score the Phillies eighth run.

Of course, that was just the top of the eighth inning.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, a Yan Gomes RBI double allowed the Nationals to cut the Phillies lead to one run. Seranthony Dominguez nearly got out of the inning with the lead still intact, but Rhys Hoskins wasn’t able to squeeze this toss to first base, allowing the Nationals to re-tie the game.

Ultimately, Hoskins’ error at first base proved to be crucial, as David Robertson loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning, before allowing a walk-off walk to Jake Noll to lose the game:

Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Anthony Rendon

It is worth pointing out that Bryce Harper reached base all five times he came to the plate Wednesday. Juan Soto, a popular National League MVP candidate himself, had three hits, three RBIs and a crucial ninth-inning walk as well. But in a contract year, Anthony Rendon appears to be ready for a coming out party.

Rendon, who has the highest fWAR in baseball since the start of the 2017 season, has inexplicably never been an All-Star. It won’t be an easy task for him to reach an All-Star Game with both Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado in the National League, but he’s started the season on a level that’s on par with those two. Rendon, for the second consecutive game, hit a home run. He reached base four times Wednesday, including a leadoff single to begin the ninth inning. When Robertson ultimately walked Noll to lose the game, it was Rendon that came across to score the run that ended the game.

Next Game

  • Friday April 5 at Citizens Bank Park vs. Minnesota Twins
  • 7:05 p.m. ET
  • NBC 10
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP

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