Sunday, August 22, 2010

Game 124: Nats at Phillies

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
A massive storm hit Citizens Bank Park in the seventh inning today.
PHILADELPHIA — Good morning once again from Citizens Bank Park, where the skies are gray and there's plenty of rain in the forecast. (Who knew god was a Stephen Strasburg fan and is crying over the rookie's latest setback?)

There's no official update on Strasburg yet this morning, though at this moment he's at the ballpark and there are rumblings he may actually conduct some type of light workout before heading back to Washington to get an MRI on his forearm. I'd caution against anyone drawing any conclusions yet, though, because this could mean anything.

You can, however, draw some conclusions on the weather here in Philadelphia. Namely, it's not good. It began raining a little while ago, and it's only supposed to get worse. The forecast shows anywhere from a 60 percent to a 100 percent chance of thunderstorms until 7 p.m. That doesn't look promising.

We'll have to see whether they'll try to wait this out all day, or whether they might just call it off early. The Nats return here September 17-19, so a Saturday doubleheader wouldn't be too difficult to cobble together.

If they do play, Scott Olsen will be attempting to pitch the Nationals to a rare series victory in this ballpark. The Phillies sent No. 2 ace Roy Oswalt to the hill, but the Nats have had plenty of success against him this season, both when he was still in Houston and when he made his Phillies debut last month.

Check back throughout the day for updates both on Strasburg's condition and the weather...

Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m.
TV: Ch. 50, MASN
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Thunderstorms, 80 degrees, Wind 12 mph out to RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam Dunn
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Roger Bernadina
RF Michael Morse
2B Adam Kennedy
C Wil Nieves
P Scott Olsen

PHILLIES (69-53)
SS Jimmy Rollins
LF Raul Ibanez
3B Placido Polanco
1B Ryan Howard
RF Jayson Werth
CF Shane Victorino
C Carlos Ruiz
2B Wilson Valdez
P Roy Oswalt

12:25 p.m. -- An update on Stephen Strasburg is up on the homepage, so be sure to check that out. I'll have a full story with quotes coming up in a little while on

12:28 p.m. -- Your weather update: The tarp has been on the field all morning and remains there, though Phillies officials are saying there should be a window of clearing right around 1:30 that should allow the game to begin on-time. It would then be a question of whether the game can be completed without interruption.

1:09 p.m. -- The tarp has been rolled up, and the grounds crew has been working on the infield for a while. Both starting pitchers are getting loose in the outfield and should move to the bullpens shortly. Looks like we'll be starting on time.

1:37 p.m. -- And we're underway with a ball from Roy Oswalt to Nyjer Morgan.

1:48 p.m. -- Nyjer led things off promisingly, with a base hit to left. He then swiped second without a throw. But the big boys couldn't get the job done. After Ian Desmond grounded out to short, moving Nyjer to third, Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman each struck out. Runner stranded at third. Scoreless as we go to the bottom of the first.

1:55 p.m. -- Just like the Nats, the Phillies put their leadoff man on second and advanced him to third with one out. Unlike the Nats, the Phillies actually completed the job. Placido Polanco (is there a more professional hitter in the game right now than this guy?) sent a fly ball to center, bringing Jimmy Rollins home and putting Philadelphia up 1-0 after one.

2:20 p.m. -- Nice double play turned by Adam Kennedy and Ian Desmond to end the second and prevent the Phillies from scoring their second run. It's still 1-0 as we head to the third.

2:31 p.m. -- Three innings in, and the Nats have had plenty of chances against Oswalt. They've gotten a leadoff single each inning, and they've had a man in scoring position with less than two outs each inning. But they're now 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, not an encouraging start to the afternoon from an offensive standpoint.

2:58 p.m. -- Bad things come in 3's ... 1) the Phillies have taken a 2-0 lead thanks to Polanco's RBI single in the top of the third, 2) the Nats are now 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, thanks to Morse and Kennedy striking out with a man on third in the top of the fourth, 3) it's started raining.

3:26 p.m. -- Adam Dunn is strugg-a-ling. He's now 0-for-3 with two strikeouts today, prolonging a slump that is growing in size. Over his last 13-plus games, Dunn is now 6-for-48 with one homer, one RBI and 22 strikeouts. His average has plummeted from .280 to .263 over that span. Nats still trail 2-0 as we go to the bottom of the sixth.

3:43 p.m. -- You just had a feeling Scott Olsen wasn't going to hold the Phillies in check all afternoon. He made it through five innings allowing only two runs, but he just doubled the output in the sixth, putting the Phillies up 4-0. The rally might have been prevented had the Nats been able to turn a difficult 3-6-3 or 3-6-1 double play on Jayson Werth's one-out grounder. Neither Olsen nor Dunn went to cover first, though even if one had, it would have been a difficult double play to turn. Still, that kept the inning alive for Shane Victorino, who doubled to left. Carlos Ruiz was intentionally walked, and little-used Wilson Valdez followed with a two-run single to center. So it's now 4-0 as we head to the seventh, with the Nats showing little chance of getting to Oswalt.

3:47 p.m. -- Uh, the TVs in the press box just were overtaken by the Emergency Broadcast System, announcing a tornado warning in the city of Philadelphia and surrounding area. The game is continuing to be played, and fans have been told nothing of this impending doom. Wouldn't you think they'd want to clear everyone out before the thing hits?

3:52 p.m. -- And now, just before Craig Stammen can start warming up for the bottom of the seventh, they've called for the tarp. Fans instructed to leave open areas of stands. We are officially in a rain delay, Phillies up 4-0.

