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Instant analysis: Phillies 9, Nats 3

May 7, 2012, 3:01 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Bryce Harper's first inning steal of home plate energized the crowd of 33,058.

Game in a nutshell: An emotional weekend series ended with emotions ramped up to even higher levels. It all started with Cole Hamels drilling Bryce Harper in the back with a first-inning, first-pitch fastball. How did Harper respond? By stealing home. How did Jordan Zimmermann respond? By plunking Hamels in the leg. The Phillies got the last laugh, though. Hunter Pence crushed a two-run homer off Zimmermann in the fourth, and Hamels cruised the rest of the night to deal the Nationals a tough loss in the series finale. Making matters even worse, Jayson Werth suffered an apparent serious left wrist injury trying to make a sliding catch in right field in the sixth. And that was before the entire game blew up during a torturous, six-run ninth inning for the Phillies.

Hitting highlight: What else can you say about Harper? The kid has both the physical gifts and the baseball instincts to do some incredibly special things on the field. He didn't just go 2-for-3 and reach another time on the hit-by-pitch. He single-handedly swiped four extra bases with his hustle, going first-to-third on a single, turning a little looper to left into a double and — of course — stealing home.

Pitching lowlight: Zimmermann was sharp early on and showed some intestinal fortitude in retaliating Hamels' plunking of Harper by drillingRead more ยป

  1. FS=Faraz Shaikh - May 7, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    :( that should have been tie game, Ryan Perry.oh well, rest up and take it to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

  2. Natman - May 7, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    Hey! We won another series and quoted the Philies noise at Nats Park. Win/win in my opinion.

  3. Natman - May 7, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Quieted. (damn spell check)

  4. Kirbs - May 7, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    Question is, is this a 15 day injury to Werth or are we talking Morris time…….these announcers made me miss Bob and FP.

  5. peric - May 7, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    Making matters even worse, Jayson Werth suffered an apparent serious left wrist injury trying to make a sliding catch in right field in the sixth. And that was before the entire game blew up during a torturous, six-run ninth inning for the Phillies.Harper in right field, Morse in left field, Ankiel in center. Maybe Harper in CF, Moore in LF, Morse in RF? If they can get LaRoche and Zim in there they might be more of a force offensively. Silver lining? It might actually help more than hurt … some prospects might move up we get to see what they can do … Werth might make a pretty decent #2 hitter (high OBP) but given his ISO and OPS he isn't scaring anyone in the 3,4,5 slots … THEY'RE pitching around Harper, a rookie, to get to Werth!? Guess we'll see how it goes …

  6. peric - May 7, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    Kid's energy in a man beast's body and he's still growing … what happens if he gets as tall as Morse? Ted Williams would love Harper.

  7. peric - May 7, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    Meanwhile here's to bringing up MOAR prospects … let Harper lead them … Here's hoping Davey will consider Moore in left, Harper in right and Ankiel in center eschewing Nady and using Bernadina far more who looks to be coming on with two key pinch hits …

  8. John - May 7, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    I still think Vladimir Guerrero is worth a look.

  9. ehay2k - May 7, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    If we don't ever have another EzsPN game, I'm fine with that. Could Francona and company have possibly droned on any more about Strasburg's innings limit and whether or not he would be kept on the team if the Nats were contending? After stating that "an agreement had been reached with the 'Strasburg Camp' to shut him down somewhere around the 160 innings limit", they pretend the decision has not yet been made: "The decision get a little more difficult then" chirped TF. "A LOT harder" offered Orel. Yes, that is quality commentary. And where is this "Strasburg Camp?" Is there some sort of tent city near Nats Park? Because they can't possibly be implying that if the Nats want to shut him spdown, that Strasburg or Boras has a say in the matter? Boras: "Sorry Rizzo, you need to DFA Wang, because Steven feels good and wants to play."Rizzo: "Oh. OK Scott, you know what's best."No more ESPN games for me!

  10. Natman - May 7, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    Hate to be the doomsayer, as I love my koolaid, but Werth broke his arm. We are not going to see him back in the lineup for quite some time.Please bring up Corey Brown. And isn't it a good time for Nady to show some class and retire?

  11. waddu eye no - May 7, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    natman – And isn't it a good time for Nady to show some class and retire?rhymes with what he Has been showing.

  12. baseballswami - May 7, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    When are we going to hear something? Is he at a hospital? I can rag on Jayson as much as the next fan, but this is upsetting.

  13. Unknown - May 7, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    Vlad can't play the field and is a GIDP machine. Forget him.Werth injured for a long time would be bad – no silver lining to losing the spiritual leader of the club and one of the savviest baseball players in the game. He helps the Nats win in multiple ways.Oh, how I long to see how this club will do when fully healthy – but will we see that at all in 2012. Remember, Strasburg is done after 170 IP max.Maybe Moore will bring some magic with him and that power bat he displayed in the minors.Hey, the Nats won 2 of 3 from a former nemisis, reclaimed their home field, and are tied with Texas, LA and, really, Tampa Bay (19-10) and, I think, St. Louis, for the 2nd best record in baseball behind the (knock me over with a feather) Baltimore Orioles! Kudos to the Nats for battling to a 4-2 record, despite all the injuries, against 2 division winners last year!

