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Instant analysis: Nats 5, Phillies 2

May 23, 2012, 1:44 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Danny Espinosa congratulates Bryce Harper upon scoring in the third inning.

Game in a nutshell: What looked like a guaranteed, low-scoring, pitchers' duel at the beginning of the night turned upside-down almost as soon as the game began. A Nationals lineup that was without Ryan Zimmerman — a late scratch for unannounced reasons — pounced on Roy Halladay for four runs in the third inning, with Bryce Harper tripling and Ian Desmond clubbing his team-leading eighth home run. Rick Ankiel added a solo homer in the fourth to give the Nats five runs off Halladay for the first time since 2003 (when he pitched for the Blue Jays and they were the Expos). Handed a rare lead, Jordan Zimmermann then gutted his way through six innings before handing things over to the bullpen, which closed out the game, with Tyler Clippard earning only the second save of his career. Thus, the Nationals beat the Phillies for the ninth time in 10 games and earned their sixth straight win at Citizens Bank Park.

Hitting highlight: Who's scared to stand in there against Halladay? Certainly not Harper. The kid went right after the two-time Cy Young Award winner, singling in his first at-bat and then crushing a two-run triple in his second. The crowd of 45,569, which had given Harper aRead more »

  1. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO! We won another Series!! Beat the Phillies!!!!!!!!!

  2. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    And even better.. The Braves lost and we are in FIRST PLACE!!!!

  3. A DC Wonk - May 23, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    (as shown on TV:)Nats record against the Phils in the last 16 games between them: 13-3!

  4. Faraz Shaikh - May 23, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Brilliant!Beating Hamels tomorrow is as important as being in first place tonight.

  5. ehay2k - May 23, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Instant analysis – Doc Halladay and the rest of the phillies look very old, with bench players like Orr who couldn't break into the Nats' roster two years ago.Zimnn looked pretty good, and finally got some offense to help him.Ankiel helps out with the bat tonight, after doing yeoman's work with the glove last night.

  6. Dryw Loves the Nats - May 23, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Wonk, that looks so beautiful put into writing!!WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! (with you on that, MicheleS)

  7. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Once more in Soul Possession!Wow, FP looks like crap. Allergies, a cold, or just a late night last night?

  8. Drew - May 23, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    What's the difference between Phillies fans and Nats fans?They boo and we WOO HOO!!!How bout those Nats, throwing down the gauntlet against Doc while running the gantlet. They're now 26-17 and 3-2 with 28 games left in this tough stretch. Did I mention they're back in first?Next up, the Colbert Retort. GYFNG!!!

  9. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    That just felt good all around except Adam LaRoche just can't buy a hit. Finally some decent run support for JZim and finally a no nonsense Save.

  10. A DC Wonk - May 23, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Funny (for me) to look back at what I wrote before the game in the game-thread:A DC Wonk said… Looking for silver linings to help prove to myself that RH is not invincible anymore: he's been surrendering 2 or 3 runs almost every game. (And due to our tremendous pitching, that's often enough to win . . . gulp ;-) As I was saying . . . ;-)jus' sayin' ;-)just giddy at being back in first after beating Phils again and Doc Halladay.

  11. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    GHOST.. no no.. no looking negative right now.. Tonight.. WE CELEBRATE.. get your WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! On….

  12. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Whaat? Ghost was not being negative.

  13. baseballswami - May 23, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Jordan got run support! So glad Davey let Jordan tough it out. These guys are all amazing. Worried about the bullpen, though. Matthews out, Wang does not replace him. Lidge not back yet, Henry- who knows?

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    MicheleS, I feel bad for Adam. Can't be negative on the guy who carried the team to the 1/4 pole.I'll say it again, he looks tired.

  15. ehay2k - May 23, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Is that not six straight wins at Nats Park North? Must be an age thing!TICK TOCK!

  16. JaneB - May 23, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    I agree with Faraz. They gotta hit the daylighting out of Colbert.

  17. natsfan1a - May 23, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Yay, Nats win and Phillies lose!!MicheleS, did you hear FP's Woooooooooooooo Hoooooooo in the bottom of the 7th, replying to Bob's comment about rumblings of discontent among the Phillies Phaithful? I also heard some fan saying a bad word in the bottom of the 9th. Or was it a Phillies player? Anyway, Wooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooo!!

  18. natsfan1a - May 23, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Hope ALR's foot is okay after that clod stepped on it.

  19. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Ghost.. yes ALR looks tired and he should get a night off soon, but we won!!!! so Celebrate!!!! We have to do this to honor all the times we have suffered!!!! Especially at the hands of DOC and the Phillies!!!!

