Pride of Auburndale Top 5:
5. Quick Recap: The Washington Nationals struggled to score runs in last night's 2-1 loss, but they got on the board early tonight with Denard Span lining a single up the middle, stealing his 21st base of the season and then scoring from second on an RBI single to right by Anthony Rendon that made it 1-0 over A.J. Burnett and the Philadelphia Phillies after one inning in the third game of four between the NL East rivals in the nation's capital.
The Nationals loaded the bases in the second with Bryce Harper walking, moving to second on an error and third on a wild pitch before scoring on a sac fly by Span that made it 2-0 over the Phillies and Burnett. Anthony Rendon stepped in next and squared a 3-1 sinker up, sending a three-run blast over the Kaiser Permanente© wall in front of the Red Porch seats to make it 5-0 Nationals. No.14 of 2014 for Rendon.
WATCH: Anthony. Rendon. BOOM: http://t.co/I2IlDC23vV— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 3, 2014
Ian Desmond walked with one down in the Nats' third, stole his 11th base of the 2014 campaign and scored from second when Bryce Harper singled to right. 6-0 Nationals.
Span, Rendon, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche connected for four straight hits off Phillippe Aumont in the fifth, bringing two more runs around and making it 8-0. 9-0 when Werth scored on an Ian Desmond sac fly. LaRoche came in on a triple by Asdrubal Cabrera and Cabrera scored on a single by Wilson Ramos. 11-0 Nationals.
That's how it ended, 11-0 final.
4. Zimmermann is Wisconsin-ese for "Stopper": Jordan Zimmermann came out of the "Break" and back from the scare when he suffered a bicep strain in his final start of the season's first half with a five-inning outing against the Rockies on the road in Coors Field in Colorado in which he gave up eight hits and four runs in a 7-4 Nationals' win.
Last time out, the 28-year-old right-hander held the Marlins to two runs on four hits in seven innings of work in a 7-6 loss on the road in Miami in which Nats' closer Rafael Soriano blew his fourth save of the season after inheriting a 6-3 lead.
Nationals' manager Matt Williams was happy with what he saw from Zimmermann on the mound in Marlins Park.
"He was really good tonight," Williams said. "He was down in the zone. Great slider tonight. So, he pitched really well. Much better than his last one. The last one was just rust. So tonight he proved that he's back on it."
Those two outings left the Nationals' '07 2nd Round pick (6-5) in 21 starts with a 3.17 ERA, 2.84 FIP, 21 walks (1.51 BB/9), 123 Ks (8.14 K/9) and a .267/.300/.390 line against in 125 IP.
Catchers in the house. pic.twitter.com/TukIIoE4Vv— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 2, 2014
After back-to-back road starts, Zimmermann was back on the mound in the nation's capital tonight, making his 12th start of the season in Nationals Park, where he was (3-2) with a 2.92 ERA, a 2.73 FIP, 13 walks (1.90 BB/9) and 48 Ks (7.01 K/9) in 61 ⅔ IP before facing the Phillies in the third game of this weekend's four-game set.
The start was Zimmermann's third against Philadelphia this season.
On June 3rd, the Nats' righty held the Phillies scoreless in seven innings of work in D.C. in a 7-0 win. Last time out, however, in Citizens Bank Park, he left the mound after just 3 ⅓ IP when the bicep injury first surfaced.
Those two starts left Zimmermann (5-6) in 12 career outings against the Nationals' NL East rivals, in which he's put up a 3.82 ERA with 17 walks (2.17 BB/9) and 47 Ks (5.99 K/9) in 70 ⅔ IP over which he held Phillies' hitters to a combined .285/.333/.430 line.
The 13th start Zimmermann's career against the Phillies began with another diving play at third by Anthony Rendon...
• 1st: Ben Revere grounded sharply toward short on a 95 mph 1-1 fastball, but Anthony Rendon made a diving play to cut if off and jumped up before throwing to first for out no.1. Jimmy Rollins lined a one-out single by a diving Asdrubal Cabrera. Phillies' second baseman Chase Utley stepped in with a runner on and hit an 0-2 fastball out to Bryce Harper in left for out no.2. Ryan Howard's groundout to first ended a quick, 13-pitch first.