  14. ehay2k - May 7, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    For his own benefit, I hope he stays away from the team doctor, who will probably give him a cortisone shot in the leg!

  15. MicheleS - May 7, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Jayson broke his wrist according to mark on twitter. Not good, but if it is a clean break with no ligament damage, it may only be 6 weeks.Here is hoping…

  16. baseballswami - May 7, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Twitter machine saying broken wrist. Sometimes broken is better than ligaments, but this does not look good.

  17. peric - May 7, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    Werth off to a terrific start Phil? Dave? REALLY? In the heart of the lineup you have a guy with a .163 ISO? A BAPIP of .324 so he's also lucky. But his wOBA is .362 and OBP .372 if you put him in the #2 slot behind Lombardozzi you'd have the best possible #1/#2 and end all the hand wringing about no table setters. Bat Harper leadoff you electron spewing dolts! … That's where Bonds started in his career. Greats like Mays and Bobby Bonds batted lead off. Desmond and his .299 OBP should be learning to plate discipline from the rookie. Desmond's ISO is .175, so he isn't going to scare anyone with his power … Clearly they need Morse back … yesterday. Right now T_Mo12 is their best bet as far as power generating capability similar to Morse. Moore's a guy who featured a .312 ISO in Syracuse along with a .423 wOBA and a .333 OBP, and OPS of .961.

  18. peric - May 7, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    Werth injured for a long time would be bad – no silver lining to losing the spiritual leader of the club and one of the savviest baseball players in the game.The Phillies aren't beaning Werth … instead they're pitching around and throwing directly at Bryce Harper. There's your spiritual leader right there … the thoroughbred has been taken out of the barn, he's been entered in the Derby and the race is on! All hands "Bryce" for action anything can happen in the next 3/4 of a season.

  19. peric - May 7, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    Please bring up Corey Brown. And isn't it a good time for Nady to show some class and retire?Davey is looking at Corey Brown as a potential starter in CF and leading off. He appears to be doing his best to make that happen in Syracuse … we'll see. You'd have to trade or sit Ankiel / or trade Bernadina first. At this point I don't see that happening unless an injury to those two were to occur. I'd like to see some promotions from Harrisburg to Syracuse as Syracuse has almost the polar opposite record in the IL with a 10-20 record. They've got some very good looking players in AA … hopefully some moves are forthcoming …

  20. peric - May 7, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    Jayson broke his wrist according to mark on twitter. Not good, but if it is a clean break with no ligament damage, it may only be 6 weeks.Same thing happened to DeRosa and it took almost 2 years. 'bout the same with Matt Antonelli who has yet to grace a major league rosters out of ST since it occurred. I wouldn't bet on six weeks. More like 3 months minimum. Hitting is not going to come easy …

  21. Exposremains - May 7, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    Hamels now saying he was trying to hit Harper. Pretty low class move and shows how threaten they feel. They pitched around him the 2 first games, all he did is run and swing hard and be on the cover of SI. I really don't see anything he did or said about them that could result in getting thrown at.I'm guessing that they are trying to slow him down but what I see is a team thats not what it used to be.

  22. peric - May 7, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    I still think Vladimir Guerrero is worth a look.AL team only. He's a DH/PH only at this point.

  23. Natman - May 7, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    MicheleS / Swami -Did you see the replay of Werth hitting the ground on that play? His arm did something it's not designed to do: it bent in the middle about four inches behind the wrist. I believe that was a fractured arm. Don't know if you're old enough to remember but Wide World of Sports used to show a blooper reel with an arm wrestling match where one of the contenders arm snapped in the middle of a match. That's what Werth's injury reminded me of. Had great difficulty watching the bone(s) snap.Peric – would love to see Tyler Moore get an opportunity to show the power he has displayed in the minors. Unfortunately, he hasn't been given enough ABs to stay sharp. He was totally outclassed against Hamels tonight. So, if they can't give him regular at bats, he's better off in the minors. In short, it all depends on how they're going to play him if he's to be successful at all.

  24. whatsanattau - May 7, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    Jason Werth is a solid ball player who will be sorely missed no matter what statistics you can find to convince yourself otherwise. To paraphrase Dizzy Dean, go stand behind that spreadsheet and I'll whump you with a curve ball (or something like that).

  25. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 7, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Just say no to Vlad. Please. Just like we passed on the Johnny Damon boat. No 40-year-olds need apply. The kids are better than the vets on this club.

