Mistakes haunt Phillies in 2-1 loss against the Nationals
When you don’t score a lot of runs, every little mistake will show up in the box score. Travis Jankowski stood on second base with no outs in the ninth inning in Friday night’s 2-1 loss to the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. He represented the tying run as a pinch-runner. Rhys Hoskins had just doubled off the right field wall, extending his hit streak to 11 games, and the Phillies were down one run with JT Realmuto at the plate.
Jankowski thought Daniel Hudson’s 2-2 slider in the dirt to Realmuto got away from Nationals catcher Alex Avila. He was wrong, and when Jankowski broke to third base, he found himself stuck in the base paths with no where to run. He was tagged out and the Phillies would go on to lose the game.
The Lancaster Catholic High School graduate was obviously disappointed, as were the 15,000 fans that showed up to Citizens Bank Park, which was open to 100 percent capacity for the first time since the end of the 2019 season.
The Phillies had Zack Wheeler on the mound, who continues to pitch at an All-Star level despite little run support. Entering last night, Wheeler ranked 56th out of 66th qualified starters in average run support. Last night, he allowed a run in the fourth when Trea Turner scored on a two out RBI from Josh Bell to left field. It was a hit to left field that Andrew McCutchen tried to dive for, but missed it.
Juan Soto hit a solo home run off Zack Wheeler in the sixth to make it a 2-1 ball game. Soto, stared down Wheeler as he rounded the base paths and appeared to say something to Wheeler as he crossed home. As for Wheeler, he had this to say about it after the game:
“I couldn’t care less.”
Soto, which I love almost as much as I love “I couldn’t care less.” said this:
“I like to be competitive. I looked at J.T., too. We always talk about — I told him before the at-bat, I just said, ‘Hey, J.T. two points, Soto zero. So we will see now.’ I think it’s going my way. I ended up losing against J.T., but it feels great. Wheeler, he’s just competitive. We [go] out there, try to do our best. I don’t care if they strike me out, pump, hit their chest, jump, do whatever, do a back flip, whatever, I don’t care.”
Max Scherzer allowed one run and struck out nine in 7 2/3 innings for the Nationals.
At the end of the night, the Phillies need to score more than one run to win a baseball game. It’s not rocket science. Yes, Hoskins hitting a double could have been a key turning point in the game. Honestly, my guy Rhys should have likely been on third, after Soto initially missed the ball at the wall and watched it bounce towards the infield.
It didn’t matter. Jankowski got caught stealing. Realmuto struck out. Brad Miller flied out.
The Phillies lost 2-1 to the Washington Nationals. They are 26-30 on the season, a half game back from the Braves in second place in the NL East and four games back of the leading New York Mets. Spencer Howard will be on the mound tonight for the Phillies in game two against the Nationals.
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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