Veteran lefty Cliff Lee got the first two outs on four pitches tonight, with Washington Nationals' leadoff man Denard Span grounding out to second on a 92 mph 0-2 four-seamer and Ian Desmond flying out to right on a 91 mph first-pitch fastball. Lee fell behind Bryce Harper though, and the 2-0 heater he threw to the 20-year-old Nats' slugger was lined to right-center, into the gap and off the Turkey Hill Ice Cream sign on Citizen Bank Park's outfield wall for a two-out double. Two-base hit no.8 of 2013, but Harper was stranded when Ryan Zimmerman took a high 0-2 two-seamer from Lee for a called strike three. Zimmerman didn't like it and he let home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom know...
Anthony Rendon leapt but failed to reach a line drive to right off Ben Revere's bat that skipped off the grass in right field for a leadoff single in the Phillies' first. Revere was erased from the base paths in the next at bat, however, when Jimmy Rollins rolled one out to third to start a 5-4-3 DP. Chase Utley's fly to right ended a scoreless 16-pitch first for Nats' lefty Gio Gonzalez.
Jayson Werth took an 0-2 curve from Cliff Lee through the left side of the infield for a leadoff single in the top of the second, but Adam LaRoche flew out to Ben Revere in center and Anthony Rendon grounded into an inning-ending 6-3 DP to bring Lee's eight-pitch second inning to a close. Michael Young doubled to center on the eighth pitch of his one-out at bat against Gio Gonzalez in the Phillies' second. Delmon Young was not looking for the 95 mph 2-2 fastball Gonzalez threw inside for a called strike three and the second out of the inning though, and Darin Ruf grounded to short to end an 18-pitch second by the Nationals' starter. 34 overall for Gonzalez after two.
Wilson Ramos took the first pitch of the third through the left side for a leadoff single, but Gio Gonzalez bunted one down the third base line that Phillies' catcher Carlos Ruiz jumped on before firing a strike to second to cut down the Nats' lead runner. Ian Desmond ripped into an 0-1 cutter and lined to left for a two-out single that finally moved his pitcher to second, but Bryce Harper grounded into a force at third to end a 12-pitch inning for the Phillies' Cliff Lee. 30 pitches through three for the Philly lefty. 0-0 in Citizens Bank. Ruiz went the other way with a 3-1 fastball from Gio Gonzalez for a leadoff single in the bottom of the third. Ryan Zimmerman tried for a force at second on an equally weak bunt attempt by Cliff Lee, but second base ump Lance Barksdale said Ian Desmond came off the bag too early, drawing Davey Johnson out of the dugout for a discussion. Barksdale stood his ground. Gio Gonzalez shook it off and got a 6-3 DP with the 2-0 fastball he threw to Ben Revere. Jimmy Rollins' fly to right ended a 13-pitch third for Gonzalez. 47 total after three.
Cliff Lee got Ryan Zimmerman swinging with a 1-2 cutter for the first out of the fourth. Jayson Werth wasn't looking for Lee's 0-2 fastball inside, which was called strike three for out no.2 of the inning and Lee's third K and Adam LaRoche's groundout to second ended a 10-pitch fourth for the Phillies' starter. A wicked 1-2 curve from Gio Gonzalez got Chase Utley chasing. Anthony Rendon dove for a sharp grounder to second off Domonic Brown's bat and threw a strike to LaRoche at first for out no.2 of a 15-pitch fourth that ended when Michael Young grounded out to third. 62 pitches in 4.0 scoreless innings pitched.
Cliff Lee's 44th pitch of the night, an 0-2 fastball to Anthony Rendon, ended up sailing out to left field in Citizens Bank Park for a line drive leadoff home run that hit a fan in the head and gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Lee's 46th pitch went out to right for an opposite field blast off Wilson Ramos' bat as the Nats hit back-to-back blasts. HR no.4 of 2013 for the Nats' catcher gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead. And Lee was at 53 pitches total after a 13-pitch fifth. Given a two-run lead to work with, Gio Gonzalez walked the first two batters he faced in the Phillies' fifth, Delmon Young and Darin Ruf. Carlos Ruiz lined a 1-2 curve to third where Ryan Zimmerman made the catch for out no.1, but his attempt to double Young up at second was a second late. Cliff Lee got a two-strike bunt down to advance both runners/give up an out and Ben Revere K'd swinging to end a 26-pitch fifth inning that had Gio Gonzalez at 88 pitches total after five.
Ryan Zimmer-- THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! Ryan Zimmerman took an 0-2 fastball to center field for a solo home run in the first at bat of the sixth. The third solo home run of the game off Lee made it 3-0 Nationals. Jayson Werth jumped on the next pitch Lee threw and took a first-pitch cutter to left for a no-doubter and the second set of back-to-back blasts for the Nats off the Phillies' starter. 4-0 Nationals. 4 HRs off Lee, who'd allowed just nine in 131 2/3 IP before tonight. Lee's 12-pitch inning had him at 65 overall after six. Jimmy Rollins grounded out to short on a 2-0 fastball from Gio Gonzalez to start the bottom of the inning. Grounder. Desmond. Out. Chase Utley flew to the warning track in center for out no.2 and Dominic Brown went down swinging to end a 10-pitch sixth, after which Gio Gonzalez was at 98 pitches overall.
Cliff Lee's 11-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the seventh had the Phillies' lefty at 76 pitches after seven innings. Gio Gonzalez retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh, but fell behind Darin Ruf and gave up a solo home run to right on a 2-0 fastball to the Phillies' first baseman. 4-1 Nationals. Carlos Ruiz singled to left on a 95 mph 0-1 fastball and Kevin Frandsen bunted his way on, beating Ryan Zimmerman's throw to first after nice attempt by the Nats' third baseman. Ben Revere stepped in with two on and two out and flew out to left on Gonzalez's 117th pitch of the night. Still 4-1 Nationals after seven.
Phillies reliever Luis Garcia, in his MLB debut, put two runners on when Ryan Zimmerman K'd swinging and reached on a wild pitch and Jayson Werth walked with two down, but Adam LaRoche grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3. Tyler Clippard came out for the bottom of the eighth and popped Jimmy Rollins up with an 0-1 slider for out no.1. Chase Utley battled for six pitches before singling to to left with one down, but Domonic Brown popped up to short for out no.2 and Michael Young grounded to short to end an 11-pitch inning for the Nats' right-handed reliever. 4-1 Nationals after eight.
Anthony Rendon doubled off Phillies' right-hander Justin De Fratus to start the ninth, and Wilson Ramos reached on an error, forcing Charlie Manuel to go to his pen. Jake Diekman took over with two on and gave up a fly to right by Scott Hairston that allowed Rendon to take third. Diekman fielded Denard Span's swinging bunt in the next at bat, but threw it by first allowing Rendon to score. 5-1 Nats. The Phillies walked Ian Desmond to load the bases and get to a lefty vs lefty matchup with Bryce Harper, who battled for eight pitches before striking out on a full count slider. Ryan Zimmerman K'd swinging at a 2-2 fastball for out no3.
Rafael Soriano came out in the bottom of the ninth in a non-save situation. Delmon Young flew to center for out no.1. ONE! Darin Ruf flew to deep center field, where Denard Span made a leaping catch at the wall for out no.2. Carlos Ruiz flew to center for out no.3. Ballgame.
Nationals now 47-44