All The Way-Way, From Phil-Phil-Lay-Lay Top 5:
5. Quick Recap: Washington Nationals' leadoff man Denard Span worked a seven-pitch walk out of Cole Hamels in the first at bat of tonight's game in Citizens Bank Park. Anthony Rendon was first-pitch swinging in the next AB and he lined double no.23 of 2014 to left and off the outfield wall on a bounce to put runners on second and third with no one out. Jayson Werth's groundout to short advanced both runners, driving Span for an early 1-0 lead.
Anthony Rendon walked to start the Nats' sixth and came home the easy way when Jayson Werth hit a line drive opposite field blast over the out-of-town scoreboard in right to give the visiting Nationals a 3-0 lead. HR no.11 for Werth, RBIs 2 and 3 tonight.
Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley hit back-to-back singles to start the home-half of the sixth and one out later pulled a double steal with Marlon Byrd at the plate so they both scored when Byrd singled through short off Nationals' starter Stephen Strasburg to make it a 3-2 game in Philadelphia after six...
Phillies (@Phillies) July 13, 2014
With the score still 3-2 after seven and a half, Nationals' right-hander Tyler Clippard gave up a two-out single by Cody Asche and a two-out walk to Cameron Rupp to set Ben Revere up with an RBI opportunity he cashed in, sending a grounder back up the middle to drive in the tying run, 3-3 after eight.
The game went to extra innings, and Ryan Zimmerman broke up an 0 for 11 w/ RISP game with a two-out line drive to center that drove Denard Span in from center two outs after he walked to start the inning against Phillies' lefty Jake Diekman. A wild pitch allowed Jayson Werth to score and the Nationals took a 5-3 lead.
That's how it ended.
Taking in some Nats-Phils tonight. Should be a good matchup between Strasburg and Hamels. pic.twitter.com/n7LHvhxzwp— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) July 12, 2014
4. /fix'd?: After a rough stretch of starts at the end of June in which Stephen Strasburg was (0-2) with a 7.27 ERA in three turns in the rotation, giving up 24 hits, four walks and 14 ER in 17 ⅓ IP vs the Cardinals, Braves and Brewers in which he struck out 15 batters while opposing hitters put up a .324/.359/.595 line against him, the 25-year-old right-hander and his pitching coach, Steve McCatty, set about fixing a mechanical issue the '09 no.1 overall pick believed was leading to his issues.
In two starts since then, Strasburg has given up nine hits, a walk and three earned runs in 14 ⅓ IP (1.84 ERA) in a 7-1 win over the Rockies in which he earned his seventh curly-W of the season and an 8-2 extra innings loss to the Orioles in which he received no decision. Rockies and O's hitters put up a combined .173/.189/.308 line against him in those starts, which left the Nats' starter with a 3.47 ERA, a 2.79 FIP, 24 walks (1.81 BB/9) and 140 Ks (10.56 K/9) in 19 starts and 119 ⅓ IP so far in 2014.
Both of those starts took place in the nation's capital, where Strasburg has an ERA (2.38 in 72 IP) which is far better than it is on the road (5.13 in 47 ⅓). The same goes for his FIP (2.07 in D.C., 3.88 outside Washington).
Opposing hitters have a .238/.278/.336 line against Strasburg in Nationals Park, but that jumps up to .282/.332/.473 when he leaves the comfort of his home park.
Strasburg took the mound in Citizens Bank Park tonight to face the Philadelphia Phillies for the ninth time in his five major league campaigns.
In the previous eight outings, Strasburg went (3-1) with a 2.32 ERA, six walks (1.07 BB/9) and 58 Ks (10.37 K/9) in 50 ⅓ IP over which Phillies' hitters have a .204/.234/.326 line against him.
In CBP, he was winless in three starts before tonight, with a 0.55 ERA in 16 ⅓ IP in which he's held Philly hitters to a .175/.217/.246 line.
His second outing of the season in Philadelphia began with a line drive double to left.
1st: Grady Sizemore doubled to left on a 1-1 change in the first at bat. Jimmy Rollins moved Sizemore up with a weak grounder to first. Chase Utley failed to bring the run in, striking out on a diving 1-2 bender for out no.2. Ryan Howard stepped in for two-out RBI opportunity but K'd looking at an over-the-top 2-2 curve. 15-pitch first.
