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Instant analysis: Nats 5, Phillies 3 (10)

Jul 12, 2014, 11:18 PM EDT

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GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A high-profile pitching matchup produced a low-scoring game, though neither Stephen Strasburg nor Cole Hamels would likely have called this one of their best outings of the season.

Strasburg carried a shutout into the sixth but couldn’t finish that inning after his pitch count skyrocketed to 117. Hamels, meanwhile, gave up a quick run in the bottom of the first, and then had to try to pitch himself out of trouble for most of the night, ultimately done in by Jayson Werth’s 2-run homer in the sixth.

Up 3-2, the Nationals turned to their bullpen to try to close this one out. Jerry Blevins escaped a sixth-inning jam. Drew Storen did the same in the seventh. Tyler Clippard was one out away from preserving the lead in the eighth, but he allowed a 1-out single to Cody Asche, then walked Cameron Rupp, then served up an RBI single to Ben Revere, leaving the game knotted 3-3 heading to the ninth.

The Nationals couldn’t get the go-ahead run home against Jonathan Papelbon, but they finally did it against Jake Diekman in the 10th. With two on and two out, Ryan Zimmerman singled up the middle , bringing Denard Span home. Werth scored moments later on a wild pitch, giving Rafael Soriano some cushion for closing out the game in the bottom of the inning. Thus, the Nationals kept pace with the Braves and now head into the final day of the first half of the season still tied for first place.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: The Nationals had been abysmal in key situations at the plate all night. When Adam LaRoche struck out with two on and one out in the 10th, they were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. But the Zimmerman came to the rescue in impressive fashion. Down 0-2 to flamethrower Diekman, he smoked a 100-mph fastball back up the middle, bringing home Span with the run that gave the Nats a much-needed, extra-inning victory

PITCHING HIGHLIGHT: How to describe this start by Strasburg? It started off kind of shaky, with five of the Phillies’ first 10 batters reaching base, yet none of them scoring. It turned dominant, with Strasburg retiring nine batters in a row at one point, four of them via strikeout. And then it turned ugly late, with the right-hander unable to even complete the sixth inning. The key moment came with two outs in the sixth and Strasburg’s pitch count over 100. With a chance to get out of the jam and keep the Nationals’ 3-2 lead intact, he walked the .200-hitting Cameron Rupp to prolong the inning. Matt Williams decided that was enough and had to summon Jerry Blevins to get out of it. Strasburg departed, having pitched well enough to put himself in line for the win, but something about this start just didn’t feel complete.

KEY STAT: Jayson Werth had six home runs in his first 349 plate appearances this season. He now has five in his last 39.

UP NEXT: The series (and the first half of the season) concludes Sunday afternoon when Tanner Roark faces Kyle Kendrick. First pitch is at 1:35 p.m.

  1. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    Gutsy win. That’s all there is to it. And how about Soriano striking out the side again? He hadn’t done that as a Nat until that game with the Braves a few weeks ago. Now he’s done it twice.

  2. sunshinebobby - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    Mr. Clutch does it again. And good for Jayson to have a big night back in Philly. And, no, I wouldn’t eat a hot dog thrown to me by the Phanatic. Or any other Phoolie Phan, for that matter.

    • stoatva - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      You don’t know WHERE that’s been.

  3. Section 222 - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    We’ll, what do you know? Not only a “clean inning” from Sori, but 3 Ks. Is that good enough or did the pitches look too hittable?

    UNTUCK!

  4. stoatva - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    Daggone, you’re fast.

  5. veejh - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    Give cred to National Det. It appears his season long funk is behind him. Good thing since Blev took a crap. We need lefty pen arms we can rely on.

    • stoatva - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:23 PM

      +1
      and good night.

      I’m probably too amped up to get right to sleep, though. :-)

    • David Proctor - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      Blevins actually got a key out in the game, too.

      • veejh - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:26 PM

        Yes, I knew someone would post this. Maybe Blev is on the rebound, too. :)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:38 PM

        Use him as a LOOGY and he has been good. Righties are batting over .300 against him and that’s a recipe for disaster.