  26. peric - May 7, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    I really don't see anything he did or said about them that could result in getting thrown at.I'm guessing that they are trying to slow him down .. Again, why ***Mark***, I saw this coming … And why I still think Harper should bat lead-off for a year or two. As a learning experience and to protect him from that. What this is telling you Exposremains is that they looked at the film of Harper and see what I am seeing. A beast with inhuman bat speed that is about to break out! And because he is still basically a kid with more energy than most any other player in baseball. The Phillies fear Harper. As will other teams who are ambitious about making the playoffs …Otherwise, Harper needs some bats in the lineup to protect him. Nady and Tracy just won't cut it. Nor will LaRoche entirely. They need Zim and Morse or in lieu of that a Tyler Moore. Be nice if beast-mode II Matt Skole were further along but he is likely 2 years away.

  27. peric - May 7, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    Jason Werth is a solid ball player who will be sorely missed no matter what statistics you can find to convince yourself otherwise.IMO it was a great sales job by Boras. Statistically Werth was one of their best hitters last year, people wail about his batting average but he was actually above the mean offensively. I don't look at that he wasn't as bad as the BA makes it seem.BUT his stats weren't those of a player you bat 3rd, 4th, or 5th and expect to get into the playoffs. Now, batting 2nd he might be an All Star. Certainly, he reinforces Keith Law's contention that the Nats are paying 186 million and do not have a 186 million dollar player. He's NOT, period. Now Harper? An entirely different story … Werth blocks top prospects from getting a chance to show what they can do. Not just Corey Brown (whom many have little faith in) but Brian Goodwin, Destin Hood, Michael Taylor, Eury Prez, Chris Rahl, Caleb Ramsay, Billy Burns … perhaps even Kevin Keyes and Randolph Oduber.Some of these prospects may be almost as good as Werth now! And that doesn't mean Werth is a bad player but honestly he looks like a bench bat at this stage in his career not a starter. And with this latest injury that may in fact be where he'll end up.

  28. realdealnats - May 7, 2012 at 4:09 AM

    So Peric, you think Corey Brown is ready? And if so, when do you think we might see him?

  29. Constant Reader - May 7, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Couldn't agree with you more ehay2K, re: Francona and the innings limit. Didn't the Red Sox shut down Buchholz late in the year after he'd pitched a no-hitter? Someone tell me if I remembering that incorrectly. Why is it so hard for baseball people who don't follow our team regularly to fathom that the Nats are making decisions for Strasburg with '13 to '16 in mind?

  30. Tim - May 7, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Peric, what have you been smoking?All those prospects together don't have the instincts nor presence in the clubhouse that Jayson Werth has, nevermind they haven't seen a curveball like Cole Hamels. That kind of talk is plain foolishness.We may bring one or two players up, but RZ will be activated off the DL, Werth placed on the DL, and I predict TyMo will be sent down to Syracuse. He's really looked overmatched recently. He's not ready yet.

  31. NatsJack in Florida - May 7, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Tim… sometimes Peric is like Fox News…. he slants things a little bit so he can set you up for a reprimand. He isn't saying these guys replace Werth today. He's saying Werth portends to block these guys once they develope. Both Perez and Hood have regressed at the AA level, but that dosen't mean they won't eventually develope. At this stage, both are questionable.Corey Brown remains a possibility but I'm pretty sure the Nats want to get some idea on the length of Werths absence (6 weeks or season ending which is probably the case) before making a move. Brown hasn't exactly lit up the IL but either he or Teahan would have to move to the 40 man in order to be called up. Short term it's Teahan, long term it's Brown.And all the other guys Peric names are so far down the developemntal trail that it's ludicrous to think about them much before 2015.

  32. blovy8 - May 7, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Nice dose of reality NatsJack. Wasn't there supposed to be another BP for Zim today? If things aren't just so with that, then I could see a 40-man roster change.

  33. NatsNut - May 7, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Stammen is a freakin stud.Big time cringe on Jayson's wrist break. Looked just like Hideki Matsui's from a few years ago? Ugh.

  34. adventurehouse - May 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    JZimm, seemed to be getting hot under the collar when he wasn't getting the calls. Even Ramos when batting was chirping some when he was getting strikes called on him that the Ump wasn't giving JZimm. That's part of the game, and you have to deal with it. Yet…could I see the frustration setting in…especially in that problematic 4th?

  35. adventurehouse - May 7, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Moore looked totally lost at his lone 3 strike and take some pine AB. Now compare with with Harper, who has yet to look lost in a single AB this year. More than a little lost in OF, but that will come, if the rest of his game is any indication. Johnson, was absolutely correct with his idea that Harper was ready in Spring Training. Hope that an extended slump won't hurt the kid, but from what I'm seeing, that isn't very likely.

  36. upperdeck4 - May 7, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    >> Desmond's ISO is .175, so he isn't going to scare anyone with his power … <<Umm, Ankiel's ISO is .153, Werth's .163, Zimm's .121. LaRoche is the best at .200. I don't see how you denigrate Desmond relative to the others, as his raw power number is better than theirs.

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