Skip to content

Instant analysis: Phillies 10, Nats 4

Jul 31, 2014, 10:39 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images USA Today Sports Images

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It could’ve been a great pitching showdown between a pair of accomplished lefties. Instead it turned into a laborious battle of bullpens after both Gio Gonzalez and Cliff Lee were knocked out early, for very different reasons.

Lee retired eight of the first nine batters he faced, but after throwing only his 31st pitch of the night, he winced, called for a trainer and pointed to his elbow. The Phillies soon after announced Lee had strained his flexor pronator, the same injury that sidelined him earlier this season. Gonzalez appeared to be physically fine, but he was torched by the Philadelphia lineup during a 5-run fourth inning, earning an early hook from manager Matt Williams.

Down 5-0, the Nationals tried to mount a comeback against the Phillies bullpen, and drew to within 5-3 after RBI hits from Wilson Ramos and Denard Span. But Jerry Blevins immediately gave two runs back in the sixth, and Craig Stammen (pitching for the first time in nine days) gave up three more runs in the eighth to put this one out of reach.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: There were a few positives at the plate tonight, despite the outcome. Denard Span finished off his torrid July in style, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. For the month, he finished with a .368 batting average (35-for-95). Danny Espinosa, meanwhile, made the most of what could be his final chance to start for awhile, given today’s trade for Asdrubal Cabrera. Espinosa had a pair of hits, both of them off lefties. Williams said earlier in the day he expects Cabrera to be his regular second baseman once he arrives Friday. But there’s still a case to be made for Espinosa starting against lefties as part of a platoon, as he showed tonight.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: The evening started fine for Gonzalez, who put up three straight zeroes. But then it got ugly, and in a hurry. He surrendered three straights hits to open the top of the fourth, and it only devolved from there. By the time the Phillies batted around, Williams emerged from the dugout asking for the ball. Gonzalez muttered something into his glove and departed to a smattering of boos following an especially disappointing performance n what has become a wildly erratic season. The lefty has five appearances in which he allowed one or fewer runs over seven or more innings, but he also has four starts in which he allowed five or more runs.

KEY STAT: In his last 16 appearances, spanning 13 2/3 innings, Jerry Blevins has given up 13 earned runs and put 24 men on base.

UP NEXT: The series continues Friday night when Doug Fister looks to earn his 11th win in only 15 starts, facing Phillies right-hander Roberto (Don’t Call Me Fausto Carmona) Hernandez. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

  1. naterialguy - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Well that was uninspiring

    • tcostant - Aug 1, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      Dead on!

  2. Joe Seamhead - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Shake it off, Sports Fans.

  3. stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Instant anal cyst, you mean.

  4. Eric - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    just in case

    • Eric - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      Er, that pic is my reaction to the game…tried to embed via HTML but it got stripped.

  5. therealjohnc - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Thank goodness they play tomorrow. Intellectually I know that clunkers like this happen periodically to every team at some point in every season. But it still sucks to have to watch them.

  6. secretwasianman - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    This ones on GIO. You just can’t stink that bad. Especially against the Phillies.

  7. David Proctor - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    These games have been rare this year. They happen. The A’s were blown out by the Astros yesterday. Go get ‘em tomorrow. We have Fister on the mound

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      Maybe 5 so far this year.

  8. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    Positives for the night

    Span
    Detwiler
    Frandsen (batting)
    Espi (batting)

  9. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Will Soriano be rusty? Hope not.

    If Stammen was rusty? Whose fault?

  10. Danny - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Tough game. Where has the power gone?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      That is a good question. We have no power now.

  11. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Saying Espi screwed up throwing hone, thanks honest for once.

  12. stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Trout 6 for 38 over last ten games. Average dropped under .300. That could change in a heartbeat, of course. Or not.

    • stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      0-0 in the twelfth at Camden Freaking Yards? RU kidding?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      Bet MLB network is saying MVP anyway.

      • stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        Guy is amazing, but I have nagging suspicions about how he will respond to pressure. Could be 100% wrong! it wouldn’t be the first time.

