There was a power surge from the Black Knights despite the absence of brotherly love in Philadelphia.
The Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies finished a brief but contentious two-game series with the rising tension of the National League East division race beaming on Wednesday afternoon.
Andrew McCutchen and Josh Bell hit grand slams in a game of electrifying offense following a night where Nationals manager Davy Martinez and Phillies Joe Girardi nearly came to blows after Max Scherzer was inspected for foreign substances one day after Major League Baseball started policing its pitchers for sticky fingers.
McCutchen blasted a grand slam (his 13th of the season) to left-center field off Kyle McGowin which put the Phillies up 9-5. The Nationals’ sputtering offense then got a jolt in the top of the 6th from the struggling Bell.
Washington’s free agent all-star first baseman, who entered the game batting only .228 and remains a source of concern in D.C. answered McCutchen with a blast of his own over the left-centerfield wall. His bases-clearing shot was the 11th of the year and may qualify as his biggest hit since joining the team.
“I’ve been waiting on drilling a baseball in a big moment there for a little this season,” Bell said. “Especially on a fastball. I’ve been trying to drive the ball the other way all season long and been rolling over into the shift in big situations. It feels like things are starting to turn around for me.”
The Nats’ victory was their ninth in the last 10 games. Suddenly, Washington has now moved into second place and is within 3.5 games of the New York Mets heading into their four-game weekend series in Miami Marlins and their Black Knight Jazz Chisholm.