Citizens Bank Smallpark Top 5:
5. Quick Recap: Jayson Werth made his way to the right field line on a two on, two-out fly ball off Marlon Byrd's bat that was tailing foul, but in close quarters with the wall in Citizens Bank Park approaching, Werth missed the catch, letting it bounce off the heel of his glove as he crossed the chalk. Werth was charged with an error and two pitches later, Byrd gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead with a three-run blast that cleared the out-of-town scoreboard in right field in CBP.
Cliff Lee set the first six Nationals he faced down in order, but Tyler Moore started the third with a line drive home run to left that was out of the park quickly as the 27-year-old slugger improved to 5 for 10 career with three doubles and two home runs off the Phillies' 35-year-old veteran lefty. 3-1 game.
Tyler Moore was 2 for 2 tonight after a leadoff single in the fifth and he took second on an error by Chase Utley and third on a sac bunt by Stephen Strasburg before scoring on an RBI groundout by Denard Span that made it 3-2 Phillies after four and a half.
Stephen Strasburg gave up just three unearned runs in six innings of work. Cliff Lee threw 106 pitches in seven innings in which he allowed four hits and two runs, one earned.
With the score tied at 3-3 after seven, Nats' center fielder Denard Span doubled to right to start the eighth, stole third base and scored on an RBI single by Anthony Rendon, who took a 1-2 slider from Phillies' reliever Mike Adams to center for the game-tying hit. 3-3 in CBP. After a single by Jayson Werth, the Phillies brought lefty Jake Diekman on to face Adam LaRoche, who connected for the fourth straight hit, an RBI single to center that brought Rendon in to make it 4-3. Marlon Byrd dove for a line drive to right by Ian Desmond in the next at bat, and came up empty.
Werth scored on the play and the Nationals took a 5-3 lead.
Tyler Clippard put two runners on before retiring three straight Phillies.
Rafael Soriano came on in the ninth looking for save no. 6 and his 23rd consecutive scoreless inning and he got them both. Ballgame.
5-3 Nationals final.
4. Strasburg in CBP: Stephen Strasburg was (2-0) in three starts against the Philadelphia Phillies last season with a 0.39 ERA, three walks (1.17 BB/9) and 29 Ks (11.35 K/9) in 23 IP against the Nationals' NL East rivals over which he held opposing hitters to a .149/.192/.149 line. The big year against the Phillies left the Nats' '09 no.1 overall pick with a (2-1) career mark in six starts against Philadelphia in which he posted a 2.65 ERA with five walks (1.21 BB/9) and 42 Ks (10.13 K/9) in 37 1/3 IP in which Philly hitters put up a .186/.222/.302 line.
Strasburg struck out 11 batters in his previous start against the San Diego Padres, giving him 14 career outings in which he collected 10 Ks or more. As the Nationals noted in their pregame report, the right-hander improved to (3-0) when he racks up 10+ Ks this season and (11-3) in his career when he reaches double digits in strikeouts.
On the road in Citizens Bank before tonight, the San Diego, California-born starter has been dominant thus far in his major league career with a 0.87 ERA in 10 1/3 IP over which he walked two (1.74 BB/9) and struck out 16 (13.94 K/9) while holding Phillies' hitters to a paltry .118/.167/.147 line.
Strasburg started tonight's game with a streak of eight scoreless innings on the mound... it ended quickly...
1st: Phillies' leadoff man Ben Revere sent an 0-1 fastball out to Danny Espinosa at second. Jimmy Rollins flew to right on a first-pitch fastball. Chase Utley took a 97 mph 2-2 fastball the other way for a soft liner to left that fell in front of Tyler Moore for a two-out single and took third when Ryan Howard hit a 1-0 fastball to right for the second straight two-out hit. Jayson Werth missed a catch on what should have been out no.3, dropping a fly to right as he crossed the line into foul territory, and Marlon Byrd made the Nationals pay for the error with a three-run line drive to right field two pitches later that cleared the out-of-town scoreboard. 3-0 Phillies after one. 20-pitch inning.
2nd: Carlos Ruiz flew out to right on a 95 mph 0-1 fastball. Cody Asche flew to left on a 94 mph 0-1 heater. Cliff Lee's groundout to short ended a five-pitch second inning. 25 pitches total after two.
3rd: Ben Revere sent Tyler Moore back to the track with a fly to left on a 95 mph 1-1 heater. Jimmy Rollins drew a one-out walk from Strasburg and took second on a wild pitch to Chase Utley. Strasburg got the Phillies' second baseman swinging with a cruel/magic changeup for out no.2 and got a groundout to first from Ryan Howard to end a 15-pitch inning that left him at 40 pitches overall after three.
4th: Marlon Byrd tested Ian Desmond's backhand on a sharp grounder to short. Desmond skipped a throw to first after making the play, and Adam LaRoche scooped it up. One down. Domonic Brown K'd swinging at a 1-2 change for out no.2. Carlos Ruiz singled to right with two down, lining a 96 mph 2-2 fastball to Jayson Werth. Ruiz took third when Cody Asche got a chopper through the right side in the next at bat, but Cliff Lee grounded into a force at second to end a 16-pitch fourth by Strasburg, who was up to 56 pitches after four.
5th: Ben Revere lined out to left on a 94 mph 1-2 heater. Jimmy Rollins K'd swinging at a 1-2 curve. Chase Utley popped to second for out no.3 to end a quick, 13-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth by Stephen Strasburg, who was up to 69 pitches overall after five.
