WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals talks with Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies after Werth walked during the seventh inning at Nationals Park on April 12, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
• Tonight's Top 5:
5. Citizens Bank South: The Philadelphia Phillies fans in attendance tonight in Nats Park booed Jayson Werth when he caught a fly to right from Placido Polanco in the top of the first and then booed their former right fielder when he stepped to the plate in the Nationals' half of the frame. Joe Blanton got a weak grounder to third from his former teammate and Polanco threw Werth out at first in the new Washington Nationals' right fielder's first at bat against the team he went to the post season with in each of the last four seasons. That got the Philly fans in the crowd cheering again, and they practically exploded when Ryan Howard took what was identified by MLB Gameday as a 77 mph 1-0 forkball all the way to left into the strong wind coming down Half Street and out for a 1-0 lead after one and a half innings played in front of what sounds like another Citizens Bank South crowd...
4. Smart Ball vs Power Bat: What Ryan Howard did with one swing, the Washington Nationals do with back-to-back one-out singles in the Nats' second by catcher Wilson Ramos (who's now 8 for 18) and Laynce Nix and a sac fly to center by Danny Espinosa that scores Ramos from third to tie it at 1-1 after two. Livan Hernandez retires the Phillies in order in the top of the third and gets the first out of the fourth before surrendering the second hit of the game to Jimmy Rollins, who singles to right. Ian Desmond tags Jimmy Rollins with his glove while the ball is in his hand after he fields a grounder from Howard, but the baseball gods take back an out by placing the vertically challenged Matt Stairs at first instead of say Adam Dunn or an Adam LaRoche so Desi's high toss to first hits off Stairs' 11-year-old glove. Howard goes to second on a two-out single by Ben Francisco but he's stranded when Raul Ibanez flies out to Rick Ankiel in center.
3. WereWerth Loves Boos: Jayson Werth doubles to left and wedges it in under the wall so Raul Ibanez has no chance to get the former Phillie at second. A groundout by another former Philly favorite Matt Stairs moves Werth to third and Wilson Ramos' RBI double off the out-of-town scoreboard drives the the Nats' RF in for a 2-1 Washington lead over Philadelphia in the bottom of the fourth. Ramos takes third on a single by Laynce Nix and a walk to Danny Espinosa loads'em up for Ryan Zimmerman's temporary replacement Jerry Hairston, who singles to left to score Ramos! 3-1 Nats. 4-1 on a safety squeeze on the first pitch Livan sees. Nix scores as Blanton's left with no choice but to throw Hernandez out at first. 4-1 Nationals after four.
2. AOOOOOOOOOO!!!: Rick Ankiel's home-run-worthy fly to right field is knocked down by the wind so Ben Francisco can make the catch on the track, but Jayson Werth is strong enough to send a line drive out to left and just inside the foul pole for a solo blast and a 5-1 Nationals' lead in the fifth. Werth's second HR as a Nat leaves him 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI after his first three at bats against his former team.
1. NATSTOWN: Still 5-1 Nats, Livan Hernandez gives up three-straight one-out singles in the seventh, missing on a 1-2 curve to Raul Ibanez before giving up a single to center on a 2-2 fastball. Carlos Ruiz hits a bloop single to right on an 0-2 pitch to put two on in front of Wilson Valdez, who's infield single spins out to second too slow for Danny Espinosa to rush a throw to first. Bases loaded. John Mayberry, Jr. battles but ends up swinging through a 62 mph 0-2 curve for out no.2 and the end of Livan Hernandez's outing. NatsTown comes alive as Livan leaves the field as slowly as he enters it before games. Tyler Clippard comes on in relief and leaves the bases stranded when he strikes Shane Victorino out to end the inning.
• Livan's Line: 6.2 IP, 7 hits, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 6 K's, 98 pitches, 69 strikes, 4 GO/9FO.
0. 1-2-3: Rick Ankiel keeps the Nats' seventh alive with a two-out single off Phillies' reliever David Herndon, and the Nationals then patiently take three straight walks. Werth takes a two-out walk from Herndon and Philly lefty Antonio Bastardo walks Michael Morse to load the bases for Wilson Ramos, who takes a 3-1 pitch from Bastardo for ball four and the Nationals' sixth run of the night, 6-1 Nationals after seven. 7-1 Nats when Danny Espinosa walks to start the eighth, takes second on a groundout and scores on one-out single by Alex Cora.
Tyler Clippard gives up a one-out single by Jimmy Rollins and then walks Ryan Howard to put two on for Ben Francisco. Back-to-back walks, Francisco's on and Clippard's lifted for Sean Burnett, who'll face Raul Ibanez. RBI groundout on a force at second. 7-2 game. Carlos Ruiz up next, and a wild pitch on a curve that bounces by new catcher Ivan Rodriguez allows Howard to score to make it 7-3 before Ruiz flies out to end the eighth. Burnett comes back out for the ninth and surrenders a leadoff single to Wilson Valdez, and two outs later an RBI single by Placido Polanco that scores Wilson Valdez to make it 7-4 before Jimmy Rollins lines out to short to end the game.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
|Num||Name - Comments|
|1||souldrummer - 111|
|2||FanSince05 - 93|
|3||d_c_guy - 90|
|4||MissB - 82|
|5||TJL - 79|
|6||rachel216 - 66|
|7||Princess Jazzy - 33|
|8||Nationalpastime9 - 29|
|9||Doncosmic - 26|
|10||Roscoenats - 25|
• Doghouse's Postgame WPA Graph: "Now it gets tough..."
- Throw it slower! Livan Hernandez (+14.2%) goes 6.2 IP with 6 Ks, no walks, and only 1 ER.
- Ramoooooooooooos! Wilson Ramos (+12.7%) is 2-3 with a walk, including the go-ahead RBI double (+8.9%) in the 4th.
- ArrrooOOOOOOOOO! Jayson Werth (+11.1%) is 2-3 with an HR, a walk, and a SB.
- Slowdown: Ian Desmond (-6.8%) is 0-5.
Nationals now 5-5.