WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 13: Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers to a Washington Nationals batter during the third inning at Nationals Park on April 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Tonight's Top 5:
5. Halladay vs Lannan: On paper, it's a complete mismatch. In his first year with the Phillies last season, two-time Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay was (3-0) in three starts against Philadelphia's NL East "rivals", holding the Nationals to 16 hits, 5 walks and just one run in 23.0 IP in which he struck out 20 and posted a 0.39 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and a .198 BAA. The one (and only time in franchise history) that the Washington Nationals have beaten the former Blue Jays' ace took place in June of 2002, when Fernando Tatis' 7th inning HR off Halladay gave the Montreal Expos a 2-1 lead and eventually the win.
Nats' lefty John Lannan is (0-8) in 11 career starts against the Phillies since his MLB debut in Philadelphia in 2007, a game in which he hit both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, breaking Utley's hand and getting himself tossed from his first start after hitting both Phillies after Utley had singled in each of his first two at bats and Howard had homered in the AB before the HBP....
Tonight in D.C., both starters stick to their respective scripts...
....with Lannan somehow getting out of another jam in the first, when the first two runners of the game get on with Shane Victorino doubling off the wall in left in front of Placido Polanco, who grounds to short, ("Ground[er] to [Ian] Des[mond], Desi catches Victorino off the bag, Danny [Espinosa] doesn’t get to [second though]…Desi waits too long and misses the play at first. Two on, no out." Doghouse). Lannan gets a double play grounder from Jimmy Rollins to Jerry Hairston at third, to Espinosa at second and on to Adam LaRoche at first and then Lannan gets Ryan Howard swinging with a full-count fastball. Roy Halladay needs just nine pitches to retire the Nats in the bottom of the frame, and he gets Jayson Werth looking at a 1-2 fastball on the outside edge to end his first inning of work.
3. Lannan = Escape Artist: John Lannan gives up a leadoff single and after a sac bunt, a one-out walk, and it's first and second with the Wilson Valdez at second, Shane Victorino at first and Placido Polanco at the plate. Ground ball to second, Espinosa to Desmond to LaRoche! Inning-ending DP. Lannan gets out of a jam again. The Nats threaten in the third, or Halladay falters momentarily before recovering. The Phillies' ace issues back-to-back two-out walks to Ian Desmond and Rick Ankiel before Jayson Werth's groundout to first ends the frame. 0-0 after three.
2. E: 2-3: Ian Desmond commits his second error of the season on what should be a routine groundout by Jimmy Rollins. Desi pops up before he has the ball, and another leadoff runner is on. Rollins is awarded third on a groundout by Ryan Howard when he collides with Desmond as he heads around second and heads for third on a grounder to second by Howard that's too weak for a double play. Runner on third, one down, and a groundout to short by Ben Francisco scores a run without a hit to put the Phillies up 1-0.
Lannan gets himself in trouble in the fifth, giving up a leadoff single by Carlos Ruiz and a walk to Wilson Valdez to put two on for the opposing pitcher. Roy Halladay bunts too hard back to the mound and Lannan throws to third for the force on the lead runner. One out, runners on first and second and Lannan looks like he might avoid any further damage when Shane Victorino flies out to right. Valdez tags and takes third. Lannan leaves a 2-2 slider up for Placido Polanco, who's 2 for 3 after the two-out, two-strike single to center makes it 2-0 Phillies. Another single by Jimmy Rollins loads the bases and Lannan hits Howard to force in a run before escaping trouble. 3-0 Phillies after 5.0.
1. The Good News- Bryce Harper's First Pro HR: From the Nationals' official Twitter @NationalsPR: "Bryce Harper hit first professional homer, a 2-run shot, off Lexington's Ruben Alaniz in 3rd inning of tonight's Suns game." The Nationals' 2010 no.1 overall pick's first pro HR comes off the Houston Astros' 19-year-old 6'4'' right-hander with one on in the top of the third inning of a game Harper's Hagerstown Suns end up losing 6-4 to the Lexington Legends.
0. MOAR HALLADAY: Roy Halladay hits Laynce Nix with one out in the seventh, and the Nationals have just the fifth runner on base against the Phillies' right-hander tonight. Danny Espinosa pops up to the left of home plate and Halladay sprints off the mound to get it. Two down. And Halladay strikes Jerry Hairston out to finish his seventh scoreless frame. 3-0 Phillies. Halladay through seven on 87 pitches, with just two hits, two walks and a HBP allowed.
-1. Halladay Goes For CG/SO: The ovation you hear with two outs in the top of the ninth is for Roy Halladay, as he steps into the on deck circle and it grows louder as he steps into the batter's box. The Phillies' starter pops out for the final out of the inning, then he heads back out to the mound looking to earn his 20th career complete game shutout and his second complete game shutout against the Nats franchise. Rick Ankiel doubles to left-center for the first extra base hit of the night by the Nationals and Jayson Werth singles to put runners on first and third for Adam LaRoche.
LaRoche battles, taking two two-strike pitches to get to a full-count and fouling one off before striking out on a full-count change that is just devastating. Laynce Nix single to right and the shutout is broken up when Ankiel scores. 3-1 Phillies. Charlie Manuel comes out to the mound, but leaves his starter in. Danny Espinosa grounds sharply to short, Rollins dives on it, but can't do anything with it. Werth scores. 3-2 game. Matt Stairs stares at three straight strikes. Two down. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez takes an 0-2 curve, knee high and outside for a called strike three. Phillies win, 3-2 final.
• Halladay's Line: W, (2-0), 9.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K's, 123 pitches, 88 strikes, 9 groundouts, 4 flyouts.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
|Num||Name - Comments:|
|1||Doghouse - 122|
|2||MissB - 94|
|3||RoscoeNats - 58|
|4||Princess Jazzy - 45|
|5||The Herndon Kid - 32|
|6||gengreen - 31|
|7||FanSince05 - 30|
|8||TJL - 24|
|9||Doncosmic - 16|
|10||Brotato - 15|
• Doghouse's Postgame WPA Graph: "Game 11: LAAAAAAASIK!":
G0AT: Rookie ump Alan Porter (-32.5%) gets 2 out of 5 called strike calls correct to ring up Matt Stairs and Ivan Rodriguez to kill a 9th-inning rally. Maybe he had dinner reservations.
- Not bad, but not enough: John Lannan (-8.6%) gives up 2 ER in 6 IP with 3 Ks and 3 BBs, including a base-loaded HBP (-8.0%) and 3 GDPs worth a total of +22.3% WPA.
- Rally time: Jayson Werth (+4.4%) singles to put runners on the corners in the 9th (+11.1%), followed by a pair of RBI singles (+10.0% and +12.0 %) from Laynce Nix (+6.8%) and Danny Espinosa (-1.3%)
Nationals now 5-6.