|Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER|
So, it's up to this lineup to finally get something going against Kyle Kendrick, against whom they've had success in the past (he's 4-6 with a 4.90 ERA in 20 career games against the Nationals). Tonight's key, in my mind: The two guys at the top of the lineup. Denard Span is in a major funk right now, hitting .164 with a .220 OBP this month. Anthony Rendon, on the other hand, has been fantastic since his return from the minors, hitting .395 with a .435 OBP. If those two guys can get on base, the opportunities will be there for Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond.
Gio Gonzalez gets the start for the Nationals, facing the exact same Phillies lineup that scratched out four runs against Ross Detwiler last night.
Updates to come, so please check back...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 187
Weather: Clear, 78 degrees, Wind 3 mph LF to RF
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger BernadinaSteve Lombardozzi
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Gio Gonzalez
CF Ben Revere
3B Michael Young
SS Jimmy Rollins
1B Ryan Howard
LF Domonic Brown
RF Delmon Young
2B Kevin Frandsen
C Carlos Ruiz
RHP Kyle Kendrick
HP Alfonso Marquez
1B Scott Barry
2B Mike DiMuro
3B Ted Barrett
6:03 p.m. — Lineup change for the Nationals: Roger Bernadina has been scratched, replaced by Steve Lombardozzi in left field. The club hasn't given any reason yet, but I'll be sure to pass it along as soon as I find out.
6:30 p.m. — And here's your answer: Bernadina was scratched from the lineup because, according to a Nats spokesman, he "got something in his eye." He is available to come off the bench at some point during the game.
7:07 p.m. — We are underway as Denard Span flies out to left on Kyle Kendrick's very first pitch of the night.
7:11 p.m. — And Kendrick retires the side on eight pitches, so this one is off to a rousing start. After Span's flyout, Anthony Rendon did tap a hard grounder to the right side that required a nice play by Kevin Frandsen, but Ryan Zimmerman struck out looking at a fastball on the outside corner. Nothing across for the Nats in the top of the first.
7:23 p.m. — Not a good start to the evening for Gio Gonzalez. Ben Rever singled to left on his fourth pitch. Michael Young then homered to left on his ninth pitch. Just like that, the Nats trail 2-0. Gio did right the ship and struck out both Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown, but he's already put his team in a 2-run hole. Not what he wanted.
7:40 p.m. — Well, credit to Gio for quickly getting back on track. Since the home run, he's retired six in a row, including four in a row via strikeout. Nice job by the lefty to stop the bleeding. Still 2-0 Phillies after two.
8:00 p.m. — Four offensive innings in the books, one baserunner so far for the Nats: LaRoche, who singled to lead off the top of the second. This has become rather predictable, no?
8:12 p.m. — More props to Gio, who has now faced the minimum since that Young homer in the first. He got a big strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play in the fourth and has seven strikeouts through four. Unfortunately, that 2-0 deficit feels more like a 6-0 deficit the way the Nats are swinging the bat.
8:17 p.m. — Davey wants his guys to be aggressive at the plate. Well, they have been tonight. They've been swinging at everything Kendrick throws up there. Which is why he's at only 56 pitches through five scoreless innings, putting only one man on base. Still 2-0 Phillies.
8:29 p.m. — Six innings. 64 pitches. Zero balls pulled to the outfield by this Nats lineup.
8:55 p.m. — OMG, a walk! And then OMG times 2, a run! Zimmerman reached on a free pass with one out in the seventh, then scored shortly after on Werth's two-out RBI single to right. As bad as this has looked, the Nationals trail by one run at the stretch. It's now 2-1.
9:02 p.m. — What a start by Gio Gonzalez. Assuming he's done, his final line will read: 7 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, 108 pitches, 65 strikes. Didn't allow a hit after the Young homer in the first. Probably his best start of the season. Yet he's in line for the loss. Baseball is a harsh mistress.
9:12 p.m. — Well, they finally got Kendrick out of the game. With two outs in the eighth, Chad Tracy was set to pinch-hit for Gio. Charlie Manuel countered with left-hander Antonio Bastardo, so Davey countered that with Chris Marrero. It didn't work. Marrero flied out to center on the second pitch. So we go to the bottom of the eighth, the Nats still trailing 2-1.
9:18 p.m. — Here we go. Ninth inning. Down 2-1. Jonathan Papelbon in. Top of the order up for the Nats.
9:35 p.m. — Holy cow, the Nats came back and tied it. Span beat out an infield single. After Rendon and Zim made outs, LaRoche drew a walk. That set the stage for Werth, who chewed off Papelbon's face with an RBI single to left. It's 2-2 and we're going to the bottom of the ninth.
9:48 p.m. — Ian Krol, ladies and gentlemen. He got Domonic Brown to line out to short with two on and two out, so we're going extra innings in Philly.
9:52 p.m. — Just realized this: Gonzalez, Clippard and Krol have now recorded 27 consecutive outs without surrendering a hit. Crazy.
10:00 p.m. — Great opportunity for the Nats in the top of the 10th after Suzuki hit a one-out double and took third on a wild pitch. But they couldn't get him home. Jeff Kobernus bounced out to second base. Span fouled out to third. So we go to the bottom of the 10th, with Drew Storen entering.
10:11 p.m. — Onto the 11th. Storen surrendered a two-out single but got out of it.
10:27 p.m. — Sweet. Fancy. Moses. Ian Desmond with the Nats' first grand slam of the season, and it couldn't have come at a better time. After they loaded the bases with one out in the 11th, Desmond fell behind in the count 0-2, then took a 1-2 pitch that looked awfully close to being a strike. Alfonso Marquez said it wasn't, though, and of course Desmond destroyed Michael Stutes' very next pitch to left-center to put the Nationals ahead 6-2 as Citizens Bank Park clears out in a hurry.
10:42 p.m. — That's it. Rafael Soriano closes out a mighty impressive, 6-2, 11-inning victory for the Nationals, maybe the best win of the year. Quite a night here in Philly.