Despite Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez throwing just two innings in the third of a four-game set against the Washington Nationals, the club was able to prevail with a 3-2 victory Saturday evening at Citizens Bank Park.
Velasquez did not exit the contest early because of high pitch count or poor pitching, but rather due to injury. With two outs in the top of the second, Nationals right fielder Adam Eaton smacked a line drive off the right-hander's right forearm. Velasquez was still able to pick up the ball with his left hand and fire the across the diamond to first baseman Carlos Santana for the final out.
The play proved to be game-saving, as the Nationals would have went up 2-0 in the low-scoring contest; catcher Spencer Kieboom was on third base after producing a RBI double two batters prior.
Shortly after making the final out, Velasquez went to the ground in serious pain. He was later diagnosed with a right forearm contusion, alleviating fears that his pitching elbow was struck. X-rays were negative and Velasquez will be reevaluated on Sunday, according to Phillies manager Gabe Kapler. The Phillies are off Monday and Thursday next week, which could buy sufficient time for the right-hander's return.
The Phillies won their 44th game at the official halfway point of the season. Odubel Herrera homered, and both Jorge Alfaro and Aaron Altherr produced a RBI double. While Seranthony Dominguez notched his seventh save in the ninth, what ultimately "saved" the game for the Phillies on Saturday, however, was the former switch-hitter's left-handed throw.