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Washington Nationals avoid getting no-hit, but lose 7-2 to Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank...

SB Nation logo SB Nation 2 days ago Patrick Reddington
© Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Jo-Jo Gray-Gray, In Phil-Phil-Lay-Lay:

Left-handed hitting Cardinals’ outfielder Corey Dickerson accounted for most of the runs St. Louis scored off Josiah Gray in the Cards’ 5-0 win over the Washington Nationals in D.C. last weekend, with a leadoff double and run scored in the third and a three-run home run off the Nats’ starter in the fourth.

It was the 15th home run hit by a left-handed hitter off Gray this season, with left-handed hitters putting up a .259/.374/.578 line in 198 plate appearances. Righties?

Nine home runs and a .207/.265/.369 in 239 PAs before tonight’s game.

“He’s got to get comfortable throwing the ball to both sides. He’s got to use both sides of the plate, and we got to get him there,” manager Davey Martinez said when asked why the Nats’ starter struggles against left-handed hitters, at least comparatively.

“Sometimes he’s really good, and when he gets ahead of hitters he’s really good. He was ahead of eight guys today, and nobody got on base, so we got to focus on that.”

Gray was up 0-1 on Rhys Hoskins with one out in the first inning tonight, but the red-hot Philly slugger put a charge in a 94 MPH fastball and hit it 387 feet to left-center for a solo home run and a 1-0 lead, and after a two-out triple by J.T. Realmuto kept the inning alive, with Victor Robles misjudging it and letting it get by him and all the way to the wall, Nick Castellanos, another right-handed hitter, took a 93 MPH, 1-2 fastball for a ride to left for a two-run blast, 3-0, and 4-0 on a solo shot to right field by Darick Hall, a left-handed hitter (who fits the narrative begun above). Ouch.

Rhys Hoskins walked to lead off the third, and scored one out later when J.T. Realmuto won a nine-pitch battle with Gray, hitting a 93 MPH 2-2 fastball 362 feet to left field for HR No. 4 off the Nationals’ starter and a 6-0 lead. Right-handers are catching up.

Gray was up to 69 pitches total after a seven-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth, but back-to-back walks to start the bottom of the fifth ended his outing after 79 pitches in 4+ innings pitched...

Josiah Gray’s Line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 4 HRs, 79 P, 46 S, 2/4 GO/FO.

Gibson vs the Nats:

Acquired from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline in 2021, Kyle Gibson, a 2009 1st Round pick by the Minnesota Twins, took the mound tonight in his second season with Philadelphia’s Phillies with a 4.60 ERA, a 4.43 FIP, 31 walks, 84 strikeouts overall on the season, and a .247/.309/.403 line against in 20 starts and 107 23 IP on the year.

Gibson, 34, was coming off a six inning start against Atlanta in which he gave up four hits, two walks, and two earned runs in a 7-2 win over the Braves.

© Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

He didn’t give up any hits through six innings tonight, didn’t walk anyone, and he had a big lead to work with early, as he cruised against the Phillies’ NL East rivals, retiring 18-straight Nationals’ hitters before he hit Victor Robles in the first at-bat of the seventh, and then Luis García followed with a single for the Nats’ first hit, but a double play off Luke Voit’s bat, and a Yadiel Hernández groundout ended the inning with Gibson’s shutout bid intact.

Gibson came back out for the eighth, at 84 pitches, and hit Lane Thomas with one out, and gave up a walk to César Hernández, and base-loading single by Joey Meneses as things got moving in the Phillies’ bullpen. Ildemaro Vargas stepped in next and hit a sac fly to center to get the Nationals on the board, 7-1.

Kyle Gibson’s Line: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 105 P, 68 S, 12/2 GO/FO.

Yadi Streak Watch:

Yadiel Hernández started the night with a 10-game hit streak going, over which the 34-year-old slugger was 13 for 35 (.371/.371/.571) with a double and two home runs, taking him from a .261/.305/.399 line to .275/.313/.421 on the year.

Hernández and the rest of the Nationals were held hitless through six, and Hernández hit a grounder to short to end the seventh after the visitor’s finally connected on their first base knock.

Hernández was 0 for 3 after seven, and he grounded out in the ninth to end the streak.

Bullpen Action:

Erasmo Ramírez took over for Josiah Gray with runners on first and second and no one out in the bottom of the fifth, and got a double play out of Alec Bohm for the first two outs of the inning. 6-0 Phillies after five.

Ramírez threw a scoreless sixth, and Victor Arano got the ball in the seventh, and he gave up the fifth home run of the night, a 419-foot shot to center field in Citizens Bank Park that put the Phillies up 7-0 on the Nationals.

Andres Machado retired the Phillies in order in a nine-pitch eighth.

Brad Hand got the ninth for the home team and gave up a one-out single by Luis García and a walk to Luke Voit. Yadiel Hernandez advanced both runners into scoring position with his groundout, and García scored when Keibert Ruiz grounded out for out No. 2. 7-2 final.

Nationals now 36-72

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