    • Nats Amore - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:56 PM

      What does Trout have to do with the NL East race or the NL in general? This is not an attempt to ignite the Harper-Trout debate I hope.

      • stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        No one expects the NI thread police!

    • Nats Amore - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      Not being the thread police, the remark seemed out of context to all the previous comments. Talk about Trout to your heart’s content. There are far more egregious thread police on here who warn you on what you can and cannot say on here. I was asking an honest question to understand where the question came from but if that upsets you, sorry about that.

      • stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        Switched over to O’s vs Angels after tonight’s debacle, and it seemed relevant to, y’know, baseball. Harper vs Trout is a non-starter at the moment, I’d say. Harper (much as I love the kid) isn’t even in the game. Maybe some day.

      • iconicwoodencap - Aug 1, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        The point is, even the seemingly elite stumble. The A’s, even Mike Trout, so it happens to everybody, including the Nats. It takes some of the sting out to realize that great teams and players all go through bad patches.

    • Nats Amore - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:12 PM

      Cool. I wish there were more discussions about other players and teams on here.

      • stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:14 PM

        I imagine there will be as the playoffs start to take shape.

  13. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    Mw you are so wrong, there was no possibly okay at the plate. Need to look at the film

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:02 PM

      Damn auto correct. Okay=play

  14. stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    We have to have a better 1B backup than Frandsen.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:11 PM

      Tyler Moore

  15. David Proctor - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    Braves have Teheran swing instead of bunt and he hits into a double play

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      Thank you as Vin sully said

  16. Eric - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    Re: Stammen’s 9 days off, maybe he was on the table for a trade? Or, maybe he needed a break? I seem to recall a recent article indicating that he was asking the IP leaders for relievers?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      He is nowhere close

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:10 PM

        He is 4th now was 6th going into today’s game

  17. Eric - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    “asking” = among

  18. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    Another homer for my fantasy team. Puig

  19. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Actually might be close now 54.2 innings, that isn’t that much though.

    • Eric - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      In any case, after two months of unbelievable dominance, some arms have to be tired. I’m sure some were on the table, too.

  20. stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    O’s leave em loaded in 12th. On to 13.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      Has Britton pitched yet?

      • stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:19 PM

        No.

        There’s a clutch hit for Trout. Runners on the corners, none out.

  21. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    How long is Rizzo’s leash for Blevins? He has been terrible for going on 2 months

    • stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      We’ve let a lot of lefties go over the last few years. There were valid reasons for each of them, but we appear to be paying for it now. As far as I can see, there’s no one on the farm except CedeƱo ( I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m missing one).

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:18 PM

        I know none.

  22. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    We have an MIA ump in L.A.

    Bj Upton steal base then called out for leaving bag. Out.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      Wow Girdon makes great play.

  23. Eric - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    If the Braves lose in addition, especially since the Fish already did tonight will be easier to write off, especially considering we gained ground yesterday.

    Not that I’m opposed to gaining ground everyday ;)

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      I am never oppose to winning. But I figure as long as Braves lose no biggie.

      More concern is we are now -5 in games with no Zim

    • Eric - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      Sheesh. Apparently I need to edit more before posting tonight.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:24 PM

        What you type wrong.

  24. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    I may have to break down and get the mlb package…. need to call directv in the am.

    Bj is a horrible baserunner

    • stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:21 PM

      You won’t regret it… except when you find yourself watching extra inning west coast games at two in the morning. ;-)

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        +1

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      This is my 6th season. It’s my Christmas present to myself every year now.

  25. Danny - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    Thank you Cy Kershaw!

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      No runs yet, but flirting with danger last few innings

      Great play Uribe

  26. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    Kershaw not as solid as normal tonight given up as many hits as ks

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      Now more hits then k

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:33 PM

        A grounder to third, Uribe stepped on third threw to second for double play.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:34 PM

        Great change up for 5th k. Still 2-0 going to bottom of fifth.

