Well, that’s one way to get your first home victory.
Saturday night’s Game 2 against the Nationals was one for the record books. In the bottom half of the first inning, the Phillies stormed out of the gates and were firing on all cylinders. The team sent 16 men to bat, collected 9 hits (4 extra base hits), and scored a mind-boggling 12 runs in just the first inning. The run total set a franchise record for most runs scored in the first inning, and was one shy of matching the most runs scored in any inning by the Phils.
Cesar Hernandez got things started with a double in the gap in left field against the 38-year-old Jeremy Guthrie. Howie Kendrick followed that up with a single to right field. After Kendrick stole second base and Odubel Herrera drew a walk, Maikel Franco hit a sacrifice fly to bring Hernandez in to score for the first of many, many runs. Back to back singles by Michael Saunders and Tommy Joseph tacked on two more runs for the Phils. Jeremy Guthrie struggles continued, as he walked Cameron Rupp, and then allowed a sac fly to Galvis- making it a 4-0 nothing game.
The Phillies smelled blood in the water, and jumped on the chance to put the game away early. After back-to-back walks, the latter walk forcing a run, Kendrick launched a pitch to deep right center for a bases clearing triple. Herrera scored Kendrick on an infield single, and that was the last straw for Guthrie. He allowed nine runs in just ⅔ innings and left the ballgame with a 135.00 ERA for the 2017 season.
This is merely speculation, but given his age and his performance Saturday night, the Phillies historical offensive explosion may have just retired him. The offense, however, was not done yet. Nats reliever Enny Romero didn’t fare so well against the Phils high powered offense either. He allowed three consecutive RBI hits (two doubles and a single) before finally ending the inning by striking out Rupp.
There was a ton of hits to go around and I think it’s much more enjoyable to watch it unfold, instead of me typing the play-by-play, so you can check out a sixty second clip of all the action here.
With the plethora of runs being scored it was easy to overlook a major storyline coming into the game. 2014 first-rounder Aaron Nola was making his first start since an elbow injury sidelined him late last July.
I’m sure the massive amount of run support played a part, but Nola looked comfortable on the mound and performed well. Nola allowed three runs on seven hits through six innings, but what was most impressive was his ability to throw for strikes. The former LSU tiger threw 57 of his 89 pitches for strikes- good for a 64% clip. There is definitely room to improve, but this was a quality start to knock some of the rust off.
The bullpen did an excellent job of keeping the Nats silent after Nola’s outing, and the Phils took Game 2 in a 17-3 blowout. The game marks the Phillies first home win of the season and CBP was absolutely rocking Saturday night. Game 3 of the series is set for Sunday afternoon, and hopefully the team can continue to produce runs at a high rate.
Be sure to stay tuned right here at Philly Sports Network as we recap every Phillies game this season!
Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports