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Game 26: Phillies at Nats

May 4, 2012, 7:48 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Phillies are in town this weekend at Nationa… er, Natitude Park.

First things first: Yes, that banner is actually hanging from the scoreboard. And yes, pretty much every mention of Nationals Park in the entire building has been covered up and re-branded for the weekend. I'll let all of you decide how you feel about this stunt. Now, let's talk about some actual baseball…

Stephen Strasburg faces the Phillies tonight for only the second time. The previous outing, of course, represented the low point in his big-league career. Not because of how he pitched — on Aug. 21, 2010, the rookie right-hander allowed one run on two hits, striking out six over 4 1/3 innings — but because of what happened on his final pitch: a 91-mph change-up that snapped his ulnar collateral ligament.

Strasburg has certainly come a long way since that night at Citizens Bank Park. He'll enter this game with a 1.13 ERA (second-lowest in baseball). And he'll be charged tonight with leading the first-place Nationals to victory over the five-time NL East champs.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check back often…

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB Network (outside D.C. area), MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
Weather: Scattered storms, 80 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (16-9)
SS Ian Desmond
3B Steve Lombardozzi
LF Bryce Harper
RF Jayson Werth

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289 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Fear and Ignorance - May 5, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Bases loaded and our 1 and 2 hitters swing at the 1st pitch. Terrible baseball!!!!!!!

  2. sm13 - May 5, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    3 blind mice out the tonight.

  3. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Nats get Strasburg off the hook.

  4. mick - May 5, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Hey ump your a piece of arrogant crap! If I was at the park i would smack that smug ass look off your face. having said that, why the hell is Desmond swinging at the first pitch like a sissy!

  5. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    i've been traching him all game but that was cool..put it out there AND basically saying Nady sucks

  6. John - May 5, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Kids are so impatient these days.

  7. baseballswami - May 5, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Is it my imagination or is the umpiring particularly bad this year all over mlb? Yesterday there was a bad call that was off by about a foot. The umpires should not be having this much of a total affect on the games.

  8. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Its bad Henry right now. Pleeeeeze

  9. jeffwx - May 5, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    More bourbon please

  10. mick - May 5, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    G dammit, 1 out bases loaded, that is PATHETIC, Desmond really choked

  11. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Burnett is warmed. 5 straight balls thrown.

  12. Drew - May 5, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Take him out now!

  13. Gumbo in Gotham - May 5, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Crazy game so far. That was a horrible call at home plate. Even so, the Nats have got to do better with the situation hitting. They have gotten a ton of hits, but haven't been able to bring the runners home. Still a tie game though. Go Nats!

  14. Tim - May 5, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    The umpiring has been fine. They helped us with that Ruiz shot over the 3B bag.We are showing a lack of poise and lack of patience at the plate. Aggressiveness only goes so far. Desi and Lombo both swung at first pitches. Chad Qualls had gone to 3-ball counts previously and had just given an intentional walk.We've had errors and we just look over-excited out there.

  15. baseballswami - May 5, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Uh, oh – crazy henry tonight for sure. I hope things don't go the way they went in la.I miss Drew and I don't know how he can sit in the dugout and watch this.

  16. jeffwx - May 5, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Poor umping on both sides. Making bad calls for either side is not a sign of competence.

  17. Marty - May 5, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    I thought about getting a MPHRod shirt, but I wasn't sure my heart could handle wearing it.

  18. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Henry shook off Flores 2 times and threw the curveball. That was a thing of beauty

  19. baseballswami - May 5, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    You know, Sean Burnett can close games – he was closing games last year before Drew locked it up.

  20. Exposremains - May 5, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    everytime, i feel they gonna finally have a double with bases loaded.not sure it happened this year. most likely outcome in order.1. K2. DP3. W

  21. Exposremains - May 5, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    and by the way, GO Harper!

  22. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    If Bryce Harper hits a walk-off HR here. He will step to a level of the Gods.

  23. seamhed - May 5, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    The rest of the umps need to call in sick tomorrow. Sort of depressing that subtracting Joe West from this group might have made them worse!

  24. SFNats - May 5, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    And Henry pitches out of it. No worries.

  25. DannyEllinosa - May 5, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Cmon Bryce!

  26. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Whatever McCatty said to Henry, it worked. My heart is pounding…..

  27. peric - May 5, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    TICK TOCK liquors … unleash the Kracken, Kracken Rum!

  28. Drew - May 5, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    I'm glad Rodriguez proved me wrong this time. His Barney Fife routine gives me the willies.We could use some Willies — Mays and McCovey.

  29. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    Schneider set up young Bryce…….

  30. jeffwx - May 5, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Imagine if Werth hit a walkoff….fantasy baseball only

  31. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    I thought that was it by Tracy. The no doubles defense worked that time for the Phillies.

  32. Exposremains - May 5, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    Phils throwing hanging breaking balls to WErth really trying to help him out. But no, he needs to get to a 3-2 count.

  33. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    FP, you reading my stuff again?

  34. John - May 5, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    I'm impressed with Harper's plate recognition and his ability to work the count and wait for his pitch – maybe Desmond and Espinosa can learn something from the kid.

  35. jeffwx - May 5, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    They should this from the Hitting coach.

  36. baseballswami - May 5, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    I understand that some people actually relax on Friday nights – go to bed early and happy. I wish I could do that…. but I just can't. Even bourbon and maalox isn't enough anymore.

  37. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    That is the Klippard changeup!

  38. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    NatsLady, you have to be thrilled with Klip's inning. I think that was his best of the year as the changeup was biting.Maybe he needed some warmer weather.

  39. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    I kinda like the wb mason commercials..the phone commercials annoy me..how can you just have a baby and they're bringing them in from the hospital a few minutes later..IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!!!

  40. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Espi's time to be a hero. He got his gift hit tonight and worked a walk.

  41. Exposremains - May 5, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    bunt

  42. Fear and Ignorance - May 5, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    How about a stolen base? Just once in a key moment.

  43. jeffwx - May 5, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    I'm escalating to Barbituates and Milk of Magnesia

  44. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Nice hot shot Espi!

  45. jeffwx - May 5, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    The ball got smaller

  46. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    For everyone who wanted TyMo, here he is!

  47. John - May 5, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Is Johnson adverse to running?

  48. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Horrible jump by Espi as old man Schneider gunned him out by 2 steps.

  49. Exposremains - May 5, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    he's adverse to bunt for sure

  50. John - May 5, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Never mind.

  51. sm13 - May 5, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    I truly hate Carlos Ruiz. He is a thorn in our side.

  52. jeffwx - May 5, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    bunt ankiel bunt…whoa too lateIf Espi doesn't get out, Tyler's gonna…whoa too late

  53. baseballswami - May 5, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Pathetic execution with a man on and no outs. Everybody just swinging for the fences with no intelligence or plan.

  54. jeffwx - May 5, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Hopefully, they don't use Perry….whoa too late

  55. John - May 5, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Productive outs and situational hitting. Not in Johnson's DNA.

  56. sm13 - May 5, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Sorry, that was Brian Schneider. But I still hate Ruiz.

  57. baseballswami - May 5, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Probably should have let Stammen or Clippard go more than one inning. Burning too many pitchers. If this goes long into the night we will be in trouble.

  58. Tim - May 5, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    What happened to Ruiz?? Did he get hurt? Why is Schneider in there at all?

  59. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Good thing Pence was taking on the 1st pitch

  60. jeffwx - May 5, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    jeffwx would like to take back his Perry neg. comment…whoa too late

  61. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    Tim, a double switch! Thank you Phillies!

  62. Tim - May 5, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    Double switching your hottest hitter?!? Note to self: Don't hire Pete Mackanin to replace Davey when the time comes.

  63. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    John said… Productive outs and situational hitting. Not in Johnson's DNA. May 04, 2012 10:31 PM _________________________You get the lead-off man in a tie game and you are the home team, I think the book says move that runner over for 2 shots to single in the winning run.

  64. Exposremains - May 5, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    i have to admit, i thought Perry was gonna lose it here. good job.

  65. John - May 5, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Someone just get on base and let Harper do his thing.Does Perry have seem to have more in his arsenal than Balester?

  66. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Surprised Schwimmer is on the mound for another inning. Hoping he hangs one here to Desi!Can lightning strike twice?

  67. John - May 5, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Gonats, I'm getting the impression Johnson's plan is to use these early months of the season to figure out what his players are capable of doing in key situations. At least that's what I'm hoping. Otherwise, it could be painful to watch over the long haul.

  68. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Advantage Harper here!!!!

  69. Exposremains - May 5, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    and Werth gets a 4th chance to do something

  70. John - May 5, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    The kid's alright.

  71. Scott from Burke - May 5, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Ruiz ran into fence catchinga ball and hurt his hand

  72. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Harper learned from the last at-bat. Nice to come back from 0-2 to get a walk.Schwimmer has to be on fumes. Almost 50 pitches.

  73. Dave - May 5, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Wilson!!! Da_nuh . . . Da_nuh

  74. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    WILSON RAMOS!!!!!!!! Hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. Tim - May 5, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    Pulled one out of our butt.

  76. John - May 5, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Mercy.

  77. sm13 - May 5, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Way to go Wilson!! There was an awful lot of whining tonight on this blog. We are 17-9 folks – lighten up and enjoy this ride, it's a heck of a lot of fun!

  78. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 5, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    AWESOME!!! I could do with a one-sided affair in favor of Nats tomorrow and Sunday.

  79. Exposremains - May 5, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Finally some cluth!! Thats all I'm asking for. Thank you. Well done.

  80. Drew - May 5, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!! (TM)

  81. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    Great ABs by Harper, Werth, and Lombo there and Ramoose is the hero! Well deserved!

  82. waddu eye no - May 5, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    !!!!!!!

  83. natsfan1a - May 5, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO (Copyright MicheleS, 2012)

  84. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    This has to have at least tied for a record, every starter followed by every replacement batter and pinch hitter reached safely (hit or walk or HBP) at least once.

  85. natsfan1a - May 5, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    They ought to have McCatty wired when he goes to the mound. Would love to hear what he said to Henry. :-)

  86. Gonat - May 5, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    My comment at 11:03 wasn't right, Tyler Moore didn't reach safely.Still, 3 pinch-hitters came through and all starters including Strasburg.

  87. JaneB - May 5, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    How fun to read the game thread and all the comments after I got home! I love these guys. But I wish they would open a bourbon and maalox stand there because it is so so needed still.Highlights: how the crowd stood by and for Werth against the phillies hecklers. Hearing someone who wasn't even me telling a drunk Philadelphia person say we root for people and we don't trash talk the other guys, have some respect. And it worked, Then the best highlight: Wilson and the sharing cream pie. Because he earned it.

  88. NatsJack in Florida - May 5, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Anybody else notice Mr. Fear and Ignorance dissappeared once the Nats won? Me, I retired to my room to enjoy innings 9 through 11 while I recharged my phone. Anbody know what that comment was about referencing me and movie quotes?

  89. natsfan1a - May 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    I had no clue what that meant either, NatsJack.

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