The Phillies lost at home to the Washington Nationals tonight by a score of 6-2. Vince Velasquez pitched, and he even lasted 7 innings while only throwing 100 pitches. However, in the top of the 6th frame, he allowed two one-out singles to place runners on 1st and 2nd base, then a double to right field to score the lead runner. After the extra-base hit, two runners were on base for Anthony Rendon, who hit a bomb to left center field and gave his Nats a commanding 6-1 lead. The Phillies would not come close to making a comeback.
It was a great start to the game for the young right-hander. He only allowed one hit through his first 3 innings of work, and one of the most powerful offenses in baseball had no answer for his mid-90s heater and nasty breaking balls. The Phillies even had a 1-0 lead–thanks to a Cameron Rupp single, which scored Freddy Galvis, who had stolen second base after a walk.
Odubel Herrera made another one of his highlight catches in center field in the 2nd innings, robbing Ryan Zimmerman of what would have been his major-league lead-tying 13th home run of the season. El Torito jumped onto the padding of the fence to make the grab and save the Phillies a run. But Zimmerman avenged himself and actually hit his 13th home run of the season in the 4th inning. Number 13, which was more unlucky for the Phils than Zimmerman, was a 2-run shot that put the Nationals ahead.
After Velasquez pitched a 1-2-3 5th inning, he came back out for the 6th, where he has faltered so many times before. The inevitable disaster occurred, and the Phils lost all hope of defeating the division leaders in game 2 of their 3-game weekend set in the City of Brotherly Love.
Cameron Rupp, who homered in the 7th inning to cut the deficit to 4 runs, finished tonight’s game 2-for-4. His batting average now sits at a modest, but improved, .247. Daniel Nava pinch-hit for Velasquez and pulled a single to left–this would be the Phillies’ final hit of the contest.
The score would remain at 6-2 until the end, and the Phils have now lost 8 of 9 games since the conclusion of their 6-game winning streak. They will look to begin a new streak in today’s series finale starting at 2:35. Ace Jeremy Hellickson will look to bounce back after a rough outing in Chicago.
Photo by Bryan Green (via Flickr)