The Phillies entered Wednesday night looking to salvage the series against the Nationals after blowing a 6-1 lead on Tuesday. Nick Pivetta took the mound against former Phillie Jeremy Hellickson, a pretty favorable match-up, right? Not so much. Actually, not even close.
After two uneven starts to begin the season, Nick Pivetta continued to struggle. The Nationals tagged him for seven runs in 3.2 innings before adding eight more against the Phils’ bullpen en route to a 15-1 win.
Things started off badly right off the bat for Pivetta. The first three men reached base via the single and then Pivetta issued a base on balls to Juan Soto, giving Washington the early lead. Matt Adams followed with a sacrifice fly and Yan Gomes knocked an infield RBI-single down the third base line to make it 3-0. Pivetta struck out the next two hitters to stop the bleeding, but things wouldn’t get much better.
Philadelphia briefly threatened with two runners on in the bottom of the second, but Maikel Franco grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Washington added to their lead in the 5th. Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson hit a one-out single before Pivetta induced a grounder for out number two. It looked like he was going to get out of the inning, but Nick walked Adam Eaton before allowing Brian Dozier to reach on a single. Anthony Rendon cleared the bases with a three-run double, making it 6-0.
— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) April 11, 2019
Pivetta issued another walk, this time to Juan Soto, which ended his night. Juan Nicasio came in to relieve Pivetta, but Matt Adams lined a double to right to plate Rendon. 7-0.
The top of the fifth featured some more Nationals runs. Victor Robles hit an RBI-triple to center, which scored a run, and Adam Eaton drove in another with a single to make it a 9-0 lead. Edubray Ramos came in for Nicasio in the 7th inning and allowed two runs. Jose Alvarez surrendered an RBI-single to Howie Kendrick, making it a 12-0 game. Washington would tack on three more and win this one 15-0.
In the 9th, the Phillies loaded the bases with one out. Trevor Rosenthal walked Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez. Maikel Franco’s RBI groundout gave the Phillies their first run, but they were unable to produce anything else.
Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto combined to go 0-for-8 with two walks and two strikeouts. Meanwhile, reserve outfielder Aaron Altherr pitched the 9th inning. He allowed a run, but also struck out two.
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— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) April 11, 2019
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Nick Pivetta stumbled big time in his third start of the season. After allowing seven runs combined in his first two starts, the 26-year-old right-hander gave up seven against the Nationals. He struggled to find the zone with all of his pitches and Washington had no issues hitting his misses up in the zone. The Nick Pivetta we saw in Spring Training (6ER in 16.1 IP) is nothing close to the guy we are seeing now. Have to hope he is able to work on his command issues in a bullpen session or two before his next turn.
Jeremy Hellickson pitched a great game against his former club. He kept Phillies hitters off-balance all night long and held them to just three hits over six innings of work. The veteran walked four and struck out six.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Anthony Rendon
Leading 3-0 in the 5th inning with the bases loaded, Rendon’s three-run double put the game out of reach for the Phillies. Rendon raised his batting average to .429 on the season after going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and three RBI on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park. A number of Nationals had big games, as you could probably tell by the score. Brian Dozier and Adam Eaton each had three hits a piece and scored a combined six runs.
Next Game vs. Marlins:
- Friday, April 12th, 7:10 @ Marlins Park
- TV: NBC 10
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680