Results tagged ‘ Philadelphia Phillies ’

What to Watch for: 8.10.13

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Philadelphia Phillies (52-63) vs. Washington Nationals (55-60)

LHP Cliff Lee (10-5, 3.13) vs. RHP Taylor Jordan (1-3, 3.76)

The Nationals look to pick up where they left off last night, after tagging former teammate John Lannan for easily his worst loss of the season in a 9-2 final. Washington will face the tall task of toppling another lefty in 10-game winner Cliff Lee. However, the Nationals homered four times against Lee in Philadelphia on July 10, incuding two pairs of back-to-back shots.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Denard Span CF

2. Ryan Zimmerman 3B

3. Bryce Harper LF

4. Jayson Werth RF

5. Ian Desmond SS

6. Adam LaRoche 1B

7. Wilson Ramos C

8. Anthony Rendon 2B

9. Taylor Jordan RHP

HITTING DOWN THE LINE

All eight Nationals position players recorded at least one hit in Friday night’s victory and Washington got a hit from every spot in the lineup, thanks to Scott Hairston’s pinch-double in the bottom of the eighth inning. Half of the 12 Washington knocks went four extra bases (four 2B, two HR).

SUMMER’S SCORCHER

Jayson Werth was named NL Player of the Month for the month of July and owns the top batting average in Major League Baseball since the beginning of July:

1. Jayson Werth .388

2. Adrian Beltre (TEX) .381

3. Mike Trout (LAA) .380

HEAVY SPLIT

Friday night’s game marked the first in this year’s season series in which either team scored more than six runs. However, each Washington victory has been by at least three scores (closest game: 5-2 on 5/24), while Philadelphia has not won by more than two runs in any of their triumphs (four two-run games, two one-run games). As a result, despite going just 5-6 so far, the Nationals have outscored the Phillies 45-32 (outhomering them 12-5) through the first 11 contests between the clubs.

The 13th to 30

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There were several remarkable aspects to Dan Haren’s solid start on Friday night against Philadelphia. It marked the fifth time in six starts since his return from the disabled list that he allowed two or fewer runs in an outing. He struck out five or more (seven, to be exact) without a walk for the fifth time this year. But perhaps more impressively, it was the first time in the 11-year veteran’s career, during which he spent parts of six seasons in the National League, that he had ever beaten the Phillies.

When Ian Krol rung up Darin Ruf looking to end the game, Haren could officially claim a piece of baseball lore. He became just the 13th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to beat all 30 franchises in his career.

While that feat has been made more accessible by the advent of Interleague Play and the higher frequency of today’s players changing teams, specialized pitching roles and pitch limits have made it harder and harder to earn wins as a starter. And regardless of other mitigating factors, the list is a rather illustrious one:

Kevin Brown (211 wins, six-time All-Star)

A.J. Burnett (142 wins)

Randy Johnson (303 wins, 10-time All-Star, five-time Cy Young)

Al Leiter (162 wins, two-time All-Star)

Derek Lowe (176 wins, two-time All-Star)

Jamie Moyer (269 wins, All-Star)

Terry Mulholland (124 wins, All-Star)

Vicente Padilla (108 wins, All-Star)

Curt Schilling (216 wins, six-time All-Star)

Javier Vazquez (165 wins, All-Star)

Woody Williams (132 wins, All-Star)

Barry Zito (164 wins, three-time All-Star, Cy Young)

That group includes one sure-fire Hall of Famer, a couple borderline candidates, and 11 All-Stars, six of whom were selected for the Midsummer Classic multiple times. Haren, of course, is a three-time All-Star himself, and earned his 126th career victory with Friday night’s triumph.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Haren of the feat, of which he had become aware back in July, the last time he faced the Phillies. “I think it’s something to be proud of, it shows longevity. I face them a couple more times this year, hopefully I’ll get the same result.”

Haren’s performances have been consistent with his heralded career since his return to action on July 8. His 2.43 ERA (10 ER/37.0 IP) is easily the best in the Washington starting rotation over that stretch, during which he has struck out 39 batters while walking just eight, good for a 4.88 K/BB rate.

His overall ERA of 4.99 is the lowest it has been since May 14, and just the second time he has ended a start under the 5.00 mark this season.

“I’ve had a little bit of luck and I’ve pitched a little better,” he explained of the difference in results, also noting that his split-fingered pitch has been particularly sharp, aiding his elevated strikeout numbers. “Put those together and good things happen.”

