Phillies

Nationals 9, Phillies 8: Phillies lose wild game, toss away perfect record

Nationals 9, Phillies 8: Phillies lose wild game, toss away perfect record

BOX SCORE 

WASHINGTON — An old bugaboo reared its head on the Phillies and led to their first loss of the new season Wednesday.

The Phillies committed three errors in a 9-8 loss to the Washington Nationals. The big one came with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. First baseman Rhys Hoskins missed a throw from pitcher Seranthony Dominguez and that allowed the tying run to score.

The Nats then won it in the bottom of the ninth with a single and three straight walks against reliever David Robertson.

Prior to Dominguez entering in the eighth, the Phils’ bullpen had pitched four scoreless innings to keep the Phillies in the game.

The Phils trailed by four runs early in the game but came back to take a two-run lead with four runs in the top of the eighth. They could not lock down the lead, however.

Defense was a major issue for the Phillies last year. They committed 123 errors, second most in the majors.

The Phils are 4-1. Washington is 2-3.

Key moments

• With the Phils down by two runs, Odubel Herrera led off the top of the eighth with a single. Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery both drew one-out walks against Trevor Rosenthal to load the bases. That brought up Andrew McCutchen, who was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts on the day. McCuthen worked a 2-2 count and drove a ball over the centerfielder’s head for a three-run double to put the Phils ahead. Third base coach Dusty Wathan made an aggressive play, sending Kingery home with the go-ahead run. Kingery made an acrobatic slide to avoid a tag at the plate.

• The Nationals came back from a two-run deficit to tie the game with a pair of runs against Dominguez in the bottom of the eighth. The Nats tied the game on Hoskins' two-out error. 

• The Nationals set an early tone with three straight extra-base hits, including two homers, and three runs against Aaron Nola in the first inning.

• Nola gave up a three-run homer to Juan Soto on an 0-2 fastball as the Nats went up, 6-2, in the third.

Tough day for Nola

Nola got the ball on five days’ rest. That usually produces good results as Nola entered the day 23-7 with a 2.29 ERA in 43 career starts on five days’ rest as opposed to 17-18 with a 4.73 ERA in 41 starts on the customary four days’ rest.

Nola, however, struggled. His fastball was not sharp and he made mistakes in the middle of the plate on his way to allowing five hits — four for extra bases — and six runs over just three innings, ending a streak of 38 straight starts where he’d allowed no more than four runs. Nola was tagged for three homers for just the third time in his career. That happened just once last season.

Harpermania

Bryce Harper reached base five times with two singles, two conventional walks and two intentional walks. He has reached base in 14 of 19 plate appearances over the last four games.

Up next

The Phillies are idle on Thursday. They begin a three-game interleague series against the Minnesota Twins on Friday night. Here are the pitching matchups for the series:

Friday night — RHP Nick Pivetta vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi

Saturday afternoon — RHP Jake Arrieta vs. RHP Michael Pineda

Sunday afternoon — RHP Zach Eflin vs. RHP Jose Berrios

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Phillies don't get enough from Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta in loss to Padres

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Roman Quinn sidelined again, high-priced David Robertson out for next season

Roman Quinn sidelined again, high-priced David Robertson out for next season

The injured list is Roman Quinn’s unfortunate home away from home. And now, the 26-year-old outfielder is back there for the third time this season.

Quinn suffered a strained right groin muscle in the ninth inning of Friday night’s game at Citizens Bank Park. It is a similar injury to the one that forced him to spend a month on the IL earlier this season, though not as severe.

The injury comes at a time when Quinn’s exciting talents seemed to be coming together. He was hitting .368 with a 1.139 OPS in 13 games in August. He had a double, a triple, three homers and was 4 for 4 in stolen base attempts.

There is probably enough time left in the season for Quinn to make it back, but it’s safe to say he’ll miss at least a couple of weeks and that's a loss to the Phillies' lineup.

Injuries have been a huge and frustrating issue for the likable switch-hitter who was the Phillies’ second-round draft pick in 2011 out of the Florida panhandle town of Port St. Joe.

Quinn has missed significant time in his minor- and major-league career with a torn quadriceps, a torn Achilles tendon, a strained elbow ligament, a torn ligament in his middle finger, a concussion and a broken toe. He missed the start of this season while recovering from an oblique strain suffered in spring training then went down with a groin injury in May.

With Quinn out, the Phillies will likely turn to Adam Haseley more often in center field.

The Phillies filled Quinn’s roster spot by adding reliever Jared Hughes. He was picked up off waivers from Cincinnati earlier in the week.

There was more injury news Saturday. As expected, Jake Arrieta will have season-ending surgery to clean up a bone spur in his elbow (see story). The surgery will happen before the end of the month and he’ll have plenty of time to get ready for spring training. Arrieta is under contract for $20 million next season.

David Robertson will not be ready for spring training. In fact, he probably will not pitch next season. The team said he had Tommy John surgery on Thursday. That typically requires a recovery of at least 14 months. 

Robertson, 34, signed a two-year, $23 million deal with the Phillies in December. He ended up pitching just 6 2/3 innings over seven appearances before landing on the IL with a sore elbow in April.

The Phillies have sunk some serious money into veteran relievers and gotten little in return because of injuries. Pat Neshek, 38, signed a two-year, $16.25 million contract before the 2018 season. He pitched in just 30 games last season and 20 this season. He has only pitched once since May 23 and likely will not pitch again for the Phillies. Tommy Hunter, 33, signed a two-year, $19 million deal before the 2018 season. He pitched in 65 games last season but just five this season because of an elbow injury that required surgery.

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