Phillies' skid takes heartbreaking turn on walk-off loss to Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals

Phillies' skid takes heartbreaking turn on walk-off loss to Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals


WASHINGTON — The Phillies suffered an excruciating 8-7 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

Ryan Zimmerman clubbed a two-run home run against Seranthony Dominguez with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Nats the win.

Rookie Juan Soto set up the walk-off homer with a two-out double to keep the game alive.

It was Zimmerman’s 11th walk-off homer.

The loss dropped the Phillies three games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East.

The Phils have lost four in a row.

Zach Eflin did not have a good start and for the second night in a row the Phillies squandered an early 4-1 lead.

Hector Neris and Tommy Hunter combined on 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Pat Neshek gave up a run in the eighth as the Nats cut the Phillies’ lead to one run. Dominguez blew the one-run lead in the ninth.

The Phils hit three homers. Maikel Franco clubbed a two-run shot in the first and Justin Bour and Cesar Hernandez had solo blows. Bour and Carlos Santana also contributed important RBI doubles.

Eflin gave up 10 hits and five runs over 3 1/3 innings. He let a three-run lead get away as the Nats sent nine men to the plate in the third inning to tie the game at 4-4.

The Phillies parlayed a leadoff walk by Nick Williams and singles by Jorge Alfaro and Roman Quinn into a run as they took a 5-4 lead in the top of the fourth. That lead did not last long. Trea Turner and Bryce Harper singled against Eflin with one out in the bottom of the inning. Harper then stole second and Turner was able to scamper home with the tying run when catcher Alfaro’s throw bounced errantly into center field.

Phillies catchers lead the majors with 19 errors.

The Phillies took the lead yet again on a two-out, pinch-hit double by Santana in the top of the sixth. Hunter was able to put up a zero in the bottom of the inning to preserve the lead. Before Hunter, Neris got five outs out of the bullpen.

Santana did not start as manager Gabe Kapler went with Bour at first base. The move paid dividends as Bour kick-started a two-out rally in the first inning with an RBI double that preceded a two-run homer by Franco. The homer gave the Phils an early 3-0 lead. Two innings later, Bour clubbed a solo homer against Stephen Strasburg to give the Phils a 4-1 lead.

The Phils look to avoid a sweep on Thursday afternoon. Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer will go against each other in a marquee pitching matchup.

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Which of these Phillies batting orders do you like better?

Which of these Phillies batting orders do you like better?

The Phillies have 32 spring training games to figure out which infield alignment makes the most sense, who the opening day centerfielder will be and how the batting order shakes out. 

On yesterday’s Phillies Talk podcast, Ricky Bottalico and I discussed how much batting order flexibility the addition of Didi Gregorius gives Joe Girardi. Gregorius can really bat anywhere between first and fifth. 

This was Ricky’s batting order:

  1. Andrew McCutchen, LF
  2. Didi Gregorius, SS (L)
  3. Bryce Harper, RF (L)
  4. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  5. J.T. Realmuto, C
  6. Jean Segura, 2B
  7. Scott Kingery, 3B
  8. Adam Haseley, CF (L)

And here was mine:

  1. Andrew McCutchen, LF
  2. Bryce Harper, RF (L)
  3. J.T. Realmuto, C
  4. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  5. Didi Gregorius, SS (L)
  6. Jean Segura, 2B
  7. Scott Kingery, 3B
  8. Adam Haseley, CF (L)

We will have to wait and see how much the new three-batter rule for relievers affects lineup construction, if at all. It could prompt managers to focus more on splitting up their lefties, which was the idea behind my splitting up Harper and Didi. 

Another option the Phils could go with is McCutchen and Segura at the top, where they were early last season. Forgotten in the totality of Segura’s disappointing first season as a Phillie is that he was hitting .330 in mid-May and his production didn’t crater until right around the time he didn’t hustle out the ball in San Diego, leading to the rundown in which McCutchen tore his ACL. Segura spoke this week about how much that ordeal weighed on him last summer. 

What’s your ideal Phillies batting order?

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Bryce Harper's headband collection continues to grow with latest design for his son

Bryce Harper's headband collection continues to grow with latest design for his son

Since his time in Philadelphia began just shy of one year ago, Bryce Harper has embraced the city with open arms from the moment he arrived.

One thing that Harper is known for, outside of crushing dingers and having a monster arm in right field, is his vast headband collection that was seen throughout the season.

It’s something that he carried over from his time in Washington, but let’s be honest — the ones that he has worn here have been way cooler.

Who can forget the iconic Phanatic one, that had just about every fan running to the closest team store or taking to their phones to place an order for their own.

(Image credit: USA Today Images)

Harper truly took a liking to the Phanatic (who wouldn’t?) and even embraced the mascot via socks and cleats. Notice the details in the laces? They’re fuzzy. Seriously, who designed those? Give that person a raise.

(Credit for Images: USA Today Images)

And let’s just hope the whole Phanatic ordeal gets settled before the start of the season, so Harper can continue repping his biggest supporter.

Let’s get back to the main reason for this post — headbands.

There were many other ways he sported his new team last season, including a headband in army green, one to match the Phillies’ home uniforms and even one with stars.

(Credit for images: USA Today Images)

His latest one though, looks to be a custom design from It’s personalized with Harper’s number but more importantly, his son’s name, Krew.

(Image credit: John Clark/Twitter)

We’re not sure how Harper is going to top last year’s lineup … but he’s off to a pretty great start.

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