Phillies-Nationals rained out, day-night doubleheader Sunday
WASHINGTON (AP) The Washington Nationals were rained out for the second straight night, this time as they were opening a three-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.
When they eventually do get back on the field, the NL East leaders will have a couple of arms back in their beleaguered bullpen.
On Friday, the Nationals reinstated right-handed relievers Koda Glover and Shawn Kelley from the disabled list.
Washington’s bullpen is 29th in the majors with a 5.40 ERA and a .284 opponents’ batting average, and has blown six of 16 save attempts.
”It’s very important,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said of getting the duo back. ”And it’s very important to them, because they were chomping at the bit. I can sort of put my bullpen back in the order that we want to.”
Glover (0-1, with a 4.15 ERA and two saves) missed 14 games with a left hip impingement. He made one rehab appearance, pitching a scoreless inning for Double-A Harrisburg on Wednesday night.
Kelley (2-0, with a 5.40 ERA and three saves) missed nine games with a lower back strain. The 33-year-old righty ranks second among National League relievers in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.27), but has allowed five home runs in 10 innings.
”It was a long 12 or 13 days, whatever it was, since I last pitched, so glad that’s over with,” Kelley said.
”We’ve got a couple of fresh arms that have been in this situation before, and (can) help everybody else out. Hopefully get us back rolling in the right direction so we can keep winning baseball games,” he said.
To make room for Glover and Kelly, the Nationals optioned right-hander A.J. Cole and left-hander Matt Grace to Triple-A Syracuse.
Friday night’s game will be made up Sunday as part of a split doubleheader. The regularly scheduled game will start at 1:35 p.m. and the teams will play the second game at 7:05 p.m.
The Nationals were also rained out Thursday night against Baltimore.
”There’s nothing you can do about it,” Baker said. ”But you hate just to turn it on and turn it off and turn it on and turn it off.”
Philadelphia was also going a second day without a game, following Thursday’s day off. The Phillies have lost seven of eight and 10 of 12.
Manager Pete Mackanin said third basemen Maikel Franco, mired in an 0-for-15 skid, took extra batting practice on Friday.
”I give him credit. He’s working hard to try to make adjustments,” Mackanin said. ”He just needs to learn how to not swing so hard. I think that’s the key.”
Franco is hitting .207 with five homers and 25 RBIs.
The Phillies also made a move on Friday, recalling righty Luis Garcia from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Both managers pushed their starters back a day, so Philadelphia right-hander Nick Pivetta (0-2, 5.40) will oppose righty Tanner Roark (3-1, 3.46) on Saturday.
Off the field, Friday was supposed to be Trea Turner bobblehead day at Nationals Park. The souvenirs will be distributed to the first 25,000 fans entering the ballpark for the second game Sunday.