After two consecutive rain-outs and managerial gamesmanship, the Nationals won the opening game of this series behind Patrick Corbin who gave up a first inning home run and then settled down to get six scoreless innings in this 6-2 win. It was Gerardo Parra who delivered the go-ahead run for Corbin — then on defense Parra made the play of the game. With no-outs in the sixth inning, he threw out Bryce Harper at third base with when Harper attempted to go first-to-third on a single. Parra barehanded the ball and threw a strike to Anthony Rendon to erase the ultra-aggressive Harper by inches. The Phillies challenged the call, and it was not overturned. Corbin exited after 7.0 innings giving up just the one run on 101 pitches with 8 strikeouts, and the only issue was the three walks.
“We followed Corbin’s heartbeat. He was jacked-up,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He’s two days biting at the bit [due to the rain-outs]. He gets out there and pitched really well. The boys came back and answered right away and scored that [first inning] run. … He had a good fastball today, and that was a key. He felt really good. He got an extra in between now [and his next start].”
The Nats offense got Phillies starter Zach Eflin for three runs of which two were earned then the Nats torched the Phillies bullpen. Phillies’ manager Gabe Kapler stuck with a lefty reliever to face Brian Dozier who made the Phillies pay with a two-run home run. Add those two RBIs to the earlier RISP hit by Dozier who finished at 2-4 with three RBIs. Juan Soto also had two hits on the day and had a RISP RBI hit for the first run of the game in the first inning that tied the game up. In all, the Nats had eight hits in total and three walks, and made the most of their baserunners to score the six runs.
The Nationals bullpen bent but did not break in this one as Tanner Rainey took over in the 8th inning in a 3-1 game, and Rainey put two runners on-base via a walk and a hit-by-pitch with two outs, and J.T. Realmuto fouled off what should have been ball four then Rainey threw him a 97 mph heater right down broadway that Realmuto tapped to shortstop for the final out of the inning. Javy Guerra closed the 9th inning with a little bit of trouble as he gave up one run on consecutive hits, but got Jean Segura on a groundout to shut the door.
On three extra days of rest due in part to a scheduled team day-off last Wednesday plus the two rain-outs aided a fresh Patrick Corbin who dominated after the first inning even though he almost got in trouble walking Harper in the 6th inning. The defense behind Corbin only had to make thirteen plays in the field which also included a slick play on a comebacker by Corbin and as mentioned the “Gold Glove” play by Parra.
“You got to remember [Parra] has won two Gold Gloves,” Martinez said.
Gerardo Parra who was in an 0-23 slump admitted he changed his walk-up music today, and he used a song his three-year-old daughter likes called “Baby Shark”.
“I did it a couple of times,” Parra said about doing barehanded plays in the outfield in his career. “I think it changed the game [today].”