May 22, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay (34) delivers to the plate during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Before tonight, the Washington Nationals had never beaten Roy Halladay. If you include the complete franchise history, they've beaten him once. But since 2005, nothing. The Expos beat Halladay back on June 28, 2002 when Fernando Tatis hit a seventh inning HR off the then-Toronto Blue Jays' starter to give Montreal a 2-1 lead that would hold up through nine. Halladay was (3-0) against the Nats in four starts last season, with a 3.21 ERA, two walks and 29 K's in 28.0 IP. In his career, the Blue Jays' 1995 1st Round pick is (11-1) against the Expos/Nationals with a 2.28 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 95 hits, 30 runs, 28 earned, 9 home runs and 15 BB (1.22 BB/9) allowed and 93 K's (7.56 K/9) collected in 16 games, 15 starts and 110.2 IP with two complete games, 1 shutout and a .233 BAA in 110.2 IP. Dominant. Opposing Halladay on the mound tonight, Nats' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who entered tonight's game (0-3) in five career starts against Philadelphia...
• Harper vs Doc: Rd. 1: Bryce Harper took a 1-1 pitch through the right side of the infield, between two diving Philadelphia infielders and into Citizens Bank Park's left field grass for a one-out single in his first career at bat against one-time Blue Jays' and current Phillies' starter Roy Halladay. Two outs later, after a pop to first by Chad Tracy and a groundout to second by Adam LaRoche, the Nats' 19-year-old rookie outfielder was stranded when the 35-year-old veteran of 15 MLB seasons completed a 13-pitch top of the first. 25-year-old Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who'll turn 26 tomorrow, needed just 12 pitches to retire the Phillies in order in the bottom of the frame, with help from left fielder Steve Lombardozzi's running catch toward the line in left on a sliced liner off Shane Victorino's bat. 0-0 after one.
• E Doesn't Hurt Halladay: Danny Espinosa reached on an infield single with one down in the Nats' second, sending a weak broken bat grounder past the mound to Phillies' shortstop Freddy Galvis, who fielded it smoothly, but lost it on the transfer from glove to hand. One out later, after Rick Ankiel K'd swinging at a brutal two-strike bender from Halladay, Espinosa took third on a botched pickoff attempt that saw Halladay throw it by first into foul territory. Jesus Flores couldn't catch up to a 91 mph 0-2 two-seamer though, and Halladay was through two scoreless innings on 25-pitches after a 12-pitch frame.
• Under Pants: Phillies' right fielder Hunter Pence took a 95mph four-seam fastball back up the middle for a leadoff hit on the eighth pitch of the first at bat of the bottom of the second. A swinging bunt off Phils' backstop Carlos Ruiz's bat moved Pence into scoring position, and a ground rule double over Rick Ankiel's head by first baseman Hector Luna brought the former Astros' outfielder around for the first run of the game and a 1-0 Phillies' lead. Zimmermann stranded two runners, however, to hold it to a one run lead, but his 23-pitch second had the right-hander up 35 after two.
• Harper vs Hallady, Rd 2: Jordan Zimmermann started the third with a single to left on the first pitch Halladay threw, and Steve Lombardozzi singled too in front of Bryce Harper, whose third MLB triple brought both runners around to make it 2-1 Nats. Harper's 2 for 2 career vs Halladay after crushing a 76 mph first pitch curve for a triple to the right-center gap. One out later, Adam LaRoche battled for nine pitches and got enough of a full-count curve to send a sac fly to center that brought Harper home to make it 3-1 and Nats' shortstop Ian Desmond got hold of a 2-0 curve in the at bat after that, sending a solo HR out to left and into the CBP seats. Desmond's 8th HR of 2012 makes it 4-1 Nationals after two and a half...
#Nats' SS Ian Desmond just tied his HR total from last year with no. 8 of 2012. 8 in 154 G and 639 PA in '11, 8 in 42 G and 195 PA in '12.— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) May 22, 2012
• Tossed: After a few close calls that didn't go his pitcher's way, Phillies' catcher Carlos Ruiz got himself tossed arguing balls and strikes with home plate ump Gary Cederstom, who then argued with Philly skipper Charlie Manuel, but didn't toss the manager. Halladay, with Brian Schneider catching, got a groundout to second from Danny Espinosa to end a 30-pitch top of the third inning.