  27. stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    I can’t believe they’re asking for season plan renewals and postseason ticket purchases on July 31.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:45 PM

      Watching other teams regularly, only heard about 6 maybe 7 have started that based on TV announcers.

    • Section 222 - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM

      That email went out on August 1 in 2012. Standard operating procedure. Lots of work involved in seating all the partial and full Season Plan Holders for the playoffs. As for renewals, they offer an eight monthly payments plan. To be fully paid by Opening Day, you have to start those payments in September.

      So while it may seem early, what they do is pretty reasonable, unlike, say, football in July.

      • stoatva - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:03 AM

        I had forgotten it was so early in 2012. Guess I’m in.

  28. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    Melvin Emmanuel Upton

  29. manassasnatsfan - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    Kershaw now 7 is 5 hits. Still 2-0

  30. stoatva - Jul 31, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    @AdamKilgoreWP: Apparently, the Nats’ bullpen still smelled like port-a-potties from the Jason Aldean concert. In every way, that game stunk.

    • Section 222 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

      Excellent excuse for the Dynamic Dayton Duo!

      • Eric - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:05 AM

        Blevins has been hungover for weeks?

  31. habs3 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    To hear Bob and FP call the game you would think we won the game by 10 runs. I know the Nats can do no wrong but a little objectivity would be appreciated every once in awhile. I realize negative comments on the team are frowned upon by the Nat’s police but even they have to admit that this team has some major flaws.

    Please – can we DFA Blevins and McClouth. They are going to cost us. McClouth has constantly shown us that he clearly overmatched.

    • Eric - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:13 AM

      Nats will be in first tomorrow, guaranteed. So far they’re doing less wrong (or more right, if you’re feeling adventurous) than the only 4 opponents that matter until the post season.

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      FP got on my bad side when he started critising the Potomac Hall of Fame. Saying why were a number of players in it that never played for Potomac. Laughing saying they came in as visitors. Haven gone to games for 30 years, I had all of them okay there. He was clueless of the club history, yet he decided to make fun of it, Over time they were Pirates, Cards, Yankees, White Sox and Nationals. He acted like if it wasn’t a National the person couldn’t okay there.

      I called him out on Twitter. Of course he ignored me since I argued with facts.

      Nats can still win this series, which is my goal each series

  32. David Proctor - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    Kershaw is just ridiculous. Had a 4 pitch inning

    • Eric - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:38 AM

      He’s a straight up artist it the full sense if the word imo.

      • manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:39 AM

        Needs his best work now

      • Eric - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:41 AM

        Had it for Freeman… Holding breath for JUp…

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:49 AM

      Almost blew it. Nats still in 1st by 1 1/2 games.

  33. manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    Kershaw needs finish this men first and third one out 9th, Freeman up.

  34. manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    Da,man Gonzalez had he caught instead of tipping it, would have been double play

  35. manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    Struck out Freeman

  36. manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    I hate Justin Upton

    • stoatva - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:42 AM

      *safe*

      • manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:46 AM

        About by 1/10 of second. Win any way

    • Eric - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:42 AM

      Ugh… Still have the lead… Gattis… Yikes

  37. manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Read umps mouth. No way I am wrong

  38. manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    About 1/10 second he is out. They won’t over turn

  39. Eric - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    Challenge… Hrm.. Just a CG shut out on the line, eh?

    • manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      My freeze frame says 1 click to the out.

  40. manassasnatsfan - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    New York is wrong, though I knew they wouldn’t overturn it.

  41. stoatva - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    Hella game, however it turns out.

  42. Eric - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    YES!! Thanks Dodgers!!

  43. stoatva - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    SWWWWEEEEP!!!

    Sweet.

  44. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:49 AM

    That was fun.

  45. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    The big question is who gets DFA’d or sent to AAA or the DL today.

    I’m thinking it’s Barrett to AAA but should be Blevins to a DFA.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.5
NEW YORK 75 80 16.0
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 20.0
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's early games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 3.0
ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.5 +0.5
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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