On another rainy night, the Nationals went into the rain delay with a 1-0 lead and when they came back to play they quickly fell behind 4-1 to the Phillies. In the bottom of the 6th inning the Nats answered with a booming 2-run home run from pinch-hitter Andrew Stevenson for his 1st career home run. The irony was Stevenson who clearly isn’t a home run threat was called up to replace power hitter Matt Adams as the extra lefty bat off the bench. Stevenson did not even arrive at the stadium until the rain delay.
“He got in during the rain delay,” Dave Martinez said about Stevenson. “Big hit. Real big hit. He drove through the rain to get here.”
Stevenson and his Syracuse Chiefs teammate, Adrian Sanchez, got the call-up at 2:30 today when the trades of Matt Adams and Daniel Murphy were finalized. The pair were up playing Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania for a game coincidentally against the Phillies Triple-A affiliate and made the drive from Syracuse, New York. By the time they packed up and got on the road, they ran into rain and a lot of traffic on the drive to get to the stadium at around 8pm.
The game stayed close and reliever Koda Glover got himself in trouble in the top of the 8th inning while protecting a 3-run lead as he loaded the bases with 2-outs and manager Dave Martinez yanked him and brought in Wander Suero who struck out Roman Quinn who had a homer earlier in the game. At that point Quinn represented the go-ahead run and Suero made quick work of him to move the game to the bottom of the 8th inning when the Nationals added-on 3 more runs.
This game was started by Tanner Roark who went 3-innings and was pulled due to the rain delay. Roark gave up no runs but had a scare as Franco took a ball to the wall that looked like a 2-run home run off the bat in the rain. Sometimes luck goes the Nats way. Matt Grace relieved Roark after the rain delay and he struggled in his 3rd inning of work and gave up 4-runs quickly to put the Nats in a 4-1 deficit leading to that big inning by Stevenson and his teammates.
“That was a long day that ended well,” Dave Martinez said.
All the Nats got in on the offense tonight combining for 14-hits and 6-walks which included the Stevenson home run and also the same from Wilmer Difo and Ryan Zimmerman. Every spot in the line-up got on-base via hit or walk and the 1-8 spots all got on at least twice. The final score was 10-1 on this soggy night where the game ended just after midnight. Most of the crowd of 24,080 left during the rain delay as the team offered fans an opportunity to trade in their tickets for a future game. Those who left missed a high energy game.