Nationals 3-2 Over Phillies: Small Ball Victory In Citizens Bank Park.

Drew Hallowell

A strong start by Jordan Zimmermann. A determined Roy Halladay. Some great defensive plays unlike any we've seen all season. Tonight's game in Citizens Bank Park had it all and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the series finale to take 2 of 3 in CBP.

In two starts before tonight, after returning from a DL stint that started in early May, Philadelphia Phillies' starter Roy Halladay had a 5.73 ERA over 11 IP in which opposing hitters from the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs had a .268/.354/.512 line against the veteran right-hander. Halladay, 36, missed a significant portion of his 16th major league season after having surgery to clean out the area around his labrum and rotator cuff and remove an inflamed bursa sac in his right shoulder.

Halladay, who entered tonight's game with a (12-2) record in 18 games and 17 career starts against the Washington Nationals franchise in which he had a 2.55 ERA, 105 Ks (7.64 K/9) and just 17 walks (1.24 BB/9) in 123 2/3 IP, walked three batters in the top of the first tonight, loading the bases with two free passes after a leadoff single by Denard Span (17G hit streak; 28 for 66) and giving up a run on an Adam LaRoche sac fly to left before walking Ian Desmond to load them up again. Wilson Ramos grounded into an inning ending 5-4-3 to end the Nats' first though, so it was only 1-0 D.C. after a half an inning in CBP.

Jordan Zimmermann, who walked just 35 (1.77 BB/9) in 178 1/3 IP in 2013 before tonight, walked the first batter he faced in the bottom of the first, putting Cesar Hernandez on to start the frame. One out later, Chase Utley singled to center, but the Nationals' right-hander got Phillies' catcher Carlos Ruiz swinging with a 1-2 curve and got outfielder Darin Ruf to ground into a force at second to end a 25-pitch frame with the Nats' 1-0 lead in tact.

Corey Brown took the fourth walk of the night from Roy Halladay in the first at bat of the second, but a fly to center and a popped up bunt got the Phillies' starter two quick outs without Brown advancing past first. Brown stole second with Denard Span up, but after a HBP on Span put two runners on, Ryan Zimmerman K'd looking at a 2-2 curve to end a scoreless 19-pitch second by the Phillies' starter.

Jordan Zimmermann threw his glove out at a low liner toward the mound by Cody Asche, but just managed to deflect it and turn it into a hit. John Mayberry lined a single to left in the next at bat to put two on with no one out. Roy Halladay bunted both runners over/gave up an out after Roger Bernadina K'd swinging and Cesar Hernadez sliced an opposite double by third to bring both runners in and make it 2-1 Philadelphia after two innings in Citizens Bank Park. Zimmermann's 24-pitch second had him up to 49 total after two.

Roy Halladay's nine-pitch third had him up to 57 pitches overall after three innings in Citizens Bank.

Jordan Zimmermann got Darin Ruf swinging with a filthy 1-2 slider to end a nine-pitch third inning of his own, which had the Nationals' 27-year-old starter up to 58 pitches, down 2-1 to the Phillies after three.

Roy Halladay retired the first two batters in the fourth before hitting his second batter tonight when he threw a fastball into Steve Lombardozzi's thigh. Jordan Zimmermann's fly to right stranded Lombardozzi at first, however, and brought a 12-pitch fourth inning for Halladay to an end. 69 overall. Jordan Zimmermann's 70th pitch was a 1-2 fastball inside to Roger Bernadina that popped the former National up to end the Phillies' fourth after 12 pitches.

Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth went down swinging at splitters after Denard Span flew out to right and Roy Halladay had retired 10 of 11 Nationals after the two-out HBP on Denard Span in the second. Halladay's 11-pitch fifth left him at 80 overall. The Phillies' starter K'd swinging to to start the home-half of the fifth, but Cesar Hernandez singled to center in the next at bat for his second and Philadelphia's fifth hit off Jordan Zimmermann. Hernandez was caught stealing on a botched hit and run in the next at bat though, and Jimmy Rollins' fly to center ended a seven pitch inning that had Zimmermann up to 77 after five. Still 2-1 Phillies.

Adam LaRoche's grounder to first made it 11 of 12 set down by Roy Halladay after 5 1/3. Ian Desmond K'd swinging over a 2-2 change. 12 of 13. Wilson Ramos hit a two-out single to center in the Nats' sixth, however, disrupting Halladay's flow, and Corey Brown doubled to right on an 0-1 curve to put runners on second and third with two out. Steve Lombardozzi got the intentionals to bring Jordan Zimmermann up, and the Nationals' starter grounded back to the mound to leave'em loaded in at the end of the Nats' sixth. Chase Utley singled to start the Phillies' half of the inning, but Zimmermann got a 5-4-3 DP out of Carlos Ruiz for the first two outs of the frame and a 2-2 fastball to Darin Ruf caught the outside corner to end a 14-pitch inning with Zimmermann at 91 overall.

Zach Miner took over in the Nationals' seventh and retired the first batter he faced, but Ryan Zimmerma-- THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Solo home run to left-center for the Nationals' third baseman. 2-2 game after six and a half in Citizens Bank Park. No.17 of 2013 for Ryan Zimmerman.

Cody Asche was 2 for 3 tonight after he singled to start the Phillies' seventh. Jordan Zimmermann hit John Mayberry with a 2-1 fastball to put two runners on with no one out. Roger Bernadina got a sac bunt down to move both runners into scoring position with one down and Zimmermann up to 100 pitches. Kevin Frandsen grounded sharply to third in the next at bat, and Ryan Zimmerman backhanded it before throwing home for out no.2 and the other Zimmermann got over to cover first on the Cesar Hernandez grounder to second that followed and the Nats' pitcher made a running scoop of a low throw from a spinning Steve Lombardozzi to end the Phillies' seventh inning with the score still 2-2 in CBP.

• Wilson Ramos walked to start the eighth and was replaced on the basepaths by Jeff Kobernus. Scott Hairston bunted Kobernus over/gave up an out. Phillies' lefty Jake Diekman let Kobernus steal third with Steve Lombardozzi up on the right side of the plate. Lombardozzi worked the count full and grounded back up the middle. Chase Utley threw home, but had no chance of getting Kobernus. 3-2 Nationals after seven and a half.

• Jordan Zimmermann's Line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 105 P, 78 S, 9/2 GO/FO.

Ian Krol took the mound in the bottom of the eighth and got Jimmy Rollins looking with a 1-2 change for the first out of the inning. Chase Utley went back up the middle with a one-out single that got by Krol and a diving Ian Desmond. Craig Stammenn came on and surrendered a single to center by Carlos Ruiz that put runners on the corner with one down. Darin Ruf K'd swinging at a 2-2 slider in the next at bat, but it got away from Jhonatan Solano and Utley tried to score only to get tagged by the backup catcher and punched out by the home plate umpire for a "Now I've seen anything" inning-ending double play. I don't have a clue how to score that...

"Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano!" Rafael Soriano came on looking for save no. 38 of 2013 after the Nationals failed to score in the top of the ninth. Cody Asche flew out to the warning track in right where Jayson Werth made a running catch. ONE! John Mayberry fell behind 0-2 and grounded out to second on a 1-2 slider. TWO!! Roger Bernadina? Backwards K. Ballgame. Nationals win, 3-2 final.

Work's done. Untuck that jersey, son!

Nationals now 70-68

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