If his right arm isn’t healed in time for his next start Youth Jake McCabe Jersey , maybe Vince Velasquez can pitch with his left.

Ambidextrous, indeed.

Hit on his pitching arm by a line drive, Velasquez made a dazzling throw with his left hand, and Philadelphia overcame an early injury to its starting pitcher to beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Saturday night.

”It is well-known he is one of our best all-around athletes,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. ”You just would never predict that.”

Velasquez was struck in the forearm by Adam Eaton’s liner in the second inning. He dropped his glove, hustled to retrieve the ball as it deflected toward third base, and unleashed a strong toss with his opposite arm that nipped the speedy Eaton at first for the final out.

”I tried to finish the play,” Velasquez said.

The Phillies pitcher actually spent his junior season in high school as a lefty-throwing center fielder due to bone chips in his pitching arm that prevented him from taking the mound.

And on Friday night, Velasquez startled Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana by throwing a ball to him left-handed from the dugout in between innings.

”Kind of warmed up for that play today,” Velasquez joked.

So, Velasquez knew he could throw left-handed – he just didn’t know if he could make an accurate toss.

”I actually surprised myself throwing a strike right there,” he said.

After completing the play, Velasquez then dropped to the ground, writhing in pain and clutching his right arm. He was pulled from the game with a bruise, having allowed one run and three hits.

X-rays were negative, a better result than he anticipated.

”I thought something was broken Mike Green Jersey ,” he said. ”Thanks to God, nothing is severe.”

Kapler said Velasquez would be further evaluated on Sunday. The pitcher said it was ”up in the air” whether he would be able to take his next turn in the rotation.

”We’ll see how it feels,” he said.

Victor Arano (1-0) followed Velasquez with two scoreless innings.

Odubel Herrera homered and Jorge Alfaro and Aaron Altherr had RBI doubles as the Phillies bounced back from a 17-7 loss. Anthony Rendon homered for the Nationals, who went deep seven times in Friday night’s romp at Citizens Bank Park, but managed just eight hits against six Philadelphia pitchers.

”I thought we were going to score more than two runs after yesterday’s performance,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ”We had our chances.”

Yacksel Rios kept Philadelphia in front by getting out of a jam in the eighth. After Adam Morgan allowed the first two runners to reach on a single and a walk, Rios entered and got Rendon to line out to right, Juan Soto to pop out and Mark Reynolds to ground out.

Rookie Seranthony Dominguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save in his eighth chances. Dominguez retired the first two batters before pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy doubled to right, but the right-hander retired Eaton on a flyball.

”Cool as a cucumber,” Kapler said. ”A special performance.”

Jeremy Hellickson (2-1) returned to the mound for Washington after being sidelined since June 4 with a right hamstring strain. The veteran right-hander allowed three runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

RED-HOT RENDON

Rendon is batting .396 in his last 13 games, with hits in 12 of those contests. His 85 career hits against Philadelphia are tied for his most against any opponent.

WHAT A THROW

Alfaro upped his major-league lead to 15 base runners caught stealing when he nailed the swift Trea Turner for the final out in the fifth. Turner entered second in the majors with 22 steals, but was easily out.

”Alfaro threw a bullet,” Martinez said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation), out since June 10, threw a bullpen session on Saturday. … Washington transferred 1B Ryan Zimmerman, who has been out since May 10 with a strained right oblique Anthony Mantha Jersey , to the 60-day DL.

UP NEXT

The teams close out the four-game series on Sunday afternoon with Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-5, 3.68) facing Phillies RHP Jake Arrieta (5-6, 3.54).

Dustin Byfuglien busted out his dance moves for a little celebration of his latest big goal, which may have caught many people by surprise.

Not his teammates.

”He’s so loose before games,” Winnipeg center Bryan Little said. ”He’s a joker, definitely the prankster on the team. It’s strange for me to see him talking to you guys in front of the camera. It’s like, `That’s not who I know.”’

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Byfuglien is making a big impression on the NHL playoffs on both ends of the ice as the Jets have muscled their way to within one win of Winnipeg’s first berth in the Western Conference Final. Timely goals, rugged defense, leadership – it’s all part of his game. He dropped jaws during the second-round series against the Predators by literally manhandling two Nashville players, one in each hand.

His journey back to the postseason has been a long one, but the 33-year-old Byfuglien has made Winnipeg his home and is a key reason the Jets are Canada’s last surviving team this postseason. The last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup was Montreal in 1993, and the 25-year drought is a painful one in the home of hockey.

Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler considers Byfuglien a ”great equalizer” and unlike anybody else in the NHL.

”Having him on our team gives us an advantage no matter who we play,” Wheeler said. ”That’s the type of player he is and from Game 1 of the playoffs, he has just dominated. You can’t stop it.”

Byfuglien is making the most of his deepest postseason run since helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup in 2010,

Not only has he been a strong counter to Nashville by outplaying a group often considered the NHL’s best top four defensemen Womens Aaron Rodgers Jersey , Byfuglien is leading all defensemen this postseason with four goals. He’s also tied with Boston’s Torey Krug for most points with 12 while skating an average of 26 minutes, 25 seconds a game.

Byfuglien started the Jets’ rally in Game 3 against Nashville from a 3-0 deficit by scoring the first goal and his tying goal prompted his little dance. He wound up with the game-winning goal in Winnipeg’s 6-2 victory Saturday night that put the Jets on the verge of clinching only their second series – all this postseason.

”What makes him unique is he can, I don’t know if `take over’ is right, but he can make an impact in a game in just about every single way possible,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. ”He can defend, he can play real physical, nobody wants to drop the gloves with him, and then there’s an offensive side, it’s a perfectly placed shot, quick hands, all the other things that he can do offensively.”

And Chicago gave all that potential up in 2010. Byfuglien switched from defense to forward for the Blackhawks and scored three game-winning goals in a sweep of San Jose in the Western Conference finals for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Final since 1992. He had a hat trick against Vancouver in the conference semifinals.

But the Blackhawks were strapped for salary cap space after contract extensions for Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith on top of pricey deals for Marian Hossa and Brian Campbell. Byfuglien was traded away to the then-Atlanta Thrashers, a franchise that relocated to Winnipeg in 2011.

”There’s only one Dustin Byfuglien, and you want him on your team,” Little said. ”You can’t imagine what it would be like playing against him. There’s only one of him. You can’t really compare him to anyone out there.”

Winnipeg has become home to Byfuglien. The town is just 115 miles as the crow flies from where he grew up in Roseau, Minnesota. Since the franchise moved to Winnipeg Authentic Jordan Eberle Jersey , Byfuglien married, and has three children. The Jets rewarded him in February 2016 with a five-year, $38 million contract to make him a key piece of the Jets’ future.

He just isn’t a big talker. Asked where his dance came from in Game 2, Byfuglien said he didn’t know.

He sure is talking to his teammates, trying to share his experience from that 2010 Cup run and offering advice on how to handle what they hope is a two-month run.

”We’ve obviously talked as a group,” Byfuglien said. ”It’s not going to be an easy ride. It’s just take one game at a time, one shift at a time, and just believe in each other.”

Having Big Buff around certainly provides a confidence boost,

”Any time he’s on the ice, it’s dangerous,” Little said.



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