The start of the second game of the Washington Nationals' three-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park was delayed by rain for over an hour tonight. At 8:15 pm EDT, an hour and ten minutes after the scheduled start time, Cliff Lee took the mound against the Phillies' NL East rivals for the ninth time in his 12-year major league career. Rain was still falling as Denard Span stepped in against the left-handed starter and grounded weakly to first on Lee's third pitch of the night. Anthony Rendon's first career AB against Lee ended with a swinging strike three, but Ryan Zimmerman extended the opening frame of the game with a two-out single that gave the crowd a chance to lustily boo one-time Phillies' outfielder Jayson Werth before he grounded into a force at second to end a 14-pitch inning by Philadelphia's veteran hurler. 0-0 after a half.
Ben Revere flew out to his fellow former Twin Denard Span for the first out of the Phillies' first. Nats' lefty Ross Detwiler deftly side-stepped a line drive back to the mound off Michael Young's bat and made a snap-catch for the second out of a quick 10-pitch bottom of the first which ended when Jimmy Rollins grounded out to Ryan Zimmerman at third. 0-0 after one in CBP.
A steady rain continued to fall on the already rain-soaked field, players and raincoat-clad crowd as Lee set Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond and Kurt Suzuki down in order in a 10-pitch top of the second. Detwiler one-upped the veteran lefty with a six-pitch bottom of the inning in which he set down the fourth, fifth and sixth straight batters to start the game.
Cliff Lee sent Steve Lombardozzi and Detwiler back to the third base dugout quickly in the top of the third and he was at 36 pitches overall after Denard Span grounded out weakly to second to end a 12-pitch inning after which Lee had set seven Nationals in a row down following Ryan Zimmerman's two-out, first inning single.
Steve Lombardozzi charged a fly to left from Kevin Frandsen and made a running catch coming in for the first out of Philadelphia's third. Jayson Werth made a sliding attempt to catch a line drive to right by Carlos Ruiz, but came up empty. Cliff Lee hurt his own cause when he K'd after failing to bunt in the next at bat and Ben Revere's groundout to second ended the third after 16 pitches with Detwiler at 32 overall.
Anthony Rendon took a 2-2 fastball for a called strike three, becoming the eighth-straight Nationals set down by Cliff Lee. Ryan Zimmerman K'd swinging for the second out of the frame, but Jayson Werth jumped all over a high first-pitch cutter from Lee and sent it soaring out to left faster than a Philadelphian can inhale a cheesesteak for a solo home run and a 1-0 Nats' lead. Adam LaRoche singled for the second consecutive two-out hit, but Ian Desmond grounded into a force at second base to end the Nationals' fourth. 16-pitch inning for Lee. 52 total.
Michael Young doubled to center on a 2-0 sinker out over the plate to start the Phillies' fourth. Jimmy Rollins bunted Young over to second/gave up an out and a sac fly to right-center by Ryan Howard tied it up at 1-1 before a diving catch by Adam LaRoche on line drive to first by Domonic Brown ended the fourth inning in Philadelphia.
Kurt Suzuki and Steve Lombardozzi saw one pitch each as they made the first two outs of the Nationals' fifth. Ross Detwiler managed to last through a five-pitch at bat before he K'd looking to end a seven-pitch inning that had Lee at 59 overall after five.
Ross Detwiler hit Delmon Young square on the numbers with his 44th pitch to put the leadoff runner on in the bottom of the fifth. Kevin Frandsen sent a swinging bunt out toward third where Ryan Zimmerman did the charge and throw thing he's famous for to get out no.1 at first. Ross Detwiler got a called strike three with backdoor slider on a 2-2 pitch to Carlos Ruiz, but Cliff Lee singled to center with two down and they waved Delmon Young around. Denard Span came up throwing and threw a strike to Kurt Suzuki who tagged Young on his lead foot as the Phillies' outfielder slid into home. "You're out!" 1-1 after five. 12-pitch inning for Detwiler. 54 total.
Anthony Rendon lined a 1-0 fastball over second into center for a one-out single in the top of the sixth, but a 2-2 cutter down and away got Ryan Zimmerman swinging for out no.2 and Jayson Werth grounded into a force to end a 15-pitch sixth inning by the Phillies' left-hander. 74 overall.
The Nats' left-handed starter gave up a bunt single by Ben Revere on the first pitch of the home team's sixth and Revere was running when Michael Young doubled for the second time tonight, lining to right and just over a leaping Adam LaRoche. 2-1 Phillies. Jimmy Rollins sent Young over to third with the third consecutive hit and Detwiler hit Ryan Howard with his 66th pitch to load the bases with no out out. Domonic Brown worked the count full and K'd swinging through a 95 mph heater to end an eight-pitch at bat. Delmon Young chased a 1-2 slider into the dirt for out no.2. Detwiler fell behind 2-0 to Kevin Frandsen and gave up a two-out, two-run line drive to left that bounced in the grass a foot in front of a charging Steve Lombardozzi. 4-1 Phillies after six. 85 pitches over for Detwiler after a 31-pitch inning in Citizens Bank Park.
Adam LaRoche lined weakly to second. Ian Desmond took a full-count fastball for a called strike three. Kurt Suzuki lined out to left on Lee's 95th pitch. 21-pitch scoreless seventh for the Phillies' lefty. Craig Stammen took over for Ross Detwiler in the bottom of the inning and struck Cliff Lee and Ben Revere out to start the frame, but Michael Young doubled to left on a first-pitch slider for his third two-base hit of the night and his 12 two-base knock of the season. Young was stranded there when Jimmy Rollins popped out to end a 12-pitch inning by Stammen. 4-1 Phillies after seven.
Steve Lombardozzi became Cliff Lee's ninth strikeout victim of the night when he took an 0-2 fastball for a called strike three to start the eighth. Pinch hitter Jeff Kobernus got hold of a 2-1 cutter though, and hit his first major league home run to left field and into the stands in Citizens Bank to get the Nationals within two. Lee retired the next two batters to end a 15-pitch inning at 110 overall. Ryan Howard tripled by first into the right field corner on a 2-0 change from Drew Storen in the first at bat of the Phillies' eighth, but three outs later he was still standing at third when Detwiler set Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and Kevin Frandsen down in order.
Jonathan Papelbon came out for the ninth. Ryan Zimmerman popped out to second. Jayson Werth flew out to Domonic Brown on the track in left field. Adam LaRoche... singled to right to keep hope alive. Ian Desmond grounded out to short on the first pitch he saw. Ballgame. Save no. 14 for Papelbon.
Nationals now 34-36