WASHINGTON — From the vantage point of the visitor’s dugout along the third-base line here at Nationals Park, the Phillies have a straight-on look at the right-field wall, which doubles as the out-of-town scoreboard.
Let it be said, then, that the opportunity to climb into first place this week is right in front of them.
But the Phillies insisted they were less preoccupied Monday night with the score in Miami, where the division-leading Mets fell behind by four runs in the first inning, than with coming back to defeat the Nationals, 7-5, after blowing two late leads.
“I’ve been here before over in the West where, with the D’backs, we would always pay attention to the Dodgers scores,” reliever Archie Bradley said. “I’m kind of over that, man. I’m so focused on what we’re trying to do. I don’t care if [the Mets] win or lose. I care about the Phillies winning, and that’s what we did tonight.”
Indeed, they scored five runs in the ninth inning and came from behind to even their record at 53-53. And — shhhh, don’t tell Bradley! — they’re only 2 1/2 games off the Mets’ pace.
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In deciding to move Ranger Suárez into a starting role, the Phillies thought he would make the back end of the rotation deeper and better. His first start, while abbreviated, went well, and he likely will throw 60 pitches his next time out Saturday against the Mets.
Andrew McCutchen will be sidelined until at least Aug. 11. Here’s more on his knee injury.
Freddy Galvis could scarcely contain his excitement about being traded back to the Phillies, as Matt Breen writes.
Galvis is a link to the Phillies’ glory days. But as David Murphy writes, he’s also a reminder of how little they have accomplished in the last nine years.
Tonight: Zack Wheeler faces Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin, 7:05 p.m.
Tomorrow: Chase Anderson returns to Phillies’ rotation, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday: Aaron Nola vs. Joe Ross in series finale in D.C., 4:05 p.m.
Friday: Phillies open a three-game series at home vs. Mets, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday: Roy Halladay’s No. 34 will be retired at Citizens Bank Park, 1:05 p.m.
Stat of the day
Bryce Harper returned to Washington for this week’s series with a .959 OPS, sixth-best among 139 hitters who are qualified for the batting title in either league. He was also batting .302 with a .414 on-base percentage and .546 slugging percentage.
Since 1900, 14 Phillies players have posted a slash line of at least .300/.400/.500 in a season of at least 500 plate appearances. Chuck Klein and Bobby Abreu each did it four times; Dolph Camilli, Lefty O’Doul, and Elmer Flick did it twice; Dick Allen, Gavvy Cravath, Ed Delahanty, Ryan Howard, Don Hurst, Sherry Magee, Chase Utley, Harry Walker, and Cy Williams each did it once.
From the mailbag
Send questions by email or on Twitter @ScottLauber.
Question: Why doesn’t Joe [Girardi] give [Luke] Williams some starts, especially with Cutch out for a week? The kid had a great start when called up but lately he has been buried on the bench. — Ed K., via email
Answer: Thanks, Ed. Williams is a right-handed hitter, which puts him on the less dominant side of a platoon with Travis Jankowski. My sense is you’ll see Williams start Tuesday night against a lefty (Corbin). But with the Nationals scheduled to start right-handers on Wednesday and Thursday, and given the Mets’ righty-leaning rotation, most of Williams’ at-bats will likely come off the bench.