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Matt Moore pitched 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball Friday in a win over the Phillies.

Since talk of a move to the bullpen started up, Moore has responded with back-to-back quality starts. The only other time that's happened all season was in May, when he had four in a row. The win tonight was Moore's first since June 20. At 5.54, his ERA is as low as it's been since mid-June.
Aug 19 - 1:32 AM

Zach Eflin was tagged for six runs in five innings by the Giants in a loss Friday.

Eflin won in his return to the majors 10 days ago, but he's given up 10 runs and four homers in 10 1/3 innings since. The home run ball is always going to be a big problem for him, and we doubt he's truly one of the Phillies' five best rotation options right now. Ben Lively is more deserving of that spot.
Aug 19 - 1:29 AM

After coming in with the Phillies down 6-2, Hector Neris gave up four runs -- three earned -- in an inning Friday.

Rusty and unmotivated seems like a bad combination. Neris hadn't pitched in a week. Manager Pete Mackanin could have brought him into a close game Thursday, but stayed away as the Phillies went on to lose 5-4. Tonight, Mackanin left him out to struggle, rather than remove him and potentially save him for Saturday. But, then, what were the odds the Phillies would have a late lead Saturday anyway?
Aug 19 - 1:27 AM

Brandon Crawford homered, doubled and walked Friday against the Phillies.

The homer was just his second in 118 at-bats since the All-Star break. Crawford has spent nearly two months now with his average in the .220s and .230s, and his defensive numbers haven't been as good as usual, either. He was one of the NL's top 15 or so players in both 2015 and 2016, but this year, he's been well below average.
Aug 19 - 1:22 AM

Howie Kendrick went 2-for-5 with a homer, two RBI and a stolen base as the Nationals beat the Padres 7-1 on Friday.

Because it's not enough that Kendrick is hitting .345 with a .921 OPS, he's doing more running than ever before, going 10-for-14 stealing bases in just 56 games while healthy. His career high for steals is 14, which he's done four times (in seasons of 158, 140, 147 and 157 games).
Aug 19 - 1:18 AM

Nick Delmonico hit two home runs, including one of the inside-the-park variety, during a 4-3 victory over the Rangers.

He swatted a standard two-run shot off starter Andrew Cashner in the sixth inning. He produced the winning run in the eighth inning by lining a deep drive that led the right fielder to crash into the wall and drop to the ground while Delmonico circled the bases. The red-hot rookie has an amazing .382/.452/.691 slash line with five homers and 11 RBI in 15 games. He had a .262 batting average with 12 home runs in 99 games at Triple-A Charlotte before getting the call to the majors.
Aug 19 - 1:17 AM

Making his first career start in Max Scherzer's place, Matt Grace shut out the Padres for 4 1/3 innings on Friday.

Grace was last a starting pitcher in high-A ball in 2012, when he went 9-12 with a 4.84 ERA for Potomac. He left with a 2-0 lead tonight and should have gotten the win for his effort, but MLB's obsolete rule says no (a starter must throw five innings to get a win). Instead, the victory went to Joe Blanton, who got three outs with his club already on top. The Nationals will probably return Grace to the pen rather than have him make another start in pace of Scherzer, but that's not the lock it would have been had Grace given up three or four runs tonight.
Aug 19 - 1:15 AM

Carlos Asuaje went 2-for-3 with a walk against the Nationals in Friday's loss.

The second baseman had half of the Padres' hits on the night. Asuaje is batting .291/.356/.394 in 175 at-bats this year. He lacks big-time offensive upside and his defense at second base is average at best, but if he can keep his OBP up, he'll be a useful piece while he's cheap.
Aug 19 - 1:09 AM
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