2nd: Marlon Byrd dropped a broken-bat single into short left for a leadoff single in the Phillies' second, but he was doubled up on a strike'em out, throw'em out double play when Cody Asche K'd swinging at a full count change in the next at bat with the runner going. Cameron Rupp stepped in with two out and lined a single to center field for Philadelphia's third hit and Ben Revere lined a 3-1 fastball to center for the fourth. Cole Hamels got to a full count, but K'd swinging at a 96 mph heater. 25-pitch 2nd, 40 total for Strasburg after two.
3rd: Grady Sizemore doubled the first time up, and walked in his second at bat when Strasburg missed with a full-count curve. Jimmy Rollins grounded out to first, moving Sizemore up. Strasburg jammed Chase Utley and got a spinning grounder out toward short for out no.2. Ryan Howard stepped in with the tying run 90ft from home and sent a weak grounder back to the mound to end a 16-pitch third that left Strasburg at 56 pitches.
4th: Marlon Byrd K'd swinging at a diving 0-2 change. K no.5. Cody Asche got the over-the-top, 2-2 bender. Strike three. K no. 6. Cameron Rupp fell behind 0-2 and K'd swinging on a change in the dirt. 11-pitch, 1-2-3 4th. 7 Ks, 67 pitches total after four.
5th: Anthony Rendon dove for a low liner off Ben Revere's bat. Cole Hamels K'd swinging at a 96 mph 2-2 heater. Grady Sizemore stepped in with two out and sent a fly to left that Scott Hairston handled. 12-pitch frame, 79 total.
6th: Adam LaRoche dove for a grounder off Jimmy Rollins' bat but came up empty. Leadoff single. Chase Utley lined to right to put two on with no one out. Ryan Howard stepped in as the tying run and popped to left on a 96 mph fastball. With Marlon Byrd up, the Phillies pulled off a double steal, with Utley beating a throw to second to the bag. Byrd took a 2-2 curve through the left side and drove in two runs in and make it a 3-2 game. Cody Asche K'd swinging at an off-the-table 1-2 bender. K no.9. Cameron Rupp got to a full count and walked...
That was it for Strasburg...
• Stephen Strasburg's Line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 Ks, 111 P, 68 S, 4/2 GO/FO.
3. Hamels vs Nationals: In his last start before tonight's against the Nationals in Citizens Bank, 30-year-old Phillies' lefty Cole Hamels threw 6 ⅔ innings against Milwaukee in Miller Park, earning his third win of the year (3-5) by holding the Brewers to seven hits and two runs, one earned in what ended up a 3-2 win for Philadelphia and their '02 1st Round pick.
That outing left the veteran of nine major league seasons with a 2.87 ERA, a 3.15 FIP, 35 walks (3.14 BB/9) and 101 Ks (9.06 K/9) in 15 games and 101 ⅓ IP so far in 2014 over which he's held opposing hitters to a .240/.308/.363 line.
At home in Philadelphia tonight, Hamels was taking on the Washington Nationals for the first time this season.
In 28 starts against the Phillies' NL East rivals before he took the mound this evening, Hamels was (15-6) with a 2.58 ERA, 47 walks (2.29 BB/9) and 190 Ks (9.26 K/9) in 184 ⅔ IP in which he held Nats' hitters to a .222/.277/.341 line.
At home this year, however, he was just (1-2) with a 3.86 ERA, in seven starts and 46 ⅔ IP, holding visiting teams to a .237/.304/.395 line.
It didn't start well for Hamels tonight as Denard Span drew a seven-pitch walk and Anthony Rendon lined to left for double no.23 of 2014, putting runners on second and third in front of Jayson Werth, whose groundout to short advance both runners for an early 1-0 lead. The Nationals stranded Rendon at third two outs later, however, and Hamels finished a 23-pitch opening frame.
Ian Desmond doubled on a sharp grounder by third in the first at bat of the Nats' second, but he was stranded at third three outs later. 14-pitch frame, 37 total for Hamels after two.
Jayson Werth K'd looking to end an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 third as Hamels settled in, 48 pitches total.
