Dan Haren had been making steady progress after a rough start to his first year as a Washington National, but last time out in San Diego, California's Petco Park, the 32-year-old right-hander, who signed a 1-year/$13M dollar deal with the Nats this winter, had a setback. The 11-year veteran threw 97 pitches in just five innings of work and allowed nine hits and seven runs in what ended up a 13-4 loss to the Padres. That outing left the Nats' no.4 starter with a (4-5) record, a 5.54 ERA, 4.92 FIP, 10 HRs (1.79 HR/9) allowed, eight walks (1.43 BB/9) surrendered and 36 Ks (6.44 K/9) collected in nine starts and 50.1 IP so far in a Nationals uniform.
Haren's 51st inning of the year went well with the Philadelphia Phillies' hitters going down in order in a 14-pitch top of the first tonight in D.C. By the end of his 10th start of 2013, Haren had collected 10 Ks, thrown 88 pitches in six innings and given up two home runs and three runs total in a game that was decided after he was off the mound.
Denard Span singled to start the Nationals' first, but one out later, after a Bryce Harper K, Span was 5 for 8 in stolen base attempts this season after Phillies' catcher Erik Kratz threw him out at second for the second out of the Nationals' first. Ryan Zimmerman K'd swinging for right-handed rookie Jonathan Pettibone's second strikeout of the night and the third out of the inning in a 16-pitch bottom of the first for the Phils' 22-year-old starter.
Dan Haren struck both Ryan Howard and Delmon Young out with fastballs in the first two at bats of the Phillies' second, but Domonic Brown and Erik Kratz followed with back-to-back, two-out solo home runs on consecutive pitches to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead at the end of another 14-pitch frame that had Haren at 28 overall after two innings in Nationals Park. Ian Desmond singled with one down in the Nationals' second. One out later, the Nats' shortstop took second on a single by Tyler Moore, who took a 2-2 change from Pettibone to left for a two-out hit, but both runners were stranded when Steve Lombardozzi grounded out to end the bottom of the inning. Still 2-0 Philadelphia.
Tyler Moore dropped a two-out fly to left-center that he got to only to have it go in and out of his glove on what was ruled an E:7 instead of a double for Phillies' second baseman Freddy Galvis. The hit brought Michael Young up with a runner in scoring position, but Philadelphia's right-handed hitting first baseman, who entered tonight's game 19 for 58 vs Haren with a .328/.341/.431 career line against the right-hander, was 0 for 2 vs the Nats' starter in the nation's capital after flying out to center to end the top of the third. The 12-pitch inning had Haren at 40 overall after three.
Denard Span was 2 for 2 vs Jonathan Pettibone tonight after beating out a ground ball to Jimmy Rollins at short in the Nationals' half of the third. Span took second on a Bryce Harper single to right-center. Ryan Zimmerman lined to center for out no.2, allowing Span to take third, and Adam LaRoche came through with a two-out RBI single to right that cut the Phillies' lead in half, 2-1 Philadelphia. Ian Desmond walked in front of Kurt "Clutch If It Existed" Suzuki to load the bases with two down, but the Nats' catcher rolled a weak check-swing grounder to first to end the bottom of the third. Still 2-1 Phillies.
Ryan Howard was strikeout victim no.6 of the night for Dan Haren and the Phillies' first baseman was 0 for 2 with 2 Ks after two at bats in D.C.. Haren got Delmon Young swinging for the second time too and had 7 Ks on the night after retiring the side in order in the top of the fourth. The 12-pitch inning had the right-hander up to 52 pitches total after four. Jimmy Rollins committed his second error the series with one down in the Nats' fourth when Steve Lombardozzi grounded to short and the Phillies' infielder bounced a throw to first that Ryan Howard couldn't scoop up. Dan Haren K'd looking in the next at bat, but Denard Span came through with another two-out hit, driving Lombardozzi in from second with a soft fly to right that fell in for Span's third hit in three at bats. 2-2 game between the Nats and Phillies after four.