  20. natsfan1a - May 23, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Not to worry, it's only a matter of time until he hits the Kratz out of one (copyright FP, 2012).

  21. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 2:07 AM

    1A.. will have to DVR the replay and see FP using WOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

  22. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    BTW, "TICK TOCK"® and "TTMP"® are (un)registered trademarks for the Sofa.

  23. zregime - May 23, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    First off, J-Zim was a WARRIOR tonight. Dude's gotten all sortsa bad breaks in his previous starts but no signs of attitude deterioration this evening. Congrats Jordan…you're becoming Da Man.Second, Desi…feel the flow, baby!! You hot and you knows it.Third, Davey…way to tinker. Lombo needs to be playyed every day. Tonite's lineup was strong.Last, Bryce. Son, I love the way you play baseball. Never change, never stop, as Stevie Nicks once sang. YEAHH BOIEEE!!!natties are back on track. We are for real. The rest of the NL should start to shudder.

  24. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    MicheleS, I am definitely celebrating. This was a signature win when you look at who the Nats won with today. So happy for JZim. Dominant performance. Bryce Harper and Desi key the offense

  25. A DC Wonk - May 23, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    So, when's Corey Brown coming up? ;-) SCNatsFan said… Should have put in Henry just to make it interestingI was very psyched to have a very boring 9th inning! (Although I flinched when Orr slammed that very first pitch!)

  26. natsfan1a - May 23, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Hope this isn't too risque but, in honor of Ruiz and his evident use of the magic word, kinda funny piece on baseball and, um, the magic word.Oh, and when Desi hit his dinger I sang "Who's your daddy?" at my tv. Now, that's what I call daddy strength. :-)

  27. A DC Wonk - May 23, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Hey, F&I, this one's for you!TICK TOCKAt http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2012.shtml we can see that:- the Phils have the oldest batting lineup in the NL (Nats have the 4th youngest)- the Phils have the third oldest pitching staff in the NL (Nats have the youngest)

  28. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Ian will be on BBTN/ESPN in about 30 seconds

  29. Wendell - May 23, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    1aGreat post

  30. mick - May 23, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Bryce is simply a BEAST!!!! Special, special player! You see Davey… all you had to do is go with anyone but HRod and maybe instead of 9 over 500, we are 12 or 13 over, who knows

  31. mick - May 23, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Love it, Nats finally getting respect

  32. mick - May 23, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Like I said this morning, the Braves series will us a lot about this team

  33. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Mick.. now now.. no bashing on HROD.. enyoy the VICTORY!!!!

  34. mick - May 23, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    MicheleS… me very happy about this club, lol

  35. baseballswami - May 23, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Clip with the no-doubt- about- it save. Just sayin.

  36. mick - May 23, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    so let's project ahead here… Storen, Morse return, Werth in august and assume Corey Brown comes up… Could Nats be one of the top 3 in NL. Thinking Dodgers, Braves and Nats??

  37. NatsNut - May 23, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Awesome link, 1a!

  38. mick - May 23, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    also, is Wang replacing Detweiler as a starter, does anyone know?

  39. MicheleS - May 23, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    More Ex Nat news.. Balestar designated for assignment by Tiger.. per MLB Trade Rumors…

  40. Bzl. - May 23, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Can we save these comments to re-post them after the next 3 game losing streak?

  41. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    MicheleS, I thought Bally was doing ok over there? Haven't kept up. Maybe he'll clear waivers. If I recall his wife is from Detroit and he was happy with the trade.

  42. Drew - May 23, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    What a joy it is to watch Harper as a rookie. He will become a much greater hitter in time if we go by the seasons that Aaron, Mays, Mantle and Griffey Jr. put together at 20. This is only the tantalizing prelude — but what makes it particularly fun is his wheels at 19. As rookies Mays and Mantle had 5 triples each and Aaron had six. Harper has 3 — in just 23 games.

  43. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Heath Bell into save 7-6 game in Miami. Go Rox!!!! You can do it!

  44. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Bryce is fun, and he has all the cliches down pat. OK, Rox, a leadoff double is a good start.

  45. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    1a, nice link, thanks. I did think people meant the other f-word. That'll get you tossed, too.

  46. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    As rookies Mays and Mantle had 5 triples each and Aaron had six. Harper has 3 — in just 23 games. This is going to be good, all right.

  47. Fear and Ignorance - May 23, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    DC Wonk-Everybody said the Spurs were too old to ever be any good again either after they started 12-9. They went on to win 46 of their last 53 games. The Mavericks were also the oldest team in the league last year when they won it all. Different sport, but proves the point that just because you are an older team, doesn't mean you can't win. The Phillies have at least 3 more years of being very good and competing for the NL East. The Yankees and Rangers are old, too…guess that means they should just quit now. In fact, look how old the Cardinals were last year. 6 of the 8 oldest teams made the playoffs last year. Sorry, but just don't buy the whole age argument. They have won the division each of the last 5 years and are always a better 2nd half team.