4:44 p.m. -- The rain has stopped at last and the grounds crew is out clearing standing water off the tarp. There are massive puddles all over the place, though, and it's going to take a while to squeegee it all. But they certainly look like they're going to resume this game at some point.

5:07 p.m. -- The tarp is finally being pulled off the infield. Still lots of standing water in the outfield and on the warning track.

5:12 p.m. -- Game will resume at 5:35 p.m.

5:36 p.m. -- And we're back, with Craig Stammen facing Jimmy Rollins in the bottom of the seventh and the Nats still trailing 4-0. Delay totaled 1 hour and 44 minutes.

5:42 p.m. -- And Raul Ibanez takes Stammen deep to make it 6-0.

6:18 p.m. -- Game over. Nats lose 6-0. Olsen falls to 3-6.


Nervous Nats Fan said...

Conflicting accounts coming through on twitter - one with the dreaded "Dr. James Andrews," and the other that he's fine. Ahhhhhh.

Doc said...

Looking at the bottle as being 'half-full', I'm really impressed with The Kid in the second half of the season. Desmond's hitting the ball to RF when the pitch warrants it, his BA is well over .300, and his OBP is inching up towards .350.

And while I don't have any hard data, it appears that The Kid has cut his errors to half the rate before the All-Star break.

Given his speed, and the fact that he is probably the best bunter on the team, Desmond is shaping up as real good hitter in the 2nd spot in the batting order.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I don't like my chances in today's game because Olsen is on the mound. He has terrible numbers against most of Phillies lineup, with lots of HR served to their big hitters such as ryan, chase, etc. We have done well against Oswalt in past two starts but anything can happen on a given day in baseball.

Anonymous said...

Same tendon irritation a John Patterson and Shawn Hill...we were told their injuries amounted to nothing too at first and look what happened!!!

Anonymous said...

From Twitter-Expecting showers to end around game time and Roy Oswalt should throw his first pitch as scheduled at 1:35. Gates open at 11:35. Go Phils!

(Hey, I didn't put Go Phils in there, I just report t as I see it.)

Any new word,Mark?

Anonymous said...

Seriously, why is Bernadina batting 5th instead of Morse and why is Wil Neives still with the team, does he have dirt on Riggleman or Rizzo that would result in embarassment...blackmail is the only explaination!

Sec3MySofa said...

Anon at 12:34, you'd DFA him on the radio, wouldn't you? Admit it.

Anonymous said...

Now I'll agree that Olsen isn't a go to guy. I'm just hoping for the same productivity that he had with Atlanta. Yes he was credited with 3 runs and thus the lost, but it wouldn't have mattered who pitched when your bullpen gives up 7 more.

With a win today we will be 500 with both the Braves and the Phillies. Go Nats!

Anonymous said...

We wont win this game if we cant score Niger from third. Hope that 1st inning wasn't a replay of Friday night.

Anonymous said...


The old bug a boo 0 for 7 with men in scoring position.

The mental approach to batting in those situations has to change. Obviously whatever approach Rick Eckstein preaches in that condition doesn't work ir the players do not repsond to his teaching either way, we need a new approach when it comes to hitting, the present approaches is not good.

Anonymous said...

Right now Dunn is out before he even hits; he is completely off skelter.

Anonymous said...

Morse is a moron, why did he throw home when a throw to first would have got Oswalt is this sort of mdental midgetry that HAS and will continue to keep Morse from being an everyday player in the majors...time to make the call to Newark and add Elijah to the roster in September and send Mikey Mo back down to Little League where he will be working with his mental peers!

Anonymous said...

Has rigor mortis set in for Dunn!? He doesn't even move anymore when a ground ball is not hit right at him!!!!

Anonymous said...

Now 0 for 9 with RISP. 0 for 5 with a man on third. That is just pathetic

Morgan 0 for 0
Desmond 0 for 2
Zimmerman 0 for 1
Dunn 0 for 2
Bernadina 0 for 0
Morse 0 for 1
Kennedy 0 for 2
Nieves 0 for 1
Olson 0 for 0

Anonymous said...

Maya got smoked in Potomac.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Orlando Pena at first base next season is looking better and better.

Anonymous said...


I think you mean Carlos Pena. If you do I don't really agree. 32 years old .213 batting average and very expensive.

He can play 1st though.

NatsJack in Florida said...

My bad. Yes, Carlos Pena. The thing is, we could sign him for less than Dunn and probably for only 2 years.

Richard said...

The Dunn Slump is approaching epoch proportions. Biblical. How can a guy do such damage and then -- nada for two weeks ... or more, glup? And can we keep are sanity with these ups and downs?

Jeeves said...

Dunn has done this his whole career. I've said before I was disappointed the Nats didn't trade him for Dan Hudson. It was a bad no move by Rizzo. Three or four more years of his inconsistency and poor fielding is more than this fan wants to endure. I can't believe Boz wants the Nats to sign him or there are so many fans with the same sentiment.

Anonymous said...

Dunn had a terrible August and September last season too. The Nats will have to offer him arbitration (to get draft choices as compensation) and if he accepts, they might get stuck paying him $15 million next season.

Anonymous said...

All season long, the Nats have had a nasty pattern of going several consecutive games with absolutely no offense (just like today), then for one game (usually against a marginal starter) they will tee off for 8 or 10 runs and 15 hits. The next game they go right back into their offensive funk.

Anonymous said...

and mighty Casey strikes out again.

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