WATCH: Anthony Rendon got this game started with a diving stop: http://t.co/IGnwrPKCmW— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 2, 2014
2nd: Marlon Byrd lined a leadoff single to center to start the second. Grady Sizemore popped out to center for the first out of the frame. Carlos Ruiz lined out to right. Cody Asche stepped in with a runner on and two out and K'd looking at a 94 mph 1-2 fastball outside. 14-pitch frame. 27 total after two.
3rd: Phillippe Aumont K'd swinging to start the third. Ben Revere singled on a line drive to left, but Jimmy Rollins K'd swinging over a filthy 1-2 bender for out no.2. Chase Utley stepped on with a runner on and two outs and lined out to Adam LaRoche at first to end a 16-pitch third that left Zimmermann at 43 pitches.
4th: Anthony Rendon showed off the glove on a hard-hit grounder to third by Ryan Howard. Marlon Byrd dropped a single into short left for a one-out hit. A line drive to right by Grady Sizemore put two runners on in front of Carlos Ruiz. The Phillies' catcher backed Bryce Harper up to the track in left where the Nats' outfielder caught out no.2. Cody Asche hit a broken-bat pop to short right where Jayson Werth caught out no.3. 11-pitch frame. 54 total.
5th: Reid Brignac sent a high fly to left where Bryce Harper caught out no.1. Ben Revere grounded back to the mound. Jimmy Rollins K'd swinging at a tight, 1-2 slider to end a 12-pitch frame. 66 total after five.
6th: Chase Utley K'd swinging over a nasty 1-2 curve. Ryan Howard K'd swinging through a high, 94 mph, 0-2 heater. Marlon Byrd K'd swinging at a 1-2 curve in the dirt that got away from Wilson Ramos, but not far enough. 14-pitch frame. 7 Ks total. 80 pitches overall.
• 7th: Grady Sizemore tested Adam LaRoche's backhand. LaRoche passed the test. Carlos Ruiz grounded out to Asdrubal Cabrera at short. Cesar Jimenez stayed in to hit and K'd swinging to end a 17-pitch frame that left Zimmermann at 97 pitches. 11-straight Phillies' hitters set down.
The line on Jordan Zimmermann: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K -- 97 pitches, 71 strikes. pic.twitter.com/qosUNyRg8O— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 3, 2014
• Jordan Zimmermann's Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 97 P, 71 S, 7/5 GO/FO.
3. Burnett Again: Phillies' right-hander A.J. Burnett, 37, held the Washington Nationals to three hits and one earned run in six innings of work on the mound in a May 3rd start in the nation's capital.
His second outing of the year against the Nats took place on June 4th in Citizens Bank Park, where he gave up 10 hits, four walks and eight earned runs in six innings.
In a July 11th start against Washington in Philadelphia, the veteran in his 16th major league season gave up five hits, four walks and two earned runs in 7 ⅔ IP of a 6-2 Phillies' win.
Burnett's three starts against the Nationals this season left him (10-4) in 20 games, 19 of them start against the franchise in his career, over which he's put up a 3.37 ERA with 41 walks (2.76 BB/9) and 126 Ks (8.48 K/9) in 133 ⅔ IP over which Nats' hitters have a combined .240/.305/.356 line against him.
The first-year Philly has struggled outside of Citizen's Bank Park this season, however, with a (3-6) record, a 5.26 ERA (as opposed to a 3.03 ERA in CBP), 4.01 FIP (vs 3.98 in PHI) and a .277/.351/.442/ line against on the road, (as opposed to a .221/.315/.341 line against in Philadelphia).
Burnett was coming off a rough month of July in which he was (1-3) with the Phillies 1-5 in his starts, over which he posted a 4.89 ERA, a 3.57 FIP and a .248/.335/.385 line against in 38 ⅔ IP.
