By Sam Bush
Considering the drama and the time it took for the Phils to finally get Noah Syndergaard in a trade just minutes before Tuesday’s deadline, last night’s debut might be a bit disappointing.
But the Phillies will take it, say thank you very much and remain tied with the Cards and the Brewers for the third wild card playoff spot, 2 1/2 games behind the Pads for the second spot.
Syndergaard won despite giving up four runs in his first start since July 25.
Alec Bohm hit a three-run home run and the Phils won a rain-shortened, five-inning game 5-4 over the Washington Nationals.
Rhys Hoskins also went deep, helping secure a victory for Syndergaard (6-8) two days after he was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels.
“I’m extremely thrilled and blessed to be in this clubhouse,” Syndergaard said. “The personalities seem amazing in this clubhouse. I just want to do my part.”
They have won seven of nine against Washington this season.
The Phillies reinstated second baseman Jean Segura from the 60-day I after he missed 54 games with a broken right index finger.
Philadelphia also is looking forward to getting back 2021 NL MVP Bryce Harper, who had pins removed from his broken left thumb Monday and expects to be back before the end of the regular season. Harper is taking swings off a tee and hopes to return in September, he said before the game. He spent Thursday cheering on his teammates from the broadcast booth, where he provided commentary.
Harper loved what he saw early in the contest from Philadelphia’s offense.
Hoskins connected for his 21st homer of the season in the first off Paolo Espino (0-4), and the Phillies scored four runs in the third to jump out to a 5-2 lead. Newly acquired center fielder Brandon Marsh opened the frame with the first of four straight hits, a single to left.
Kyle Schwarber followed with a single before Hoskins drove home Marsh with another one. Bohm, whom Harper was talking up in the booth for his improved defense and steady offense, provided the big blow with a three-run shot to left.
“That’s what this offense can do,” Hoskins said.
Syndergaard struck out two and walked none over five innings. His 11 hits allowed were one shy of his career worst.
“Once I settled down, I was able to execute my pitches,” he said. “It feels really good to get a win.”
Just after Syndergaard departed in the fifth, the game was halted by rain. It was called after a delay of 2 hours, 6 minutes.
The Nationals pulled within 5-4 with two runs in the fifth. After consecutive singles to open the frame, César Hernández’s RBI single plated the first run. With the bases loaded, another run scored on a wild pitch. Nick Castellanos prevented further damage with a strong throw from right field to the plate to get Hernández on an inning-ending 9-2 double play.
“At that moment, it was huge,” Syndergaard said. “It turned out to be bigger than it was.”
Said Martinez, “We took a shot right there, but the throw was right on the money.”
Voit put the Nationals ahead 1-0 with an RBI single in the first in his initial at-bat after joining Washington as part of the return package from the San Diego Padres for Soto and first baseman Josh Bell.
Espino gave up five runs on seven hits in four innings with three strikeouts and no walks.