Nats escape swatters in 10th to deny series sweep

The Phillies gave the Nationals a bumpy ride during the late innings earlier today but ultimately fell to a 4-3 loss in the tenth inning, preventing the Phils from taking their first series sweep of the season.

They came agonisingly close too. With both the tying and winning runs on base in the 10th, Cesar Hernandez gave it everything he had but grounded out to a leaping Ryan Zimmerman to bring the game to a close.

Jake Diekman was the one to take the loss. He was relieved by Justin De Fratus two outs still left to tick off and a man on third, De Fratus threw his very first pitch of the tenth into the dirt, allowing the opportunistic winning run to score. An RBI single followed from Wilson Ramos as he continued his good form. He homered for the Nats last night and is starting to pick up some momentum at bat.

Things started well enough in the tenth inning,  two batsmen were able to find first base on walks when Nationals closer Drew Storen didn’t live up to his job description.. throwing 11 of his first 13 pitches out of the zone.  Chase Utley disappointingly flew out and after an Odubel Herrera RBI infield single following his heroics just 24 hours before, Hernandez couldn’t take the game any further.

Working backwards, the Nats were all to familiar with the flow of the opening pitches. Sean O’Sullivan was the man at the mound and again the road team were able to cut an open wound early on as O’Sullivan allowed a home run to Bryce Harper in the first. But, like the night before, once the first few innings had been and gone it looked like an entirely different pitcher at the mound. Sean allowed two runs on five hits over six innings..another solid outing by a Phillies Starting Pitcher.

Ryan Howard had a day he’d like to forget sooner rather than later as he struck out four times. Darin Ruf however had one he may not forget for a while. Down 2-1 in the seventh, Ruf hit his first home run of the year to tie the game.

Now 3-3 and a series win over Washington already pencilled,  the Phils begin an excruciatingly long seven-game road trip on Monday. .5 after 6 games…I don’t know about you but I’ll take it!