In Nationals Park, where he made just two starts before tonight's, Burnett was (0-1) with a 6.23 ERA in 13 IP over which Nats' hitters put up a .328/.400/.483 line against him when he took the mound in the third game of four with Washington...
Denard Span singled to start tonight's game and stole his 21st base of the season with Anthony Rendon up. Rendon singled through the right side in the next at bat to bring Span around and make it 1-0 early.
Rendon stole his 11th base of the season one out later, but he was stranded at third at the end of an 18-pitch first by Burnett.
Bryce Harper walked to start the Nats' second, took second on an error by Chase Utley on an Asdrubal Cabrera grounder to second and moved to third on a wild pitch by Burnett with Wilson Ramos at the plate.
One out later, Jordan Zimmermann walked to load the bases for Denard Span.
Span worked the count full, pushing Burnett up to 45 pitches before he lined out to left to bring Harper in for a 2-0 lead. Anthony Rendon stepped in next and took a 3-1 sinker for a ride, ending the Nats' homer-less drought at 85 innings. No.14 of 2014. Three-run blast, 5-0 Nats.
Burnett got himself tossed when he argued with home plate umpire Chris Guccione...
• A.J. Burnett's Line: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 51 P, 25 S, 2/1 GO/FO.
2. Power Outage: The Washington Nationals haven't homered in 83 innings, that's 83 innings after going homer-less in last night's game. The only run they scored in the 2-1 loss to the Phillies came in on a well-struck single by Ian Desmond, but it was an error on an infield pop that set them up with the runner in scoring position.
The Nats did, however, connect for a few hard-hit liners that unfortunately for the Nationals were directed right at Phillies' defenders.
Nats' skipper Matt Williams was asked about the lack of power and home runs in particular after last night's game.
"I don't think it means anything," Williams said. "Over the last three or four games, we've hit some balls really hard right at people. And that's just the way the game goes sometimes. Can't change the approach just because it's not happening. Have to stay with it. Have to keep hitting it hard and take your chances. But if they're standing there, they've got gloves on so they can catch them. It's one of those nights."
The homer-less drought ended in the second inning tonight when Anthony Rendon hit a three-run blast out to left-center field to give the Nationals a 5-0 lead.
1. The Wrap-Up: Phillies' right-hander Phillippe Aumont took over on the mound after A.J. Burnett's ejection and recorded the final out of the second. Aumont walked Ian Desmond with one down in the bottom of the third, and Desmond stole the Nationals' third base of the night in the next at bat before scoring on an RBI single to right by Bryce Harper. 6-0 Nats. Asdrubal Cabrera yanked a single by first to send Harper around to third, but both runners were stranded when Jordan Zimmermann was robbed of an extra base hit by a sprinting Marlon Byrd, who made an impressive catch at the track in front of the out-of-town scoreboard in right.
Denard Span beat out a high chopper to second for a leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth. Anthony Rendon doubled off the out-of-town scoreboard, sending Span around to third. Jayson Werth singled through short to bring Span in and make it 7-0. Adam LaRoche's RBI double to the right-center gap brought Rendon in from third, 8-0. Double no.14 of 2014 for LaRoche. Two outs later, Asdruble Cabrera tripled when Ben Revere came up empty on a diving attempt to catch a liner to left-center. 10-0 Nats when LaRoche scored. 11-0 when Cabrera scored.
That was it for Aumont.
Cesar Jimenez came back out for the fifth after finishing up the bottom of the fourth and completed a scoreless inning of work and the first 1-2-3 inning of the night for Phillies' pitchers.
The Nationals loaded the bases with two down in the sixth, but Denard Span lined out to left to leave'em loaded.
Mario Hollands took over on the mound for the Phillies in the seventh and retired the side in order.
Jerry Blevins took the mound for the Nats in the eighth, and threw a quick, eight-pitch, 1-2-3 frame.
Antonio Bastardo worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth.
Blake Treinen came on to end it and gave up a leadoff double and a two-out single, but nothing else. Ballgame.
Nationals now 59-49