Trevor Rosenthal finally had a little luck on his side when he recorded his first out of the season Wednesday night.
The Nationals closer had allowed nine men to reach safely when he headed to the mound in the ninth inning with the Nationals leading the Phillies, 15-0.
The lack of pressure might have been what Rosenthal needed — although he walked Rhys Hoskins to start things off Wednesday. However, Rosenthal struck out Andrew Knapp on a 100 mph fastball to get the elusive first out of the season.
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Still, he then walked Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez to load the bases, and Maikel Franco grounded into a run-scoring fielder’s choice to spoil the shutout before Rosenthal retired Aaron Altherr on a flyout to end the game.
“I felt the same I’ve been feeling, just trying to handle the emotions of being back and the early struggles,” Rosenthal told reporters after the game, via The Washington Post. “My teammates have been incredibly supportive of me. It’s been like a family, like everybody wants me to do really well. So I try to embrace that and keep working hard, and that’s all I can pretty much do.”
With the strikeout of Knapp (Rosenthal’s first out since August 2017) and retiring Altherr, Rosenthal lowered his ERA from infinity to 72.00.
The significance is huge to Rosenthal, who missed all of 2018 as he rehabbed from Tommy John surgery.
Despite Rosenthal’s long rehabilitation process, the Nationals signed the 28-year-old to a one-year deal this past offseason.
“It’ll all work out in the end. It’s just about learning from it as you go through it, and then eventually, on the backside, I could help anyone else out if they were going through something similar,” Rosenthal said of dealing with the surgery.
In five appearances this season, Rosenthal has allowed 8 earned runs, giving up four hits and walking seven.
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