Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
We've got an interesting pitching matchup for the series opener: Dan Haren vs. old pal John Lannan. Haren is making his return from the DL, and it's anybody's guess how he'll look tonight. He will be attempting to do something kind of cool tonight: If Haren wins, he'll become only the 13th pitcher in MLB history to have beaten all 30 current franchises.
The newly acquired Scott Hairston is expected to be here and in uniform for tonight's game, though I don't expect him to be in the lineup. Don't be surprised, though, if Davey Johnson finds a way to get the veteran outfielder in there tomorrow. Hairston's career numbers against Cole Hamels: 12-for-30, five doubles, five homers, 1.521 OPS.
Updates to come, so please check back...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, ESPN (outside D.C. market), MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 183
Weather: Chance of storms, 85 degrees, Wind 11 mph LF to RF
CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
2B Anthony Rendon
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Dan Haren
CF Ben Revere
SS Jimmy Rollins
2B Chase Utley
LF Domonic Brown
3B Michael Young
RF Delmon Young
1B Darin Ruf
C Carlos Ruiz
LHP John Lannan
HP Lance Barksdale
1B Vic Carapazza
2B Gary Cederstrom (cc)
3B Kerwin Danley
7:08 p.m. — We are underway with a strike from John Lannan to Denard Span. My updates early in the game may be sparse, because there's plenty else going on that I'm still writing about, including Bryce Harper being named to compete in the Home Run Derby and the full reaction on the Scott Hairston trade. So please check the homepage for all of that.
7:29 p.m. — Not the first inning Dan Haren or the Nats wanted. He allowed three singles, issued two walks (one with the bases loaded), uncorked a wild pitch and was in trouble from the very beginning. That Haren somehow got out of all that allowing only two runs is perhaps a minor miracle. Regardless, this is not a particularly good sign for the veteran right-hander. Nats trail 2-0 after one.
7:49 p.m. — Better stuff from Haren in the second, though he needed a great play by Ian Desmond to get Jimmy Rollins. The Nats, meanwhile, have put one runner on against John Lannan so far. Still 2-0 after two.
8:07 p.m. — Haren remains rocky, having now allowed five hits and three walks in only three innings. But he's allowed only the two early runs, so he's managed to keep this thing within reach. Of course, Lannan has retired nine of 10 batters faced so far, the lone exception a Jayson Werth infield single. Still 2-0 after three.
8:20 p.m. — The Nats put three men on base in the fourth against Lannan, yet didn't score. Why? Because Harper was thrown out trying to steal second, with an awkward-looking, feet-first, late slide into the base perhaps contributing. You have to wonder if that's a case of Bryce trying to protect his knee, sliding in a manner he's not accustomed to. That mistake prevented the bases from being loaded for LaRoche, though it probably wouldn't have mattered because LaRoche grounded out sharply to second on the first pitch he saw to end the inning. So it remains a 2-0 game moving to the bottom of the fourth.
8:26 p.m. — Well, Haren has now retired six in a row and he's now through the fourth still having allowed only the two first-inning runs. It's been an eventful night already for the right-hander. He's got six strikeouts, but he's also allowed five hits and three walks. He's at 73 pitches, and you wonder if Davey might just give him one more inning and call it a night.
8:32 p.m. — So, the same Nats lineup that has scored 56 runs over its last eight games has now been shut out for five innings by John Lannan. Still 2-0.
8:43 p.m. — Somehow, Haren has made it through five innings and has still allowed only the two runs. He got a big strikeout of Darin Ruf to end the fifth with two men on. At 95 pitches, you have to wonder if Davey will just be happy with what he got from his starter and hand the rest of this game to his bullpen.
8:52 p.m. — That will indeed do it for Haren. His final line: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 95 pitches, 59 strikes. Fernando Abad enters for the bottom of the sixth of what still remains a 2-0 deficit.
9:18 p.m. — We're going to the eighth here, it's now 3-0 after Abad gave up a run in the sixth. The Nats still haven't done anything against Lannan, who has taken the mound for the eighth with a shutout still intact.
9:25 p.m. — In six-plus seasons with the Nationals, Lannan pitched eight-plus innings of scoreless ball only once: a 2009 shutout of the Mets. Well, he's done it tonight, allowing four hits over eight sparkling innings. He got a standing ovation as he walked off the mound just now, the Phillies still leading 3-0 and the Nats down to their last three outs.
9:33 p.m. — Ninth inning upcoming. It's Jonathan Papelbon vs. Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth, the Nats still trailing 3-0.
9:48 p.m. — That's it. The Nats did threaten against Papelbon. Harper singled, Zimmerman doubled and Werth came a few feet shut of a game-tying homer but had to settle for a sac fly. LaRoche also lofted a sac fly. Chad Tracy then made the final out, so the Nats lose 3-2.