  48. NatsLady - May 23, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Oh, well, the Fish didn't lose. NL East is one tough division.

  49. JaneB - May 23, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    How fun to hear one of the ESPN guys say Ian Desmond was the best SS in the NL and both guys say the Nats were the best team in the NLEast.Like its all a dream. Except it's not!

  50. Fear and Ignorance - May 23, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Mick-I think Giants and/or D-Backs will be ahead of the Dodgers by September, especially if Lincecum comes back to form. There could realistically be 9-10 teams within 5 games of each other at the end of the year. Should be fun.

  51. peric - May 23, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Ankiel is still Ankiel. He strikes out or he hits a home run. He rarely walks because he rarely takes pitches. Its why he is batting close to the bottom of the order before Flores. Other than that everyone looked good … Lombo in left is a great idea until Morse gets back and that is the super utility guy's job anyway. Morse back means Tyler Moore gets returned to Syracuse where he will get to play every day.

  52. peric - May 23, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    also, is Wang replacing Detweiler as a starter, does anyone know?Wang is in the bullpen replacing Mattheus out with plantar fascitis … no one has been replaced in the rotation. Sheesh.

  53. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 23, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    My rule of course when we score 5 we can give up 4 or less. we did that again.JZim not as sharp as sometimes, but clutch in tough spots Phils RISP I don't have but was not good.Love the intensity harper brings.Was glad to see HRod smileing in the bullpen. Would love to get a real big lead tomorrow and let HROd pitch the 7th.Another series, I called for a 6 winning streak, and this the first of the 6. Would love to go 12-6 in the next 6 series, we have the first one under our belt. Each game against division foe is worth two games, you win and thier lost (or God forbid the reversal)

  54. Steady Eddie - May 23, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    Re ALR — yeah, while he does look a little tired and no hits, he had a totally professional AB to get Harp home from third with one out — what most of the ret of the team hasn't been doing — and again set a tremendous example for the team.And you better believe thy notice it. Desi referred to ALR as his mentor out there, and it shows. Delivered last night with that game-saving snag and throw, delivered tonight with that key sac fly after Tracy didn't. Huge difference between getting one run ahead versus two against Halladay.

  55. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    Cherry-picked counter-examples notwithstanding, F&I, you are missing the point like Ankiel waving at a curve at his feet. We're gloating. If, as you posit, the Phillies come back and remain competitive, then we will feel really frustrated, and crow is a bitter dish. But we are familiar with the taste, and we have no fear of it. We say they are done.

  56. peric - May 23, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    "TICK TOCK"®Sorry dude, they belong to Tick Tock Liquors which is almost an institution in College Park for many, many years. Your copyright is illegal and banned.

  57. UnkyD - May 23, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    Fear+Ignorance= Not much fun

  58. Joe Seamhead - May 23, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    As to Tick Tock and the Phillies, I was beating that drum a long time ago. An example from a Phillies blog:0 like this / 0 don't   •   Posted 10:35 AM, 11/18/2011Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. Rocking chair will get you, oh you won't what hit you…— joe seamheadSign in to report abuse

  59. Corky - May 23, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Nats Park North. Love it!!!! Savor this, my friends!

  60. peric - May 23, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    They have won the division each of the last 5 years and are always a better 2nd half team.Last year with the exception of Oswalt The Phillies starters were all fairly healthy all season long. And Oswalt might have been the best of all of them when he is healthy. That's not what is happening this year. They've got Halladay and Hamels and that's pretty much it.

  61. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    As to Tick Tock and the Phillies, I was beating that drum a long time ago. An example from a Phillies blog: Posted 10:35 AM, 11/18/2011 Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. Rocking chair will get you, oh you won't what hit you…Ah, I defer to Joe; your use of "Tick Tock" as a Phillies-fan taunting cheer predates mine. I do maintain I get credit for TTMP, though.

  62. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    That's not what is happening this year. They've got Halladay and Hamels and that's pretty much it. Exactly. And Halladay is obviously not the Doc of … well, old.

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 23, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    Soul, good one! Am oldie but a goodie!

