October 2, 2023

Takeaways after Phillies comeback to win series over Nationals


Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

For the first time since the final days of the 2019 season, the Phillies have won a road series of three or more games. It wasn’t easy. And it wasn’t necessarily pretty. But they got it.

The Phils beat the Washington Nationals for the second straight night on Wednesday. The Phils scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning to win it 5-2.

Here’s three takeaways:

Wheeler’s nice night

Phillies starter Zack Wheeler delivered another strong start. He carried a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning but lost it when the Nationals’ bats came alive and the Phillies’ defense went bad.

Wheeler scattered eight hits and a walk and struck out seven while allowing just two runs in six innings. One of those runs was the result of poor defense.

Wheeler cruised through the first five innings, running his scoreless innings streak to 20 over three games.

The collision

Wheeler’s scoreless innings streak ended in the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman opened the frame with a double and moved up on a ground ball by Kyle Schwarber. Starlin Castro then delivered a single up the middle, one of his four hits, to tie the game.

Alex Avila then lofted a fly ball to the warning track in right-center. It was a routine fly ball, one that should have been caught. Instead, it dropped in between right fielder Harper and centerfielder Herrera for an RBI triple and a 2-1 Nationals’ lead.

It was not immediately clear what happened on the play. It appeared as if Harper may have had trouble seeing the ball. Or maybe Herrera wasn’t aggressive enough. Either way, it was the latest defensive mistake that has cost the Phillies this season.

Ultimately, both Herrera and Harper played huge roles in the Phillies being able to overcome the miscue.


Injuries continued to mount for the Phillies during the game.

Shortstop Didi Gregorius left the game in the fifth inning with what the team called right elbow stiffness. Gregorius has some history with the elbow. He had Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and missed three games with swelling in the elbow earlier this season.

J.T. Realmuto did not play after taking a foul ball off his left leg on Tuesday night. He’s day to day.

Up next

The win improved the Phillies to 20-17. They will look for a three-game sweep of the Nationals behind Zach Eflin on Thursday afternoon.

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