        It looks like MW has shifted his bullpen responsibility.

  6. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Interesting stat on Twitter:

    That’s only the 6th 1-2-3, 3 K save in Nats history. Soriano is the first to do it twice.

    • stoatva - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:26 PM

      Was the Henry Rodriguez 9 pitch, 3 K inning a save? I don’t think so, but I’m old and sometimes remember stuff wrong.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        Check again, HenRod never had a 9 pitch 3 K inning.

      • stoatva - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        You’re right… maybe it was ten or eleven pitches. But how about these two?

        43. Ross Ohlendorf (1) Pirates 09-05-2009 Khalil Greene, Julio Lugo, Jason LaRue 7th
        44. Jordan Zimmermann (1) Nationals 05-06-2011 Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Dobbs, John Buck 2nd

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        May 12th 2012. A 10 pitch inning and it was a Save.

      • stoatva - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        Thanks! G’nite.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:36 PM

        Yep, they call a 3 K inning on 9 pitches an immaculate inning. When a starter does it, that’s impressive. I think Jordan Zimmermann has the only 1 in Nats history.

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed the ending and the Phoolies unraveling. Diekman walks the leadoff hitter which is a cardinal sin then Utley gets greedy on that chop from Werth and gets no outs.

    LaRoche needs time off and of course will get it with the All-Star break. His at-bats for the last 8 days have been awful.

    Clip’s inning was unusual. I don’t know how he walks Rupp who is Mendoza quality.

    Great relief work by Detwiler and Soriano!

  8. David Proctor - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    BEST NEWS OF ALL!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      Very good news indeed.

    • veejh - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      Our season hung in the balance. Huge.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:43 PM

      Excellent!

  9. 6ID20 - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    Mark, the first half of the season ended eleven games ago. Almost two whole weeks.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM

      By math yes, but baseball still calls the pre-All Star period the 1st half.

  10. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    JZim will not even show up for the All-Star game. Good for him. Boycott.

  11. sjm308 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    So happy with the win and I can only imagine the angst and LoD comments as we left player after player on base and gave up the lead in the 8th. BUT, we are still in FIRST PLACE, all of our lads will get a nice rest, and we have lots of good things going for us.

    How about Detwiler??? Just great lately and MW has to start giving him more responsibility.
    I think he also has Blevins nailed as a one out guy getting a lefty.
    I really had Soriano pegged as our All-Star a month ago even though he was getting a lot of negative comments but I am happy he stuck up for himself and will be spending time with his family. To me, he was our All-Star all along. Pretty sure no one is trashing him lately (was it veejh? not sure but if not I apologize)
    Zimm handled 3rd these last two games with very little drama,
    Rendon plays well no matter where you stick him
    Great to have Desmond back so soon, I was convinced he was really hurt worse
    I realize its a right hander tomorrow and LaRoche will probably play but boy, does he need a break.

    Please tell me Mick didn’t trash SS or BH tonight? If he did, it just gets me even more worried about his ability to see what is happening on a baseball field.

    Go Nats!!

    • nats128 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:09 AM

      Just well placed Hairston negativity and all well deserved as he is awfull.

      Bryce did good I thought as he came in for defensive help in place of Hairston.

    • 6ID20 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:15 AM

      Did Ryan Zimmerman even have a defensive chance tonight? I don’t recall one.

    • scmargenau - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Just read game thread. It was pretty fun…lots of ups and downs. LOD fairly tame. I missed the game due to dinner (Barecelona,DC, great tapas) and they had NO tv, so the text least made it much less stressful.

      • scmargenau - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        *text alerts

    • scmargenau - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Just read game thread. It was pretty fun…lots of ups and downs. LOD fairly tame. I missed the game due to dinner (Barecelona,DC, great tapas) and they had NO tv, so the text least made it much less stressful.

  12. Deuce - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    Stack ‘n Jack!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 2
ATLANTA 75 75 11.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 17.5
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