Saturday, July 31, 2010

Game 104: Phillies at Nats

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ross Detwiler faces Joe Blanton in the second game of the series.
Onto tonight's game, which features the Nationals shooting for their second straight win against the Phillies and their fourth win in five days against the top two teams in the NL East.

Ross Detwiler, who had a rocky return to the big leagues last weekend in Milwaukee, takes the mound for the Nationals. Joe Blanton starts for the Phillies, who will be sitting Ryan Howard tonight for the first time all season. (He's been terrible against left-handers recently.)

Check back here for updates throughout the game...

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 84 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to LF
CF Nyjer Morgan
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
LF Josh Willingham
RF Roger Bernadina
C Ivan Rodriguez
SS Ian Desmond
P Ross Detwiler

PHILLIES (56-47)
SS Jimmy Rollins
3B Placido Polanco
LF Raul Ibanez
CF Jayson Werth
1B Cody Ransom
RF Domonic Brown
C Carlos Ruiz
2B Wilson Valdez
P Joe Blanton

7:05 p.m. -- We are underway with a ball from Ross Detwiler to Jimmy Rollins. Another big crowd on hand. Plenty of Phillies fans, but not overwhelming. The biggest roar during lineup announcements was for Adam Dunn.

7:13 p.m. -- Solid first inning for Detwiler, who allowed a leadoff single to Rollins but nothing else. An assist, though, goes to Nyjer Morgan, who made a nice jumping catch at the wall to snag Jayson Werth's two-out drive. Most encouraging thing: Detwiler threw only 13 pitches (10 strikes). Last time out, he threw 44 pitches in the first inning.

7:19 p.m. -- Standing ovation from many in the crowd as Adam Dunn steps to the plate for the first time tonight.

7:30 p.m. -- For the second straight night, the Nats have jumped on the Phillies' starter. Joe Blanton gives up singles to five of the first seven batters he faces, and the Nationals storm out to take a 3-0 lead. Three straight two-out RBI hits for Josh Willingham, Roger Bernadina and Ivan Rodriguez (who really needed one of those). The Philly fans have once again been quieted quickly.

7:40 p.m. -- A little bit of wildness from Detweiler in the top of the second -- he walked Cody Ransom to lead off the inning -- but he again rebounded nicely and retired the next three batters faced. Looking solid so far.

8:12 p.m. -- The Phillies finally got on the board in the top of the fourth, though it might have been avoidable had Ian Desmond been able to turn a double play grounder that would have ended the inning. Desmond's throw was wide to first, and Dunn couldn't make the stretch. Two singles later, the Phillies pushed their first run home. It's now 3-1 Nats in the bottom of the fourth.

8:33 p.m. -- Detwiler definitely began to bend over the last two innings, but he didn't break. After walking Polanco in the fifth, he struck out Ibanez. Then after allowing a single to Werth, he got Ransom to pop out. So it remains 3-1 in the fifth, and Detwiler's night could be over. He's at 94 pitches, though at the moment no one's warming up.

8:40 p.m. -- So much for the Nats lineup jumping all over Blanton. Since that three-run, five-hit first inning, they've turned silent. Only one over the last four innings but eight strikeouts. The lead remains 3-1 as Detwiler returns to start the sixth. Joel Peralta, however, is warming and could be into this game soon.

8:44 p.m. -- And sure enough, Detwiler is out after one batter. He got Domonic Brown to ground out. Looks like Riggleman just planned to have him face the left-handed rookie. Now it's Peralta to face Carlos Ruiz.

8:47 p.m. -- And Peralta immediately serves up a homer to Ruiz to make it 3-2.

8:53 p.m. -- Here's one you don't see every day. Peralta hit Blanton in the elbow with a pitch, and Blanton began jogging to first. But plate umpire Kerwin Danley immediately called Blanton for sticking his elbow out trying to get hit. Called him back to the plate. Neither Charlie Manuel nor the Philly fans liked it, but it was the correct call.

9:02 p.m. -- The Nats get a run back in the sixth, thanks to a Bernadina double, Pudge single and Desmond sac fly (could have been a double if not for a fabulous diving catch by Brown in right). Also could have gotten more out of the inning if not for a double play grounder by Nyjer Morgan. That's only the 11th GIDP of Morgan's career. Nats up 4-2 as we head to the seventh. Tyler Clippard now pitching.

9:08 p.m. -- Raul Ibanez strikes again. The man who destroyed the Nationals bullpen in 2009 just took Clippard deep to right for a game-tying, two-run homer. It's 4-4 in the seventh, and Clippard's woes when trying to protect a lead continue.

