US Presswire photo
Jordan Zimmermann watches Jimmy Rollins round the bases on a fifth-inning homer.
Hitting lowlight: Stifled all afternoon by Lee, the Nationals finally appeared to deliver a big blow against the veteran left-hander when LaRoche launched what appeared to be a two-run homer to right in the top of the seventh. Except the ball struck the top of the railing above the fence and bounced back into right field. First-base umpire Gerry Davis immediately signaled the ball in play, but neither LaRoche nor Jayson Werth (who started on second base) noticed. So both runners coasted, assuming a home run. LaRoche wound up getting tagged out, with Werth stuck on third, and that's how they remained after the umpires reviewed video of the play. They did manage to score one run when Tyler Moore doubled, but that gaffe cost them at least one run and possibly more. It was a bad moment for two veterans who should have known better.
Pitching lowlight: Zimmermann looked absolutely fantastic for four innings, carving up the Phillies lineup with ease. Then he gave up an RBI double to Lee in the fifth and melted down. Rollins followed with a two-run homer to right, putting the Nationals in a 3-0 hole and spoiling what could have been a solid outing by Zimmermann. Remember when he could be counted on to go six innings every single time out? (He did that in his first 21 starts of the season.) Well, Zimmermann now has failed to complete six innings in four of his last five starts. Is his shoulder barking? His velocity remains high, but only Jordan knows the answer.
Key stat: LaRoche and Ryan Zimmerman have combined to hit one home run over the Nationals' last 20 games.
Up next: The Nationals were originally supposed to fly to Miami following today's game, but with Hurricane Isaac closing airports in South Florida, they decided to spend another night in Philadelphia and travel on their off-day. Assuming the storm passes through, their series with the Marlins will open at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, with Stephen Strasburg facing Ricky Nolasco.