Phillies: 3 Important takeaways from the Nationals series

Matt Moore #31 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Matt Moore #31 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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After the four-game series against the Washington Nationals, the Philadelphia Phillies sit above the .500 mark with a 56-53 record and are currently half a game back from the first-place New York Mets.

The Phillies were able to sweep a Nationals team who recently traded key players like Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, and Daniel Hudson. Now, they shift focus to the Mets, who are 3-7 in their last 10 games (the Phillies are 6-4) and have a losing record on the road.

But before the Mets series opens, these are some of the most interesting takeaways from the Nats series to keep in mind…

The Phillies used Matt Moore in the bullpen

The Phillies’ latest experiment is to figure out how to get creative with their struggling pitching staff, so they decided to convert Matt Moore into a bullpen arm again. Over 81% of his 197 career games have been starts, but he has also pitched in relief and even closed games, including four this season.

Moore gave up two earned runs in his four innings of work, but that’s not the biggest takeaway from this outing. He’s not exactly known as a flamethrower, but on Wednesday, he looked like one reaching, 95 mph or higher six times. His average fastball has sat at 92.2 mph, but in this appearance, his average was 94.0.

In fact, all of his pitches were thrown harder; his knuckle curve was up 1.8 mph on average, his changeup up 1.1, and his cutter 1.2. Maybe Moore has finally figured out a role on this team. With Ranger Suárez being moved to the rotation, the bullpen needs all the help it can get.

Moore also finally got his first win as a Phillie last night, bringing his record to 1-3 on the season.