• CEDERSTROM!!!!: After the Phillies' catcher got tossed for arguing with the home plate ump, Jesus Flores was spotted showing some displeasure with Cederstrom's call on an 0-2 curve to Phillies' third baseman Placido Polanco, who, of course, singled to right with one down on the 1-2 pitch from the Nats' Jordan Zimmermann. Shane Victorino took an 0-1 curve to right and over Bryce Harper's head for a one-out double in the next at bat, but Zimmermann got Hunter Pence to chase a 2-2 slider outside for the second out of Philadelphia's third, and got Brian Schneider to fly out to center where Rick Ankiel caught the final out of the inning. Ankiel then picked up a bat and took the first pitch of the fourth to straight center and into the CBP shrubs. Solo HR, Ankiel's third, and the Nationals took a 5-1 lead.
• ZIM-MER-MAN, [CLAP!], ZIM-MER-MANN! [CLAP!]: Jordan Zimmermann recorded the first two outs of the Phillies' fourth before giving up back-to-back singled by Mike Fontenot and "Doc" Halladay, but a groundout to second by Juan Pierre ended a 23-pitch frame, after which Zimmermann was up to 76 pitches. 5-1 Nationals after four in Citizens Bank. Ian Desmond walked in a seven-pitch at bat with two down in the fifth, extending Halladay even further, then stole second with Danny Espinosa up, but a sliding catch down the line in right by Hunter Pence ended a 17-pitch inning by the Phillies' right-hander, and Halladay was up to 80 pitches after five. Pence walked with two down in the Phillies' 5th, though it sure looked like he had swung while avoiding a full-count fastball up and in, then Pence took third on two-out single to right by Brian Schneider, but a full-count slider to Hector Luna was called strike three and Zimmermann was through 5.0 with the 5-1 lead and 98 pitches on his arm after a 22-pitch frame.
• Zimmermann > Halladay Tonight: Zimmermann singled with two down in the top of the sixth, but was stranded. The Nats' right-hander then proceeded to throw a quick 7-pitch 1-2-3 seventh, his first 1-2-3 inning of the game, to end his night after 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's, 107 pitches, 71 strikes and 7/6 GO/FO. Halladay was hit for in the Phillies' sixth, ending his own night after 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K's, 2 HR's, 92 P, 66 S, 5/3 GO/FO. Phillies' right-hander Jake Diekman threw a seven-pitch, 1-2-3 7th, which Nats' lefty Tom Gorzelanny followed-up with a 6-pitch 1-2-3 bottom of the inning after which Washington still held their 5-1 lead. Diekman got the first two outs of the Nats' eighth giving up a one-out single by Danny Espinosa, but the Nats' infielder was stranded at second when Jose Contreras came on to retire Jesus Flores. 5-1 Nats after seven and a half.
• ConKratzulations: Tom Gorzelanny came back out for the eighth, giving up Phillies' catcher Erik Kratz's first MLB HR on a solo shot to center that Rick Ankiel couldn't bring back in spite of a valiant, leaping effort. 5-2 Nationals on the 31-year-old outfielder's first major league long ball, but Gorzelanny held the Phillies there, finishing up his second inning in relief with a 16-pitch 8th.
• Clippard = Closer?: With the Nationals up 5-2 after eight and a half, Tyler Clippard took the mound against the Phillies in the bottom of the ninth and gave up a long foul ball to right by Pete Orr on the first pitch he threw. Just foul. A 2-2 change ends up getting Orr swinging. ONE!! Juan Pierre grounds to short... Grounder. Desmond. Out. That's two. TWO!! Placido Polanco grounds out to first, LaRoche tosses to the covering pitcher. Nats have the series in Philly. And Tyler Clippard records his first save since June 10, 2010. Second career save for the Nats' right-hander. 5-2 Nats final. Bryce Harper named the Phillies' broadcast's player of the game. Word. Nats win.
• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...
• Tonight's Top 5 Commenters:
- jeff550 - 165
- RobBobS - 71
- Jorgath - 46
- MissB - 39
- JeffT - 35
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph ( - the Doghouse):
Nationals now 26-17.