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Washington Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann Learns Lesson About Hanging Pitches In Philadelphia, Phillies Win, 5-2.

Tonight's Top 5: 

5. The New 1-2: Last night it was a leadoff single and a sac bunt from the Nats' new one and two, Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond, with Espinosa singling to center, taking second on Desi's bunt and scoring on an RBI hit by Ryan Zimmerman. Tonight Desi swings away after Espinosa's leadoff single and the Nats' shortstop triples into the right field corner out of Jayson Werth's reach. Espinosa scores easily, 1-0 Nats just like last night. Philly righty Kyle Kendrick gets back-to-back K's from Adam Dunn and Roger Bernadina, but walks Michael Morse to bring Wilson Ramos up. Groundout to second, Kendrick limits the damage. Desi stranded on third. RISP FAIL!! In spite of giving up two singles in the Phillies' first, Nats' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann avoids the same fate that befell Jason Marquis in the bottom of the first last night, Zimmermann's out of the first with the 1-0 Nats' lead. 

4. NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!! HANGING SLIDERS!!!: A 1-1 slider to Jayson Werth ends up 10 rows back in the left field stands. 1-1 game on the Philly outfielder's 23 HR of 2010. Back-to-back singles by Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz follow and the third-straight hit off Zimmermann is an RBI double to left by Wilson Valdez that puts Philly ahead, 2-1. Zimmermann strikes out the opposing pitcher and the leadoff man, and gets a groundout to second to limit the damage, but he gives up the lead...

3. NO HANGING CURVES EITHER!!:  After a leadoff walk to Chase Utley, Jordan Zimmermann hangs a 1-1 curve and Ryan Howard pushes it out to left off the outside of the plate for his 30th HR of 2010. 4-1 Phillies. Raul Ibanez pushes a 3-1 fastball to left and GONE!! Ridiculous. 6-1 Philly. (ed. note - "That gives Ryan Howard his fifth-straight year with 30 HR's/100 RBI's, which is apparently a record. From MLB.com's Twitter: @MLB: "Ryan Howard sets @Phillies record with 5th consecutive 30-homer, 100-RBI season. Chuck Klein had 4."

2. Zimmermann Having Issues?: Outside of the 6.0 scoreless innings Jordan Zimmermann pitched against the Florida Marlins back on August 31st, in which he struck out 9 batters, the 24-year-old right-hander has struggled since returning to the Washington Nationals' rotation following over a year off for Tommy John surgery and a long rehab stint. Zimmermann's been out after just 3.0 IP in each of his last two starts, having thrown 80 pitches at home against the Marlins on September 12th, allowing 5 hits and 5 R, 4 earned, and tonight he throws 76 pitches (a few hanging breaking balls that were hammered) in 3.0 short innings in which he allows 9 hits, 1 walk, 5 R, all earned and leaves with the Phillies up 5-1.

1. Last Chance?: After a flyout to center from Ryan Zimmerman starts the top of the eighth, Philly righty Ryan Madson gives up back-to-back one-out walks to Adam Dunn and Roger Bernadina. Michael Morse reaches safely on a broken bat infield single that Wilson Valdez knocks down but can do nothing with. Bases loaded. Wilson Ramos gets the first shot, but lines to left where Raul Ibanez makes a nice play coming in and holds Dunn at third. Two down. Willie Harris starts off 2-0, fouls off a fastball and K's swinging through two-straight changeups from Madson. RISP FAIL!! Nats come up empty and the Phillies' 5-2 lead holds up through seven and a half...through eight and nine...ballgame. 5-2 Phillies win...

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• Final Score: Phillies 5, Nats 2.  

• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: "Game 148: Cheep HRs + LOB = 14 more to 100."

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via www.fangraphs.com

  • Good start, but...: Ian Desmond (%) triples in the first to put the Nats up 1-0 (-13.8%). He was still there three outs later...
  • Shaky: Jordan Zimmermann (-31.3%) can't keep it the tiny confines of the Philly little league park, giving up 5 ER in only 3 IP, despite 3 Ks and one 1 BB.
  • NOOOOOOOOO! Wilson Ramos (-15.9%) flies out to shallow RF with the bases loaded and one out, damping an 8th-inning rally (-9.2%).  Willie Harris (-4.4%) strikes out next to extinguish it entirely (-8.7%).
  • Not clutch: Despite J-Zim's weak start, the team could have had a chance--had they done better than 1-8 with RISP, leaving 9 on base and combining for -25.9% WPA in the batter's box.

Nats now 62-86.