  64. Theophilus T. S. - May 23, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    I don't think the Phillies will come back, because I am doubting Utley will be back — to the Utley of four years ago, anyway. Howard will be a hacker to be pitched carefully; Victorino and Ruiz do not make an offense. There's nobody else scary. As to the top three teams, don't expect Lincecum to come back. His velo has been down the last two+ years; his command is off — he's going to have to learn to be a "crafty veteran" and he's going to be very beatable. For the time being the Nats and Braves are the best teams in the National League with the Dodgers a step behind. They might just as well scratch one wild card team — and the NL Central winner — because I just don't see that many teams worthy of the playoffs.

  65. A DC Wonk - May 23, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    F&I — granted, it's not just chronological age, but a look at the Phils shows that their older guys just aren't aging well. Howard and Utley have been in decline. Hallday (15th season) has a lot of miles on him.When Howard and Utley come back, the Phils may be a force, and they might even contend. But they're on borrowed time. And a number of them still have years left on expensive contracts, no?

  66. Fear and Ignorance - May 23, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    Theophilius-Lincecum will be back. If Kung-Fu Panda gets healthy, they are the best team in the NL West because they have 4 great pitchers and decent lineup with Posey, Sandoval, Cabrera, Pagan and some young guys who can hit. Hope you are right about the Phillies, but their pitching alone will get them to 85-90 wins without Utley. They are only 5.5 games back…not exactly out of it. Braves, Cardinals, Giants win the division…Nats, Phillies, Reds, Dodgers, D-Backs and Marlins fight for the Wild Card.

  67. Fear and Ignorance - May 23, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    DC Wonk-Maybe so, but the Phillies STILL have the best pitching staff in baseball, and none of their ages are even a factor at this point. The Nats have pitching talent, but other than Jackson for like 1 year, nobody on that staff has ever pitched in a pennant race, and only Lidge in the bullpen ever has either. The Phillies are going through the motions right now, while the Nats are playing these games like must-wins. The Phillies will turn it on, and I just hope we can withstand the run they will inevitably go on later in the year. They are also one of the 2 favorites to get Oswalt, who would give them a pretty good #5 starter.

  68. waddu eye no - May 23, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    Last time i went to tick tock bar in PG i totalled a new car on the way home. So of course i equate tick tock with crashing Nice image for what the phils are doingGyfng

  69. A DC Wonk - May 23, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    Interesting quote from WaPo:In spring training, hitting coach Rick Eckstein had asked Harper … what he would do if he faced Halladay in a game this season. Harper said he would expect to see a first-pitch curveball, Halladay simply trying to get it over for strike one. Eckstein nodded and said, “I think you’re right.”Harper was sitting on a first-pitch curve, and got it, when he hit that triple.Another nice quote:“It feels good getting that final out and just hearing crickets out there,” Clippard said. Actually, it wasn't the sound of crickets . . . TV viewers could hear folks booing the home team . . .

  70. A DC Wonk - May 23, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    F&I said:DC Wonk-Maybe so, but the Phillies STILL have the best pitching staff in baseball,Do they? Perhaps by reputation, but the fact is that their ERA is about 0.75 higher than the Nats. That's a lot. And that's without Storen.In the pen, do they have any good middle relievers?Hitting: the Phils will have Howard and Utley coming back (Utley's lost a lot of range in the field), but the Nats will have Morse and Werth coming back.

  71. Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - May 23, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    Last time i went to tick tock bar in PG i totalled a new car on the way home. Oh, my. I do hope everyone is OK. I really hope that wasn't what it sounds like.

  72. ehay2k - May 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    F&I, you need to back up your claims with facts. For example, the Spurs' average age is 27.7, which puts them squarely in the middle of the NBA. The reason they went 12-9 early was because Pop was playing a lot of his younger players to get them experience.And the Phillies have the best staff? Two pitchers with good reputations does not make a good staff

  73. natsfan1a - May 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Huh? I thought I posted a comment earlier. Anyway, seconded, sec3.Soul Possession, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said… Oh, my. I do hope everyone is OK. I really hope that wasn't what it sounds like. May 23, 2012 1:59 AM

  74. BIGNAT33 - May 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Not many of us Nats fans in Philadelphia last night, but I was one of them. Great to bring home the Curly W! The Phillie fans that were still there were pretty quiet at the end. Let's get the sweep tonight!

  75. m20832 - May 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    WoooooooooHoooooooo!!!!!GYFNG!!!!!!

  76. m20832 - May 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    And please give ALR a night off. He definitely needs it.

  77. waddu eye no - May 23, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    sofa & 1a30 years ago. final score cement 10 datsun nuthing. haven't been there since. and i'm much better behaved now.

  78. natsfan1a - May 23, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Glad to hear it, waddu. :-)

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NL EAST STANDINGS

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ATLANTA 54 44 --
NEW YORK 46 52 8.0
MIAMI 45 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 55 11.0
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