Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jayson Werth is back in the Nationals' lineup for tonight's game.
Werth, out since May 6, will start in center field and bat sixth, though both positions could change from day to day. Davey Johnson said he plans to swap Werth and Bryce Harper between center and right fields, keeping both players fresh. He also suggested he might hit Werth in the leadoff spot at times.
Ryan Zimmerman also returns to the Nationals lineup for the first time in this series, though he came off the bench with a pinch-hit last night. They're still missing Ian Desmond, but as Johnson described it, "this is the closest we've been in a long time" to fielding their entire regular lineup.
Plenty of updates to come, so please check back often...
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv, MLB Network (outside D.C. market)
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
Weather: Partly cloudy, 87 degrees, Wind 7 mph RF to LF
SS Danny Espinosa
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
CF Jayson Werth
C Sandy Leon
2B Steve Lombardozzi
LHP Ross Detwiler
SS Jimmy Rollins
3B Kevin Frandsen
2B Chase Utley
C Carlos Ruiz
1B Ty Wigginton
RF John Mayberry
LF Domonic Brown
CF Michael Martinez
LHP Cole Hamels
HP Marvin Hudson
1B Jordan Baker
2B Tim McClelland (cc)
3B Ted Barrett
7:07 p.m. -- And we're underway. Big ovation for Jayson Werth as he took his position in center field and heard his name announced in the starting lineup for the first time in nearly three months.
7:14 p.m. -- A scoreless top of the first for Ross Detwiler, though it very nearly turned into a fiasco at the end. With two outs, Chase Utley got a huuuge jump off first base and had second stolen easily. Carlos Ruiz then tapped a slow roller to the right of second base, forcing Steve Lombardozzi to hit the brakes and change directions. Lombardozzi made the play in time, but only because Ruiz is so slow. Had he beaten it out, Utley would've been standing on third base.
7:23 p.m. -- A chance for the Nats in the bottom of the first after Ryan Zimmerman drew a two-out walk, but Cole Hamels got Michael Morse fishing at a ball in the dirt to end the inning. Oh, and if you completely forgot about the Hamels-Harper encounter, you weren't alone. It didn't really register any reaction here, nor did I even think about it until after Harper had flied out to center. Scoreless after one.
7:33 p.m. -- It feels like it's been a long time since Bryce Harper threw out somebody on the bases. Well, he picked a good time to do it again. Gunned down John Mayberry trying to score on Michael Martinez's base hit to right. That's the rookie's third assist of the season and it helped keep this a scoreless game.
7:47 p.m. -- You know, Adam LaRoche's batting average has obviously plummeted from where it was in May (around .330, now .265) but his production hasn't diminished in the least. After launching Hamels' first pitch of the bottom of the second into the second deck in right field, he's now got 20 homers. That puts him on pace for 30 homers and 100 RBI by season's end. He's been invaluable to the Nationals, who now lead 1-0 after two. (Werth, by the way, delivered a solid, line-drive single to left in his first at-bat.)
7:58 p.m. -- Detwiler is through three scoreless innings, but he's been playing with fire. He's put six men on base so far and has needed to come up big with guys in scoring position to escape unscathed.
8:09 p.m. -- The Phillies' infield defense hasn't been stellar at all this series, and the Nats have taken advantage of that. Technically, they didn't commit any errors in the bottom of the third, but both Utley and Rollins could've been charged with E's on back-to-back grounders hit by Zimmerman and Morse. They went in the books as singles, and when LaRoche followed with a clean base hit (for his 64th RBI of the year) and Werth added a productive RBI groundout to the right side, the Nats saw their lead extend to 3-0 after three.
8:30 p.m. -- Props to Detwiler for getting this game back under control. After those shaky couple of innings to get this one started, he's now retired eight in a row and sits at only 66 pitches through five scoreless innings. Still 3-0 as we go to the bottom of the fifth.
8:43 p.m. -- And Detwiler keeps trucking along, retiring the side again in the sixth to give him 11 in a row. Get this: In seven starts since rejoining the Nats' rotation, his ERA is now down to 2.23. That's your No. 5 starter, folks. Nats still lead 3-0 heading to the bottom of the sixth.
8:51 p.m. -- It hasn't been a particularly good week for Bo Porter, who just had his third runner thrown out at the plate in the last two series. This time it was LaRoche trying to tag on Lombardozzi's line out to shallow right. Mayberry's throw to the plate easily got LaRoche, who turned and looked back at Porter as if to question why he was sent in the first place. Still 3-0 as we move to the seventh.
8:57 p.m. -- Make it 14 in a row retired by Detwiler. He's now through the seventh on an economic 88 pitches. He's reached the eighth inning only once before in his career (Sept. 20, 2011 against the same Phillies). I think we may see him get another chance here ... or maybe not. Tyler Moore will pinch-hit for him to lead off the bottom of the seventh.
9:05 p.m. -- Sean Burnett in for the top of the eighth.
9:11 p.m. -- Brilliant play by Lombardozzi to end the top of the eighth in style. That's 17 in a row now retired by Nats pitchers. Still 3-0.
9:27 p.m. -- OK, here comes Tyler Clippard in search of his 21st save of the season. He's up three runs and will face Utley, Ruiz and Wigginton in the ninth.
9:40 p.m. -- That'll do it. Clippard closes out a 3-0 victory, though he did issue a pair of walks and had to face Ryan Howard representing the tying run. (No worries, he struck him out on three pitches.) Detwiler improves to 6-4 with a 3.02 ERA. And the Nats ensure they'll maintain at least a 2 1/2-game lead over the Braves, pending the outcome of their rain-delayed game against the Marlins tonight.