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.
“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.
The Black Knights of the Washington Nationals combined to lead them to a 7-2 win over the Miami Marlins Saturday afternoon in the Nation’s Capital.
Yup. It was the MLBbro show on Saturday.
The right side of the Nats infield had a massive day on the banks of the Anacostia River combining to drive in five of the Nationals’ seven runs in a game where the offense began what they hope to resemble how they will play this summer.
They were the catalysts in a five-run fourth inning where the Nationals put the game on ice.
Josh Bell and Josh Harrison sparked the offense in tandem for the first time this season.
However, it was Harrison that gave them the lead for good when he drove in Yan Gomes and despite being thrown out at second they were off from there on Kentucky Derby Saturday.
Bell’s 3 RBI double left no doubt in the fourth that Nats fans would return home smiling.
His shot to right field scored Trea Turner, Yadiel Hernandez, and Kyle Schwarber and basically completed the bludgeoning for the afternoon.
“I feel like both those balls I hit today were kind of off the barrel just a tad bit, but they were lower,” Bell said. “If I can keep balls lower, on a line, around the barrel, that’s when good things happen. That’s when you get your ‘mis-hit’ hits. Hopefully, more of those to come, and then the damage will be there whenever a pitcher makes a mistake.”
After opening the season dealing with injuries and COVID-19, the Nationals have begun to get their full lineup intact. Bell and Harrison have been critical components to their three-game win streak.
The Nats have treaded enough water to stay afloat in the National League East and now find themselves .5 behind the Philadelphia Phillies in second place.
Washington is hoping that Bell continues to recover from his coronavirus-induced hiatus and that his offense spikes a charge to the top of a division which has been a disappointment so far this season.
“We’re in a good place,” Bell said. “No matter who’s on the bump, no matter who’s in the lineup, it seems like we can score runs and keep runs off the board. It’s definitely a cool atmosphere showing up to work every day.”
The Nats are ecstatic to have Bell back to work and if they want to start to separate themselves from the rest of the division than the slugging first baseman has to live up to the back of his baseball card and start mashing consistently.