Erik Kratz battled for 10 pitches before becoming strikeout victim no.8 of the night for Dan Haren when he K'd looking at a 2-2 two-seamer. Ben Revere popped a bunt attempt up to the catcher, but after two quick outs, Haren gave up a double to center by the opposing pitcher to put a runner on second for Jimmy Rollins. And the runner/opposing pitcher scored when Rollins lined a second-straight two-out double to right to drive in the go-ahead run and make it 3-2 Phillies after four and half. 9 Ks for Haren in 5.0 IP after Freddy Galvis K'd looking to end the frame. 73 pitches for Haren after a 21-pitch fifth.
Ryan Zimmerman flew out to deep center in the first at bat of the Nats' fifth, but Adam LaRoche got all of the first pitch he saw from Jonathan Pettibone and deposited an opposite field home run in the visitor's bullpen in left-center to tie the game back up at 3-3. HR no.8 for the Nats' first baseman. Two quick outs later it was tied at 3-3 after five.
Ryan Howard was 0 for 3 with 3 Ks and Dan Haren had 10 Ks after he threw a 1-2 splitter by the Phillies' first baseman for the second out of Philadelphia's sixth. Haren issued his first walk of the game to Delmon Young in the next at bat, but a groundout to third by Domonic Brown ended a 15-pitch inning that had Haren at 88 overall on the night. With two down in the Nationals' sixth, Roger Bernadina hit for Haren, but the Shark's weak groundout to second ended a five-pitch, 1-2-3 inning that had Pettibone through six on 102 pitches.
Haren's line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 Ks, 2 HR, 88P, 60S, 3/4 GO/FO.
Henry Rodriguez replaced Dan Haren in the top of the seventh and hit pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen with a 100 mph fastball with two down, but a groundout to second by Jimmy Rollins followed and the Nats' right-hander had a scoreless 17-pitch top of the seventh. Phillies' lefty Antonio Bastardo gave up a one-out walk to Bryce Harper in the Nationals' half of the inning, and threw a wild pitch that allowed the Nationals' outfielder to advance to second with Adam LaRoche at the plate. LaRoche took the second walk of the inning, ended Bastardo's night. Chad Durbin came on to face Ian Desmond with two on and two out, and with two pitches got the Phillies out of jam when the Nats' shortstop flew out to center to end the seventh. Still 3-3.
Drew Storen took over for the Nats in the eighth. Steve Lombardozzi made a glove flip to first on a bunt by Freddy Galvis that Adam LaRoche corralled just in time to get the Phillies' infielder. A one-out walk to Michael Young put a runner on in front of Ryan Howard, who was 0 for 4 tonight with 4 Ks after taking a backdoor 1-2 slider for a called strike three. Delmon Young lined to right in the next at bat, and it got into the corner allowing Young to come around from first and score to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead. Domonic Brown doubled to right-center on the next pitch from Storen and found the gap for the second straight RBI hit and a 5-3 lead after seven and a half in D.C.
Kurt Suzuki bunted for a hit to start the Nationals' half of the eighth. A walk by Tyler Moore put two on against Chad Durbin. Steve Lombardozzi lined out to short in the next at bat. Jeff Kobernus made his MLB debut as a pinch runner for Tyler Moore as Chad Tracy came on to hit and Jeremy Horst came on to pitch. Tracy popped out on the first pitch he saw for out no.2, leaving it up to Denard Span in the eighth, but a line drive to right was caught by John Mayberry for the final out of the frame.
Fernando Abad took over on the mound in the ninth. Ben Revere popped out to Jeff Kobernus in foul territory in left for the first out of the inning. Humberto Quintero took a one-out walk from the Nats' left-hander. Jimmy Rollins K'd swinging for out no.2 and Freddy Galvis popped out to end the top of the inning. Jonathan Papelbon got Bryce Harper swinging with a 2-2 slider in the dirt for out no.1. Ryan Zimmerman started up 3-0, and singled up the middle on a 3-1 pitch from Papelbon. Adam LaRoche K'd looking at a 3-2 fastball that had the Nats' first baseman livid and arguing with home plate ump Tim Timmons. Ian Desmond fell behind 0-2, fouled off a few 1-2 pitches as Zimmerman took second on defensive indifference and then K'd swinging to end the game. 5-3 Phillies.
Nationals now 25-24