Nats Ride the Longball Early, Survive Phillies for First Road Win of 2017

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Photo: @Nationals

By Matthew Jacobson

The Washington Nationals did not need a comeback bid in their first road game of the season, but nearly gave one away in a game that ended up much close than it started. Led by home runs by Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, and Jayson Werth, the Nats built a seven run cushion, and needed every single one of those runs in a 7-6 triumph over the young, rebuilding Phillies. Max Scherzer looked like the Cy Young Winner he has been in the past, despite limited spring training action due to a blister on his thumb. Scherzer went 6.2 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs, while striking out seven and walking two.

 Here is Werth’s home run:

From here, it would go south, as the bullpen again struggled, this time to hold a large lead. Sammy Solis allowed two runs while getting just one out. Enny Romero failed to record an out, allowing a hit and a walk. Koda Glover escaped a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth, recording his second hold of the season. Blake Treinen earned his third save in four opportunities, despite allowing a two run no-doubter to Freddy Galvis.

Bullpen struggles like this are going to happen during the season, but nearly surrendering a seven run lead to a team that will likely finish towards the bottom of the NL East quite frankly isn’t going to cut it.   The Nats look for a series win tomorrow at 7:05. Their starter will be Jeremy Guthrie, who was called up with the Nats needing a fourth starter. It will be his first time seeing big league action since 2015. The Phillies send Aaron Nola to the hill for the first time in 2017.

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