6th: Ryan Howard went down swinging at a 12-to-6, 1-2 curve. Out no.1, K no.5. Marlon Byrd worked the count full and took a hanging curve to left for a one-out single. Domonic Brown stepped in with a runner on, but grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3. 14-pitch inning, 83 overall after six.
Stephen Strasburg's line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 83 P, 57 S, 6/3 GO/FO.
3. Frandsen Farmer Will Have His Revenge On Philadelphia: Nats' outfielder Kevin Frandsen told the Philadelphia press corps this afternoon that though he enjoyed his time with the Phillies, he was not happy when he was demoted this spring after two seasons in the City of Brotherly Love:
Frandsen held court with Philly writers. Made clear he was grateful for time here. But when he got demoted, "I was pissed."— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) May 2, 2014
Frandsen signed a 1-year/$900,000 deal with the Phillies in December, avoiding arbitration, but he was optioned to Triple-A at the end of Spring Training and opted to become a free agent instead, before quickly agreeing on a 1-year/$900K deal with the Nationals. Frandsen would have to wait for a pinch hit appearance or a start later in the series, however, to get his revenge.
Nats' skipper Matt Williams started Tyler Moore in left tonight, where Frandsen has been playing, citing Moore's numbers against Phillies' starter Cliff Lee as his reason for giving the 27-year-old slugger the nod.
In nine plate appearances against the Phillies' 35-year-old lefty before tonight, Moore was 4 for 9 (.444/.444/1.111) with three doubles and a home run off the veteran southpaw.
Tonight in Citizens Bank Park, the Nationals' '08 16th Round pick out of Mississippi State University took Lee deep in his first at bat, sending a low 2-2 cutter screaming out to left for a solo home run in the top of the third that made it a 3-1 game in the Phillies' favor.
Moore was 2 for 2 vs Lee tonight and 6 for 11 career after he singled to start the top of the fifth and he scored to get the Nationals within one on an RBI groundout by Denard Span.
A swinging K in the seventh left the Nats' left fielder 2 for 3 tonight and 6 for 12 career vs Lee.
+10 pts for Matt Williams on the lineup decision.
2. Werth in Philly: Jayson Werth heard the boos when he stepped to the plate for the first time tonight in Citizens Bank Park, where he entered first game of three against the Phillies with a .291/.380/.519 line, 49 doubles and 55 HRs in 298 games and 1,148 plate appearances. Werth flew out to center on a 90 mph 2-2 fastball from Cliff Lee in his first at bat and was charged with an error in the outfield in Philadelphia's when he dropped a fly ball to right from Marlon Byrd with two down in the first. Two pitches later, Byrd hit a three-run home run to right to put the Nationals behind 3-0 early. The E:9 was Werth's second error of 2014.
Werth took the second walk of the game and just the sixth walk of the season from Lee in his second at bat, but he was stranded at the end of a scoreless top of the fourth by the Phillies' left-hander.
Lee threw Werth an 0-2 change in the Nats' outfielder's third at bat of the night and Werth improved to 11 for 30 career vs Lee with a single to center, but he was doubled up on a grounder to first by Adam LaRoche in the next at bat.
Werth connected for his second hit of the night as the Nats rallied in the eighth and singled with two down in the top of the ninth to finish the night 3 for 4.
• Fister Ready:
Doug Fister on Wed. season debut: "I do feel like I’m ready. Physically, I’m to the point where I can go out there & throw to 100 pitches."— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) May 3, 2014
1. The Wrap-Up: Kevin Frandsen made a pitch hit appearance in the top of the seventh, taking Stephen Strasburg's spot with the tying run on second in the form of Danny Espinosa, who'd singled and stole second base. Frandsen flew out to right, however, stranding the potential tying run. Aaron Barrett and Jerry Blevins combined to keep it close with a scoreless bottom of the seventh inning. Still 3-2 Phillies.
Denard Span doubled to start the Nationals' eighth, taking an 0-2 curve from Mike Adams into the right field corner. Span stole third with Anthony Rendon at the plate and scored to tie it up at 3-3 on a line drive single to center by the Nats' third baseman. Jayson Werth singled to center off Adams to put two on with no one out. The Phillies went to the pen for Jake Diekman, who gave up the fourth straight hit, an RBI single to center by Adam LaRoche that made it a 4-3 game in the Nationals' favor. Ian Desmond doubled to right to bring Werth in, 5-3.
Tyler Clippard issued a leadoff walk to Jimmy Rollins in the first at bat of the Phillies' eighth. Chase Utley singled to right in the next at bat to put two on with no one out, but Clippard popped Ryan Howard out with a 2-0 change for the first out of the inning. Marlon Byrd fell behind 0-2 quickly and K'd swinging through a high cutter. Two down. Domonic Brown stepped in with two down and fell behind 0-2 before he too K'd swinging at a 92 mph 0-2 fastball. Still 5-3 Nationals.
"Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Rafael Soriano took the mound in the ninth in CBP and walked Carlos Ruiz in the first at bat. Cody Asche grounded into what looked like a double play. Desmond threw it away, but second base ump Sean Barber ruled it was a DP, calling interference on Ruiz for not sliding. Soriano popped Freddie Galvis up in the next at bat, and the Nats won it.
Work's done! Untuck that jersey, son!!
Nationals now 17-12