Series Recap: Phillies drop two of three to Nationals over weekend

Stott Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner, left, throws over second baseman Bryson Stott after fielding a ground out by Washington Nationals’ Ildemaro Vargas during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 2, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Shaquille O’Neal concert might just be the weekend highlight for the Phillies.

After a bad loss on Friday, Philadelphia would explode for 19 runs on Saturday. After a 3-run lead to start Sunday’s game, the Phils would get outscored 5-1 by the Nats, would who take the series in Philadelphia.

After being 16-3 against the Nationals last season, the Phillies are 3-3 against their division rival this season. With only 7 games left to be played against Washington, the Phils are going to need to play better against the bottom of the National League in a quest for the playoffs once again.

Game 1: 2-1 Loss

Filling the Void

Coming off a sweep in Chicago, the vibes were high heading into a series against the Nationals. A team that the Phillies smoked last season, they haven’t had the same caliber of success in 2023.

Cristopher Sanchez pitched a really good game Friday night for the red pinstripes. For all the issues the team had with their fifth starter, Sanchez solidified the position. He allowed a two-run home run in the second inning to Stone Garrett; however, one of the runs was not earned, due to an error from Trea Turner.

Sanchez would then shut down the Nats for the remainder of the game. His line for the night was 6 innings, 1 earned runs, 7 hits, and 6 strikeouts.

Lack of Clutch Hitting

The story of the 2023 Phillies has been the lack of clutch hitting.

The Phils have not been able to convert with runners in scoring position. The case was the same in game one against Washington, as they went 1-8 with RISP.

The lone run batted in came off the bat of Alec Bohm, who would drive in a run in the second inning.

Phillies Alec Bohm and JT Realmuto
Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm (28) celebrates with J.T. Realmuto after hitting a two-run home run off Washington Nationals starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore during the third inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 1, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Game 2: 19-4 Phillies Win

Getting Even

Saturday, Philadelphia needed to come out and make a statement. They made their statement and then some with a 19-4 win before the Shaquille O’Neal post-game concert.

The Phightins would score 19 runs against the Nats on Saturday. One of the best offensive performances in franchise history. The offense was clicking on all cylinders, and the day was capped off by a 6 RBI game from Alec Bohm.

Everything went the Phils’ way in this game, and they were able to return their season run differential into the positives, a mark they have been in negative in all season.

Bohm had two home runs with 6 RBIs, Kyle Schwarber hit a grand slam, and the Phils racked up 18 hits.

Rough day for Wheeler

Even though the Phils won the game, Zack Wheeler wasn’t satisfied with his performance.

Wheeler went 5 innings, 7 hits, 4 earned runs, and 6 strikeouts in this game. While this certainly wasn’t his best, the Phillies’ offense took any and all pressure from Zack. While he got the win, Wheeler expects better of himself, which is nice to see our ace hold himself to a high standard.

Game 3: 5-4 Loss

Game three was, unfortunately, much closer to game one than game two.

Philly’s offense got off to a hot start. Nick Castellanos and JT Realmuto gave them a 3-0 lead in the first with a pair of home runs. The vibes were good at Citizens Bank Park, and it looked like the Phils were on their way to a series win.

Danger for Ranger

Ranger Suarez had his worse start of the season, after having a really impressive month of June. Ranger gave up two home runs, a grand slam to Stone Garrett, and a solo to Jeimer Candelario.

Ranger allowed 5 earned runs in this game, and with the offense struggling after the first, this was too much for the club to overcome. The lefty would exit trailing 5-3 in this game.


There needs to be some changes in the Phillies lineup.

The team has struggled to drive in runs when presented with the opportunity. The Phils grounded into a double play in this game’s 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, all after getting a runner on to start.

With a lack of home-run power, Philadelphia needs to convert when they give themselves the chance.

Alec Bohm leads the team in runs batted in with 54. He has consistently batted, 6th or 7th in the routine lineup. Bohm should be hitting in front of JT Realmuto at the very least, or could even slide in the number two spot behind Kyle Schwarber.

The Phillies need to put the ball in play when runners are in scoring position. Alec arguably puts the ball in play more than anyone else on the team. I would like to see him get more chances higher in the lineup moving forward.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum