PHILADELPHIA - In a game that was seemingly filled with close, questionable calls, the Phillies got the benefit of the doubt on a few key ones, and they escaped with a hard-fought 4-3 win.
The Nationals battled back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the top of the eighth on Asdrubal Cabrera’s solo homer. But the Phillies won a challenge in the bottom of the eighth, when Kevin Frandsen’s foot was ruled to be just off first base and Ben Revere was called safe upon review, and then they took the lead two batters later on Carlos Ruiz’s sac fly.
Revere stole second, moved to third on a Jimmy Rollins fly out to right, and then trotted in on Ruiz’s fly ball to center to give the Phillies the lead.
Jonathan Papelbon set the Nats down in order in the ninth, giving the Phillies the victory and the series win.
Here are postgame reactions from the Nats clubhouse:
On whether he thought Frandsen’s foot was off the bag on the Revere grounder in the ninth: “It is what it is. We can see it one way. Doesn’t mean they’re gonna see it the same. They made the decision. We had an opportunity with Danny (Espinosa) up there and he hit a bullet. Could’ve been a different game. That’s the way the game goes sometimes. Need to do a better job of executing, though. We need to make sure we stay on top of that.”
On what he’s referring to in regards to better execution: “We’ve got Gio (Gonzalez) at the plate (in the third) and the ball gets by the catcher. We’ve got a guy at second base and nobody out, we give him the bunt sign and he swung away. We need to make sure that we do that. And last night, of course, we have a guy at second base and didn’t get him over. They did a good job of tonight in the last inning of getting him to third. That wins you games. Got to make sure we’re doing a good job of that, as well.”
On if the loss is tougher to take after the Nats batted back to tie the game: “No, errors are gonna happen. Again, the replay thing, you don’t know. So that will happen during the course of a game. That’s the way it is. Doesn’t make it any worse because we tied the score. We ended up losing and a loss is a loss.”
On how tough a play it was for Frandsen to try and keep his foot on the bag: “It’s hard for anybody. Trying to keep his toe on the bag. We look at replay on the board. I haven’t seen it yet. We just got in. I’ll take a look at it and see if there’s anything that I would see differently. But on the board, I didn’t know whether he was or wasn’t. Pretty close both ways. They deemed he was off, then they stole second, got him over and got him in. They executed.”
On if Adam LaRoche was available to play defense, if needed: “He could’ve. But we’re trying to stay away from that, too. But in that situation, we don’t have a choice. We’re down by a run, we need an extra-base hit. So we’re trying to stay away from him for the night if we can, turned out we couldn’t.”
On Gonzalez’s outing: “A couple of mistakes that they hit over the fence. Other than that, his pitch count was low, he was competitive. He threw all of his pitches for strikes. Got out of the inning with a double play ball, which was good. He kept us in it. We were able to come back, just not quite enough tonight.”
On whether he thought Cole Hamels should’ve been called for a balk when Ian Desmond was picked off in the fourth: “Well, I understand the rules of a balk. And I thought it was semi-questionable. But they didn’t call it, so what are you gonna do? You can go out and argue, but that’s not gonna change the call. It’s questionable. It’s close.”
On whether he thought his foot was on the bag: “I don’t think it matters what I think. Replays showed what they thought, so we gotta live with and I gotta live with not being tall enough.”
On the rally against Hamels: “It’s the same thing that we’ve done all year no matter how good the pitcher is. Cole was on tonight. We’ve just gotta grind. And that’s what we’ve done the entire season. It doesn’t matter. I’ve said it all along: guys will never give it in an at-bat. It wasn’t over 3-0. We know that. It starts with one good AB and (Anthony Rendon) had a great one. Desi comes up with a great one and then the at-bat by Scottie was amazing. I thought because with a guy you’re facing, Cole, he hasn’t played a whole lot. He spit on three just great change-ups. I feel like a lot of guys would swing over the top and I feel like that propelled everything. Obviously Cabbie coming up with the huge homer. It says a lot about our team. We continue to grind. We continue to fight for each other. Not for anything else. Just get the next guy up and hopefully that guy will come through and nothing is ever over.”
On if he thought Revere was out on the play in the eighth: “I don’t know. They’ve got so many views and so many angles. Obviously they called what they saw. If he was safe, he was safe.”
On how tough a play that was: “I was just sitting there trying to digest it, and I don’t think there was a whole lot else I could do. He hit the ball sharp to my backhand side. I was a little too close to backhand it. I don’t really have time to aim, I just have to get rid of it as quick as I could and make a good throw. But he’s safe - if he’s safe - by an inch at most. But speed never goes in a slump, and he used it right there.”
On the balk: “As I’m over there and I’m taking off, I can see it. But I put my head down after I saw what I thought I saw. I thought I had a good read on it. I thought it was a balk. But like I said, that’s in their hands, and the way they call it is the way it goes.”
On his outing: “It’s progress. Obviously, everyone wants to go six, seven innings scoreless, eight innings scoreless. It’s a team you’re going to have to be scrappy about. I spent three seasons facing the same lineup, different guys here and there. It’s a work in progress. I knew it was going to be a tough game from the beginning, Cole Hamels has been pitching great. I was going to try to match him up as much as possible. But other than that, fastball was still live, curveball, changeup. You leave a ball up, they’re going to hit it.”
On if his arm slot has been better recently: “It’s little by little, getting on top of the pitches. Curveball is starting to snap a little more. I’ve got to start learning how to stop throwing them for a strike when you get ahead of the hitter and start putting it down more lower in the strike zone. Other than that, it’s definitely a pitch that’s actually worked and is starting to shape up.”
On Freddy Galvis’ homer: “He played the park. Obviously, it’s a home run in any ballpark. You feel a little more confident when you hit something down the line - 94 up and in, it’s hard to get that much wood on it. Obviously, he did a good job. He got the run in. Especially after you set him up with a fastball in. ... If you throw it higher than that, it’s going to be a ball. But it’s a good pitch. He just got the bat head out and hit it down the line. Fair ball, home run.”