Ryan Zimmerman took a one-out, four-pitch walk in the top of the fourth, but he was forced out at second base on a grounder to Chase Utley off Ian Desmond's bat. Desmond stole second with Scott Hairston up, but a one-hop liner to second ended a 17-pitch frame. 65 total for Hamels after four.
An eight-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left Hamels at 73 pitches.
Anthony Rendon walked to start the sixth and Jayson Werth brought him in with a two-run opposite field home run that cleared the out-of-town scoreboard in right and made it 3-0 Nationals. Hamels retired the next three Nats in order in a 24-pitch frame that left him at 97 overall.
In the month of July, Jayson Werth is now batting .361 with six doubles, five homers and 15 RBI. The month is 12 days (10 games) old.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 13, 2014
Scott Hairston singled to start the seventh, took second a fly to deep right, but was tagged out on a grounder to the mound off Kevin Frandsen's bat. Hamels retired the side in a 20-pitch frame to keep it close. 117 pitches.
• Cole Hamels Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 117 P, 70 S, 12/3 GO/FO.
2. Williams goes Hairston over Harper: Bryce Harper is 8 for 25 with a double, two walks and four Ks in 28 career plate appearances against Phillies' starter Cole Hamels in his first first three major league seasons. Harper's been slumping, however, so Nats' skipper Matt Williams went with Scott Hairston tonight, in left field and batting seventh, in the second game of three in Citizens Bank Park. Hairston started the game 15 for 38 vs Hamels in their respective careers, (.395/.439/.921), with five doubles, five home runs, two walks and 10 Ks against the Phillies' southpaw.
Scott Hairston is in lineup over Harper because he is 15-38 with 5 HRs vs Hamels. That's a .395 average— Dave Jageler (@DaveJageler) July 12, 2014
So how did the decision work out?
Hairston's first at bat came in the second after Ian Desmond doubled to left to start the frame. He rolled over a 1-1 cutter for an unproductive groundout to third. 0 for 1, 15 for 39 vs Hamels.
At bat no.2 for Scott Hairston came in the fourth, with Ian Desmond on first and two out. Desmond stole second, but Hairston hit a one-hop liner to second for the final out of the frame. 0 for 2, 15 for 40.
Hairston singled to center to start the seventh, taking a 2-2 change back up the middle. 1 for 3, 16 for 41.
1. The Wrap-Up: Jerry Blevins inherited a two-on, two-out jam in the sixth and got a fly to left to end the inning.
Drew Storen took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh and gave up a leadoff single by Domonic Brown. Pinch runner Tony Gwynn, Jr. took over at first. Gwynn tagged and took second on a fly to left by Grady Sizemore. Jimmy Rollins sent out no.2 out to Jayson Werth in right. Chase Utley stepped up with the tying run 90ft from home and popped out to short left to end the bottom of the seventh.
Justin De Fratus took over for the Phillies in the top of the eighth and completed a scoreless frame.
Tyler Clippard struck Ryan Howard out with a 92 mph 1-2 fastball. Marlon Byrd sent a high fly to center for out no.2 Cody Asche single to left with two down. Cameron Rupp walked to put two on. Ben Revere stepped up with an RBI opportunity and singled to center to tie the game. 3-3 after eight.
Ian Desmond bunted his way on in the first at bat of the ninth. Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper faced off with a runner on first. A groundout to first moved Desmond to second. Wilson Ramos K'd swinging at a diving 2-2 splitter outside. Pinch hitter Nate McLouth sent a fly to deep center, but Ben Revere tracked it down.
Ross Detwiler threw a scoreless 12-pitch ninth to send it to extras.
Denard Span worked an eight-pitch walk out of Phillies' lefty Jake Diekman in the top of the tenth. One out later, Jayson Werth sent a chopper to second, but Chase Utley's toss to the bag pulled Rollins off second. Adam LaRoche stepped in with two on worked the count full and striking out. Ryan Zimmerman fell behind 0-2, but lined to center for an RBI single and a 4-3 lead. A wild pitch/passed ball with Desmond up allowed Jayson Werth to score. 5-3.
Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Strike'em out, Soriano! Rafael Soriano came out looking for save no.22 of 2014. Ryan Howard K'd swinging at a full-count fastball. ONE! Marlon Byrd K'd swinging. TWO!! Cody Asche
Work's done. Untuck that jersey, son!
Nationals now 49-42