• Rubber Match Top 5:
5. CBS: The Washington Nationals were once again showered in jeers as they took the field in front of the Citizens Bank South crowd in Nationals Park. Once again the visiting fans exploded in a chorus of boos when former Philly right fielder Jayson Werth's image appeared on the big board in right during the introductions and once again the stands were filled with Phillies' red name and number t's and Philly jerseys. The Phillies get a one-out single by Shane Victorino off Chien-Ming Wang in the first, but Wang should be out of trouble when Ryan Howard grounds to Danny Espinosa in the shift out in short right. Espinosa bobbles it, however, and extends the inning until a Hunter Pence grounder to the mound ends the top of the first. Ian Desmond doubles to right to start the bottom of the frame and Rick Ankiel reaches on a swinging bunt that dies on the infield grass leaving Doc Halladay with no choice but to hold it. Ryan Zimmerman follows with a sac fly to right and the Nats are up 1-0 early when Desmond tags and scores. Ankiel goes first-to-third™ on a Michael Morse single to right, but Jayson Werth K's looking at a low full-count cutter. Two down. Danny Espinosa...singles to left! 2-0 Nats after one...
4. 4/17-8/21: Danny Espinosa collects his first RBI since July 17th in the bottom of the first but falls trying to field a grounder from Raul Ibanez allowing the Phillies' leadoff runner on in the second. Two pitches later it's a tie game when Carlos Ruiz crushes a 1-0 sinker from Wang and drops it into the left field bullpen for a two-run blast and a 2-2 game. After an 18-pitch second, Wang's back on the mound in the third after the Nats go down in order in a quick 12-pitch frame by Halladay. Shane Victorino K's chasing a 1-2 slider, but a full-count sinker to Chase Utley on the eighth pitch he sees ends up in the first row of seats above the out-of-town scoreboard in right. 3-2 Phillies. Wang strikes out Ryan Howard and gets a grounder to short to end the third. 58 pitches after three innings pitched.
3. Wang Tales: Chien-Ming Wang drops a slow 78 mph 0-2 slider on Raul Ibanez for a swinging K to start the fourth. A grounder to third, a grounder to second, and the Nats' right-hander has a quick 7-pitch 1-2-3 fourth and 65 pitches total after four innings against the Phillies. Roy Halladay gives up a two-out single to Jesus Flores in the Nats' fourth, but that's all and Wang issues a one-out walk in fifth but nothing else in a 13-pitch frame that has him up to 78 pitches after five as dark clouds roll in over Nats Park. Rick Ankiel and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back singles off Halladay in the fifth, but Michael Morse pops up and Jayson Werth K's looking to end the fifth as it gets ugly outside and goes into a delay at 3:18 pm EDT with two down in the top of the sixth...
2. 1 Hour and 11 Minutes later...Tom Gorzelanny takes over on the mound for the Nationals and gets a weak grounder to short from Raul Ibanez for the final out of the Phillies' sixth. Danny Espinosa steps up in the Nats' half of the sixth and launches a solo shot to right-center and out, just to the left of the GEICO sign. 3-3 game. Espinosa's 18th, and his first HR since July 17th too. Phillies' right-hander Michael Schwimer, an '08 14th Round pick out of Fairfax, VA, gives up a HR on his second major league pitch.
1. Tied At 3-3: Todd Coffey throws a scoreless seventh for the Nats' and Michael Schwimer strikes out the side on 16 pitches in the Nationals' half. Tyler Clippard takes over in the eighth and gives up a one-out single to Shane Victorino. Chase Utley pops to second, Ryan Howard flies to right, 3-3 in the 8th. Danny Espinosa reaches on a two-out single to right off Schwimer in the Nats' eighth, but the Philly rookie gets a fly to right from Jonny Gomes and Drew Storen's out to pitch the top of the ninth. A one-out walk to Raul Ibanez is followed by a single to right by Carlos Ruiz and former Nats' prospect Michael Martinez, a Rule 5 pick by the Phillies, singles to center to make it 4-3 Philadelphia. Antonio Bastardo comes on for the Phillies in the ninth. Jesus Flores K's swinging. Brian Bixler can't hold up. Check swing strike three. Ian Desmond? Hero? YES!! YES!!! YES!!! DESI GOES YARD!! Down 0-2 and looking lost, Desmond takes one and then JACKS ONE!! HR to left, just over the wall, and it's going to take extra innings to decide this.
• QUOTES: Asked what he thought about the Phillies fans standing when Ian Desmond and the Nats were down to their last strike, Davey Johnson said, "You know they're going to have to sit down. It kind of reminds me of '86 when all the Red Sox and everybody was on the front step. They started creeping back. It's a great feeling. We want to get our fans out here, but I love playing in front of a packed house and I know my guys like the same feeling, even if it's for the other team."
0. "Here I Go Again On My Own": Sean Burnett retires the Phillies in order in the top of the tenth, and the Phillies bring Brad Lidge out to face Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Jayson Werth. Zimmerman doubles to left to start the tenth, headfirst slide into second! Michael Morse gets the intentionals in front of Werth...and the former Phillies outfielder singles to left to load the bases!! Danny Espinosa K's swinging in an ugly AB. Jonny Gomes...gets hit! Nats win? NATS WIN!!!! 5-4 final. Washington takes two of three from Philadelphia.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: "Game 125: HA-hah. Thanks for the money, filly fans.":
- Après lui, la déluge: Chien-Ming Wang (-4.3%) gets through 5.2IP before the downpour, giving up 3 ER with 4 Ks and 1 BB.
- Lets hope this is the regression: Danny Espinosa (+16.5%) is 3-5 with a game-tying solo shot in the first Nats AB after the rain delay (+19.0%) and a two-RBI single for the early lead in the first (+8.6%).
Shutdowns: Todd Coffey (+8.5%), Tyler Clippard (+10.3%), and Sean Burnett (+13.2%) combine to keep it tied with three scoreless innings in relief.... minor hiccup in the middle.
- Meltdown: Drew Storen (-30.9%) gets 2 Ks, but his walk comes around to score, blowing the tie in the 9th.
- Bobblehead-worthy: Ian Desmond (+46.8%) hits a two-out, two-strike solo shot to tie it in the 9th (+48.9%).
- Mr. Walkoff can start a rally, too: Ryan Zimmerman (+17.0%) hits a leadoff double in the 10th (+17.4%)
- I! Am! Iron man! Jonny Gomes is 0-4 (+3.8%) with the walkoff HBP (+16.9%).