Sep 26, 2012, 4:04 AM EST
US Presswire photo
Ross Detwiler was roughed up by the Phillies for five early runs.
PHILADELPHIA — For all the agony they have suffered in this town, the lopsided losses and the taunting fans and especially the division titles clinched against them, the Nationals arrived in Philadelphia on Tuesday knowing they could leave town Thursday having celebrated on enemy turf.
First things first, though. They needed to win their series opener against the Phillies, which proved perhaps a more daunting task than hoped.
A two-inning meltdown by Ross Detwiler left the Nationals in a deep early hole. Then, despite knocking out ace Cole Hamels after five innings, they couldn’t touch a parade of relievers that trotted out of the Philadelphia bullpen.
Combine this 6-3 loss with the Braves’ simultaneous walk-off, 4-3 victory over the Marlins and suddenly the Nationals’ path to the NL East crown looks a bit bumpier. Their lead is down to four games with eight to play. Their magic number remains five. And they can no longer clinch here in Philly. The celebration can’t take place until Friday night in St. Louis at the absolute earliest.
“You take a lot of pride getting a win down the stretch like this,” Detwiler said. “That’s what we all play for. It could have been a big step. We could have celebrated on their field, like they have on our field, and I didn’t let that happen.”
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Zimmermann solid, Moore on fire in Florida
- Matt Harvey returns to mound in Mets' spring game
- Escobar having stiff back examined by doctor
- Marlins spending lots of money off the field, as well as on it
- Nationals hit the road to face Braves
- Zimmerman passes first test at first base
- Rendon reflects on first full pro season
- Giants lose Hunter Pence to significant injury
- Scherzer "happy" with first start of spring
- Braves' starter to see Dr. James Andrews about injury