So tonight wasn't the night that the Washington Nationals, who entered the second game of four in Citizens Bank Park with a .215/.280/.336 line vs left-handed pitchers, good for 15th, 15th and 15th overall in the National League, turned things around against a left-handed starter. Philadelphia Phillies' lefty Cole Hamels held the Nats to one run on six hits in 8.0 innings of work on the mound with Jayson Werth's solo home run in the top of the second providing the only run the Nationals would score on Hamels. They tacked one on in the ninth to make things interesting against Philly lefty Antonio Bastardo, but ultimately fell short.
The Nationals had their chances against Hamels, however, who improved to (14-6) in his career against the Phillies' NL East divison rivals from D.C. The best one came in the top of the eighth when Washington loaded the bases with one out after Scott Hairston and Ian Desmond singled and Bryce Harper walked in a patient at bat against Hamels. Ryan Zimmerman K'd swinging in the next at bat, however, and Jayson Werth flew to deep center in Citizens Bank for the final out of the night recorded by Hamels.
Scott Hairston was 2 for 5 in his first start with the Nationals after they acquired him from the Cubs Sunday night/Monday morning, improving to 14 for 35 in his career against Hamels, but the spark he did provided wasn't enough for the Nats to avoid losing the second straight on the road in Philadelphia.
Taylor Jordan did put a strong start together, though. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed eight hits and four runs, three earned in 5 2/3 innings of work in which he induced eight ground ball outs, three leading to double plays, but he was saddled with the loss as the Nationals dropped to 46-44 after 90 games.
After the game, Dave Nichols from the District Sports Page, FBB's Doghouse and I talked about the game, the Nats vs LHPs, Scott Hairston's debut and umpire Vic Carpazza's floating strike zone. Give a listen below...
Nats Nightly = District Sports Page + Federal Baseball + FBB's Doghouse tonight: