The Philadelphia Phillies lost their fifth straight game on Friday night as they were beat by the Washington Nationals 8-7. Zack Wheeler took the mound for the Phillies, and he surrendered seven earned runs in 3-2/3 innings. Unsurprisingly, the bullpen finished the game strong. Through 4 1/3 innings in relief, the Phillies' bullpen allowed just one earned run.
The offense— other than Nick Castellanos— came up short once again. The Phillies hitters went 3-12 with runners in scoring position. Castellanos had five RBI and two home runs on the night.
Matt Strahm (4-3, 3.20 ERA) will start for the Phillies in what will be a bullpen game. It is likely that he will go two innings, then other relievers will pitch behind him. The Nationals will send MacKenzie Gore (3-3, 3.57 ERA) to the mound for the second game of the series.
Darick Hall and Cristian Pache stepped up their rehab assignments as Hall moved to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Pache was sent to High-A Jersey Shore. Hall went 1-4 with a single and a strikeout and Pache went 0-3 with three strikeouts and a stolen base on Friday night. Both players are expected to return to the Phillies later this month. They could be an injection into a lineup that has struggled to produce consistently.
Phillies' No. 2 prospect Mick Abel pitched again on Friday night. Abel had a nice bounce back after a tough start last week. The young right-hander pitched six innings allowing two earned runs on four hits. Abel struck out seven opposing hitters but walked four as well. This is one of Abel's better performances in a few starts, but the walks are still a bit of an issue. Abel can be dominant but needs to fine tune his command. At just 21-years-old he still has time to develop and is not ready for a Major League callup at this time.
Major League Baseball celebrated Lou Gehrig Day on Friday. While Gehrig's story may not be much of a reason to celebrate, the result of his courage in the face of a devastating illness is something that Major League players and fans can appreciate alike. Major League Baseball has partnered with different charities that benefit the research for ALS so some time, but now they plan on making Lou Gehrig Day a regular event and continue to donate to help make progress in the fight against the disease.
The St. Louis Cardinals recalled top prospect Jordan Walker on Friday. Walker started the season with the Major League club but was optioned in late April because he began struggling offensively and defensively. The Cardinals saw enough improvement on the defensive side to recall him to join the club as they faced the Pittsburgh Pirates. Walker went 1-5 with a single and a strikeout in his first game back in the big leagues.