Murphy Walks-Off on his Bobblehead Day

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Photo: AP
By Matthew Jacobson

The Nationals won another close game, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 in extra innings on an absolutely gorgeous Friday afternoon in the district. Steven Strasburg recorded another solid outing, going seven innings while allowing five hits and two runs. Strasburg struck out eight while walking two, needing 111 pitches (75 strikes) to get the job done. Koda Glover continued his impressive start to the season with another scoreless frame, making his case for becoming the closer over Blake Treinen that much more, especially considering Treinen allowed a hit and a walk in his ninth inning. Phillies starter Aaron Nola went 5 innings, allowing one run and striking out six without a walk.

The Phillies struck first on a Tommy Joseph home run to dead center field which just cleared the center-field wall and Adam Eaton’s glove. The Nationals responded with a Matt Wieters RBI single, continuing his impressive start to this 2017 season. Wieters is hitting .355 with a .459 OBP and 5 runs batted in. The Phillies retook the lead on an RBI single from Cesar Hernandez in the top of the fifth inning, but the Nats responded to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI two-bagger by Anthony Rendon. After a few nervy innings without any score, the Nationals would finally win it in the bottom of the tenth. Bryce Harper lead off the inning with a single, and Daniel Murphy knocked him in with an RBI double to the opposite field. Harper flew around the bases, diving headfirst into home to score the winning run.

It was an exciting contest despite the low score, but the storyline continues to be Treinen and his struggles in the closer’s role. Even though it did not cost the Nationals today, he has looked incredibly shaky in his first season in the role. Dusty Baker is famously obstinate, so it will take some serious misfortune on Treinen’s fault for him to be unseated as the closer. The Nats and Phils continue the series later today at 1:05 PM. Tanner Roark goes for Washington, while Jeremy Hellickson toes the rubber for the Phillies.

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