9:11 p.m. -- My stats may be a bit off on this one, but I believe that was Ibanez's 715th homer off Nats pitching in the last two years.

9:33 p.m. -- Chance for the Nats to retake the lead in the seventh, but it was killed by a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play with Zimmerman at the plate and Kennedy on the bases. First time Kennedy's been thrown out in 13 attempts this season. Willingham also had a chance to come through with two outs and Dunn on first, but he was caught looking at a borderline pitch from Jose Contreras for his third strikeout of the night. We go to the eighth, still 4-4. Miss Iowa, er, Miguel Batista on the mound now.

9:47 p.m. -- Let's set the stage: Top eight, runners on the corners, two outs, Burnett now in to pitch with Morse in right and Bernadina in left. And Ibanez at the plate. Hold your breath.

9:48 p.m. -- You can breathe out now. Burnett got Ibanez to hit a weak grounder to first. Inning over. Game still tied, 4-4, going to the bottom of the eighth. Bernadina, Pudge, Desmond and Morse due up to face Ryan Madson.

9:56 p.m. -- Nothing doing for the Nats in the bottom of the eighth. A weak groundball and two strikeouts. We go to the ninth, still 4-4. Burnett is back out to start the inning. Only relievers left are Drew Storen, Collin Balester and Atahualpa Severino.

10:05 p.m. -- Another double-switch from Riggleman in the top of the ninth, and this one's a doozy. Drew Storen comes on to face Ruiz with two outs and a man on third. That's fine. But there was no real reason to double switch and thus sub Alberto Gonzalez for Ian Desmond. The thought is that Riggleman wanted Storen available to pitch the 10th if needed. But the only way his lineup spot would come up in the bottom of the ninth would be if the Nats loaded the bases with two outs. That's the only way it could be a problem. Not really sure why that double-switch was necessary.

10:08 p.m. -- Doesn't matter, because Storen just gave up the go-ahead single to Ruiz. Phillies lead 5-4 going to the bottom of the ninth. It'll be Brad Lidge vs. Morse, Morgan, Kennedy and perhaps Zimmerman.

10:17 p.m. -- Ladies and gentlemen: Ryan Zimmerman. 3-run homer off Brad Lidge. Nats win, 7-5.


Anonymous said...

Nice catch, Nyjer. Let's send these Phillies fans and their rusted-out 1977 Olds Cutlasses and their skanky girlfriends back up I-95 in a foul mood. Oh, they're in a foul mood, already? Make it worse

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimstic_For_Me said...

Nice standing O for the Big Dunn-key tonight. Very nice. Now, sign him, Uncle Teddy.

Slidell said...

Nyjer has certainly picked up his game, both defense and offense.

JaneB said...

where the heck is the strike zone tonight????

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me said...

Freaking Ibanez. That old guy will be hitting home runs off us when he's 64.

Doc said...

The Phillies are a really old team. Maybe they're using old bottles of Geritol to keep them standing up!

Anonymous said...


I thought was already 64 years old.

Anonymous said...


I left the name out thought I thought I pasted it in.

I thought Ibanez was already 64 years old.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain why they strike out so much for a non power team. So far tonight 12 more in 8 innings.

Anonymous said...


I hear Jim Palmer say one time a few years back, that 72% of the time you walk the leadoff batter he scores. 38% of the time if you give up a lead off hit they score (and that inclused leadoff homers). He said that statistically pitchers should be aware of this stat and pitch like they understand it. The Nats walk a lot of lead off batters.

JaneB said...

What's up with the rope-like necklaces so many Nats are wearing? Nyjer, a coupla pitchers?

Smatt1001 said...

Let's go Zim!!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me said...


Have a nice night at that $29.99-a-night Motel 6 and enjoy that ride back up I-95, you Phillie knuckleheads.

And good luck with Brad Lidge as your closer. What, John Hanrahan wasn't available?

Cwj said...

These new look Nats of ours are knocking out very good teams. :)

Andrew said...

So nice! Good news for Nats fans today! Dunn, Jordan Zimmermann, Maya, Detwiler, and a great evening capped off by a Ryan Zimmermann walk-off!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Mark, I am curious about why the pitch was called a ball when the ump ruled that Blanton had leaned into and was ordered back into the batters box?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Joe: It's actually the umpire's judgment to call the pitch a ball or strike depending on where he thought it would have crossed the plate if it didn't hit the batter. Because the Blanton pitch was still inside, it was a ball. (I had to ask the official scorer about that one myself last night.)

Unknown said...

Mark, thanks for the info. We thought it should count as a foul ball or something. So it would not count against the pitcher.

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