Quite a series! For the most part, the players of the Washington Nationals and their fans backed up the whole #Natitude/OUR PARK movement that team COO Andy Feffer unleashed. The Nats won Friday night’s game 4-3 in 11 innings. Saturday afternoon, Gio Gonzales led the way as the Nats pounded the Phillies, 7-1. The Phillies whipped the Nats 9-3 with a big ninth inning last night.
The big story though is Cole Hamels deliberately throwing at Bryce Harper (Nationals Journal, The Post). Really, Hamels admitted it. I’m not sure why, Harper hasn’t been antagonizing the Phillies other than with his aggressive play. Hamels may get suspended for throwing at Harper. Since Nats starter Jordan Zimmmermann hit Hamels with a pitch (not in a two out situation either) he may get it too.
The best part about the incident — Harper made the Phillies pay. When Jayson Werth singled, he went first to third. Then, on a throw back to second base, HARPER STOLE HOME.
I had to go back and listen to the Nats radio broadcast. Charlie Slowes had a great call on Harper stealing home. Dave Jageler saw it coming. MLB Audio subscribers can hear it— Harper’s at bat starts at 33:30. The steal is at 38:00. Slowes called it well and then let the crowd tell the story a bit.
The Phillies responded with a Hunter Pence 2 run shot and another run to take a 3-1 lead.
The other big story of the night was Werth breaking his left wrist going sliding for a fly ball. He’s going to be out for a long period of time. That’s a tough spot for the Nats, since they had called up Harper earlier than expected due to outfield problems. Werth’s bat will be missed a great deal. The good news is that Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche may return on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
The first Phillies series is now over with the Nats claiming 2 out of 3 victories. The Phillies seem to have woken up too and realized the Nats are viable. Why the Phillies didn’t realize that after losing the season series last year is a mystery.