WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 30: Livan Hernandez #61 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on May 30, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
• Memorial Day Top 5:
5. Another Philly Invasion...[yawns]: They came by bus. They came by train. They came wearing Phillies red, some in light blue. Stylized P logo stitched into their caps. Name and number t's of all varieties. Victorino, Howard, Rollins, Utley, Schmidt...you know cause that fan's old school Philly. They congregated in right field, mais bien sur, serenading their former outfielder Jayson Werth with "Jayyyyy-son, Jayyyyson" chants from the start of the game. The home field fans tried to drown them out screaming, "Let's Go Nationals." Or was that more Phillies fans saying, "Let's Go Phillies"? I'll go with the former. Mr. National Himself Livan Hernandez gives up a one-out single to Placido Polanco, but keeps the Phillies off the board by retiring Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to complete a scoreless first...
4. What's Up, Doc?: Roy Halladay's (10-1) with a 2.01 ERA, two complete games, one shutout, 15 BB and 83 K's in 14 games, 13 starts and 98.2 IP against the Nationals/Expos over the course of his 14-year career with Toronto and now Philadelphia. Halladay's (2-0) in two starts against the Nats already this season, surrendering twelve hits and four earned runs in 16.0 innings pitched, but he's down 1-0 in the second after Michael Morse tags a 1-2 two-seamer from Halladay and sends it screaming out to the Red Porch seats. 1-0 Nats. Jerry Hairston goes first-to-third™ on a one-out single by Alex Cora and scores on a perfectly executed safety squeeze by Livan Hernandez. 2-0 Nats over Halladay early.
3. Let's Go Phillies; Ryan Howard crushes a fastball inside. The Philly fans in attendance go crazy. "Let's Go Phillies! Let's Go Phillies!" Raul Ibanez catches a curve ball from Livan Hernandez and drives it out to right. Now they're going insane!! Let's Go Phillies!! [clap clap, clapclapclap!] Back-to-back jacks off the Nats' right-hander and Phillies' catcher Carlos Ruiz follows with a one-out double to put the tying run on second as Livan all-of-a-sudden loses control. A 3-1 curve is lined to right by Domonic Brown, and the Phillies are up 3-2 in the fourth. In the Phillies' fifth, Chase Utley takes a one-out walk in front of Ryan Howard. The Phillies' first baseman fouls off four two-strike pitches before striking out swinging through an 80 mph 2-2 change. The Nationals walk Raul Ibanez to put two on with two out and Carlos Ruiz due up, but Livan Hernandez pops him up and escapes trouble yet again to keep the Nats close.
2. SPINNER!!: Danny Espinosa K'd swinging in the first inning, chasing a wicked sinking fastball from Roy Halladay that broke late and cut inside on the Nats' infielder who had to swing to protect Rick Ankiel with the hit and run on. Espinosa K'd the second time up too, taking a two-strike fastball inside with no late break this time. Called strike three on Espinosa. The third time up, Espinosa has his revenge. Halladay goes with a 2-2 change, and Espinosa's all over it. Fly ball to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard, Espinosa's 8th of 2011. Laynce Nix starts the Nats' sixth with a HR on a fastball away that's up in the zone, and the Nationals' third HR today puts them up 4-3 on the Phillies' starter, who'd surrendered just two HR's total coming into today's game. Espinosa's eighth, Nix's eighth, Nationals up 4-3 after six.
1. STRAIGHTEN THAT CAP, PUNK!!: A one-out single by Placido Polanco ends Livan Hernandez's day after 6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's, 2 HR allowed, 104 pitches, 68 strikes, 6 groundouts, 6 flyouts. The Nationals bring Sean Burnett and his crooked cap out to face the Phillies' three lefties Utley, Howard and Ibanez. Burnett can't get Utley to bite on pitches out of the zone and he eventually walks him to put two on for Ryan Howard. A single through second by Howard drives the tying run in and adds another earned one to Livan's line. 4-4 tie when Polanco crosses, and Utley takes third. Raul Ibanez flies to Werth in right, deep enough to give the Phillies the lead. Utley tags and scores, 5-4 Philadelphia when Burnett finally escapes the seventh.
0. RISP FAIL: Alex Cora hits a broken bat pop fly to right field that falls in for a hit, and Cora takes second after hustling out of the box. Ian Desmond's bunting, but he's bunting for a single and he places it perfectly on the infield grass between the mound and first, beating the throw to the bag to put runners on first and third with no one out. RIck Ankiel grounds back to the mound, Halladay knocks it down, and for some reason Cora's way off third and heading home. No chance. Cora's run down and tagged. Espinosa pops out, two down. Jayson Werth fouls off a few 1-2 pitches and K's swinging through 94 mph heat from Halladay on Halladay's 111th pitch of the game. First and third with no outs in a one-run game and the Nats come up empty.
-1. Memorial Day: Michael Morse is hit by a pitch in the 8th, he gets to second on a groundout but is stranded there when Matt Stairs grounds out and drops to 3 for 34 on the season, 2 for 23 as a PHer. Henry Rodriguez needs 25 pitches to get through a scoreless top of the ninth in which he walks a batter, balks and hits Ryan Howard. The Nats have three outs to get a run against Ryan Madson, but that's not happening today. 1-2-3 ninth and the Phillies win. 1 for 8 with RISP. 6 runners LOB. 3 HR's off Roy Halladay and the Nats still can't win. The loss drops Washington to 22-31 and the Nationals are have dropped eight of their last nine and ten of twelve.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
|Num||Name - Comments|
|1||Jeff T - 82|
|2||Whupass - 74|
|3||Doghouse - 72|
|4||cat daddy3000 - 64|
|5||OleksiyPecherovsHomeboy - 42|
|6||Doncosmic - 35|
|7||Jorgath - 14|
|8||jgb2772 - 13|
|9||jeff550 - 12|
|10||kingfishfarms - 8|
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: "Game 53: Still More Wasted Opportunities":
- Mr. National, himself: Livan Hernandez (-5.7% pitching, -0.9% hitting) struggles through 6.1 IP giving up 4 ER and getting an RBI on safety squeeze and leaving with a one-run lead.
- Left-handed, two-run guy: Sean Burnett (-35.5%) can't hold it in relief, giving up an RBI single (-24.8%) and a sac fly (-5.4%) to go behind.
- H3r0/g04t: Alex Cora (+7.8%) hits a leadoff double in the 7th (+13.5%) before getting thrown out at home after an ill-advised, delayed break for the plate on a bobbled comebacker to the pitcher (-19.0%).
- We got HOW many HRs? Michael Morse (+13.0%) gets the Nats the early lead with a 1st-inning solo shot (+11.1%), while Danny Espinosa (+2.6%) ties the game in the 5th with a solo bomb (+16.8%) and Laynce Nix (+5.7%) gets a short-lived one-run lead with a bases-empty dinger in the 6th (+17.4%).
- STOP! BUNTING! Ian Desmond (+7.4%) continues to show up the small-ball H8RZ by bunting for a hit to put runners on the corners with no outs in the 7th (+13.6%).
- High-leverage: Matt Stairs hits a PH ground out to end the inning with a RISP in the 8th (-9.7%).
Nationals now 22-31.