Postgame analysis of the Nats' 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night at Nationals Park.
How it happened: You wouldn't know it by looking at him or, as Dusty Baker has put it, by slapping him on the butt. But Nats rookie Trea Turner has sneaky power. It's not just his speed that makes him dangerous. He can hit it out the ballpark, too.
On Friday night, Turner's solo homer to center field off Frank Herrmann in the bottom of the ninth sent the Nats home winners with a walk-off victory over the Phillies. It was his second homer of the game and his eighth of the season in just his 52nd appearance. He had six in 83 games at Triple-A Syracuse.
The Phillies tied the game in the top of the eighth off rookie Koda Glover, who served up a three-run homer to Cameron Rupp. It was the first homer of Glover's young career and it came at an unfortunate time.
Before that, Tanner Roark turned in another strong outing of six innings and one run allowed. On offense, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper got the Nats going. Rendon landed an RBI double in the fourth inning and Harper added an RBI single in the sixth.
The Nats rebounded from their loss in the opener on Thursday night and have now won four of their last five.
What it means: The Nats moved to 83-58 on the year and dropped their magic number to win the NL East down to 14. They are now 12-5 against the Phillies this season.
Rubber stamp Roark: Amid the chaos that has been the Nats' starting rotation over the last few months, Roark has somehow managed to not be affected by any of it. He's sat comfortably in the eye of the hurricane, consistently doing his job and often not getting the attention he deserves for it.
Despite seeing his pitch count soar and prevent him from going further, Roark dialed in a solid performance just one day after it was revealed Stephen Strasburg has a right flexor strain. Without Strasburg, Roark is the Nats' No. 2 pitcher behind Max Scherzer. And on Friday, he certainly looked the part.
He had 96 pitches through five innings, but managed to go six frames for the 23rd time this season. He has gone at least six innings in 57 of his 76 career starts. Roark added eight strikeouts on Friday, which is the second-most for him this year. He had four through the first two innings, as the Phillies had major trouble tracking his two-seam fastball. With his latest effort, Roark's season ERA dropped to 2.85. That's the exact number he had in 2014. It's also good for fifth among MLB starters this season and is just barely better than Scherzer (2.88).
Rendon doubles again: During Baker's pregame media session, he remarked how amazing it was that Rendon had as many RBI as he has now, considering he only had one total in the month of April. Well, Rendon added to that number on Friday with his RBI double and now has 71 on the season. That double, by the way, was his 36th of the season. That puts him just three away from the 39 he put up in 2014, the year he finished fifth in NL MVP voting and earned the nickname 'Tony Two Bags.'
Rendon bounced back from his 0-for-4 performance on Thursday, by going 2-for-3 with a walk. He now has six RBI in his last four games. The Nats third baseman continues to be on a tear in the second half. He's now 56-for-176 (.318) with 18 doubles, eight homers, 38 RBI and 28 runs since the All-Star break.
Ramos keeps struggling: Baker gave Ramos a pair of off-days during the last week of August because he saw some fatigue setting in on his catcher, especially in how his swing was dragging. Maybe more another day off soon would do him well, as The Buffalo's struggles continued in the Nats' win. Ramos went 0-for-4 with a season-high three strikeouts. He is now just 2-for-20 in his last six games. Since Aug. 12, Ramos is just 16-for-90 (.178) and has seen his season batting average drop all the way to .304. It was at .338 as recently as Aug. 7.
Ramos struck out three times, but his fourth out was the most costly. After Rendon led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to left field, Ramos quickly grounded into a double play to end the rally. He now has 14 GIDP on the season, which is tied with Jayson Werth for most on the Nats.
Up next: The Nats and Phillies play the third of their four-game series with another 7:05 p.m. start on Saturday night. Max Scherzer (16-7, 2.88) will start for the Nats opposite right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (10-13, 3.86).
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