Philadelphia Phillies returned from their short, 2-3 road trip, giving RHP Jake Thompson (1-3, 9.78) another chance to right himself, against the Washington Natinals RHP Tanner Roark (13-7, 2.99)
Unfortunately it was not the start that Thompson wanted, as he gave up two runs on 26 pitches in the 1st, including a one out Jason Werth solo shot, but in the end it was an encouraging outing for Jake as those were the only runs scored on him. Roark threw just two less pitches in the bottom half, but only gave up a single.
What looked like was going to be a long slog of a night though, turned into a pitcher’s duel as both pitchers took control for the next 6 innings. Roark especially was helped by a rare strong breeze blowing in from dead center – two balls Cameron Rupp hit easily could have been in the seats or bushes most other nights.
The Phils gave the Natinals two unearned insurance runs in the 9th on a strike out/passed ball, and then a thrown away pick-off – after a review – allowed the runner to get to third. The Nats, like good teams will do, took advantage, as Phillie killer Danny Espinosa hit an RBI single. Then after a botched double play ball, the Nats with two outs, added another, to make it 4-0. In a non-save situation, Mark Melancon put this game to bed.
Thompson was done after a Solid Seven In, 7H, 2R, both earned, 1BB, 3K, 1HR, 110 pitches – 64 for strikes, taking the L, to drop to 1-4, but lowering his ERA to 7.86 on a great effort, which he can hopefully use going forward. Roark who improved his record to 14-7, 2.87 with the W, was also pulled after 7, 4H, 0R, 1BB, 5K. 100 pitches – 63 for strikes.
El Torito: Odubel Herrera has been recovering nicely after his post all star slump, hitting over .280 in August after a .227 July. He had two hits tonight. He has also been anointed the CF for the rest of the season. There is talk that in Winter Ball back in Venezuela he may work in a corner position to make way for Aaron Altherr to be the regular CF next season.
Next Ups: Tomorrow night features another top pitcher for the Nats in RHP Max Scherzer (14-7, 2.92) and RHP Jerad Eickhoff (9-12, 3.87) for the Phillies. Eickhoff should be well rested as he got pulled after only 71 pitches last time out after allowing 2 R on 4 H in six innings.