Highlights: 8.9.13

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8.9.13 – Nationals 9, Phillies 2

Stat of the Game: Dan Haren became just the 13th pitcher in Major League history to notch a win against all 30 MLB clubs, beating the Phillies for the first time.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Every Nationals position player recorded at least one hit in the victory.

It Was Over When: The Nationals scored four times in the fifth inning to break open a close game.

What to Watch for: 8.9.13

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Philadelphia Phillies (52-62) vs. Washington Nationals (54-60)

LHP John Lannan (3-4, 4.10) vs. RHP Dan Haren (6-11, 5.14)

The Nationals host the Phillies for the second of three series in the Nation’s Capital, where Washington took two-of-three in the first meeting of the teams back in late May. Second-place Washington sits 2.0 games ahead of fourth-place Philadelphia, with the Mets squarely between the two. Dan Haren looks to continue his strong run since returning from the disabled list, during which he has compiled a 2-2 record and a 2.40 ERA (8 ER/30.0 IP) and 32 strikeouts against just eight walks.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Denard Span CF

2. Ryan Zimmerman 3B

3. Bryce Harper LF

4. Jayson Werth RF

5. Ian Desmond SS

6. Adam LaRoche 1B

7. Wilson Ramos C

8. Anthony Rendon 2B

9. Dan Haren RHP

GRAND-IOSE OCCASION ON THE HORIZON

With 996 in the bag, Jayson Werth is just four hits shy of 1000 for this career. Werth looks to join teammates Ryan Zimmerman (1211) and Adam LaRoche (1202) in the 1000-hit club.

OFF AND ON

The Nationals are 7-3 this season in games after off-days, not including the four-day All-Star break. Included in that list is Washington’s 5-2 home victory over the Phillies to open the two clubs’ prior meeting in D.C. this year.

LUCKY NUMBER 13

Dan Haren has beaten every Major League team in his career except one – the Philadelphia Phillies. If he can earn the victory tonight, he will become just the 13th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to beat all 30 teams, joining Kevin Brown, A.J. Burnett, Randy Johnson, Al Leiter, Derek Lowe, Jamie Moyer, Terry Mulholland, Vicente Padilla, Curt Schilling, Javier Vazquez, Woody Williams and Barry Zito. In seven career starts, the righty is 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA, the second-highest mark against any single club (Chicago Cubs, 5.58).

Highlights: 7.11.13

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7.11.13 – Phillies 3, Nationals 1

Stat of the Game: Jayson Werth continued to stay hot since returning from the disabled list, collecting two hits to extend his streak to eight games.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Bryce Harper scored Washington’s lone run (and, arguably, a second one) thanks to a sixth-inning triple followed by Ryan Zimmerman‘s sacrifice fly.

It Was Over When: The Phillies added a run in the bottom of the eighth to provide the final margin.

What to Watch for: 7.11.13

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Washington Nationals (47-44) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (45-47)

RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-3, 2.57) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (7-6, 3.90)

The Nationals hope to follow up on their victory Wednesday night as they aim for a four-game road split in Phildelphia. Washington bashed at least four home runs for the ninth time this season in its 5-1 victory Sunday; five of those games have come with Gio Gonzalez, last night’s winner, on the hill.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Desmond SS

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. Werth RF

6. LaRoche 1B

7. Rendon 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP

LUCKY NUMBER 13

Jordan Zimmermann takes his second crack at his 13th win of the season, which would be a National League high and would set a new career mark for the right-hander, before even hitting the All-Star break. Zimmermann is 4-1 with a 1.67 ERA in six starts against NL East foes this year and the Nationals have won five of his six intradivisional starts.

RISP-Y BUSINESS

The Nationals are 0-for-16 with RISP during their current series at Citizens Bank Park after going 12-for-35 (.343) during their just-completed 3-game home sweep of the Padres.

IT STARTED WITH A SLAM

Ian Desmond’s grand slam in the 11th inning capped the scoring in Washington’s 6-2 victory here at CBP on June 19. Desmond’s June 19 slam seems to have sparked the fortunes of Nationals, who are a 13-8 (.619) and sport a +23 run differential (104-81) since.

Back-to-Back, Back-to-Back

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After a pair of comeback attempts had come up just shy the previous two nights, the Nationals faced the tall order of trying to beat Cliff Lee Wednesday night in Philadelphia. That challenge appeared particularly daunting as Lee, named to the All-Star Game last week, entered the contest riding an eight-game winning streak, including a 4-2 decision just a few weeks prior over Washington at Citizens Bank Park.

After four scoreless innings to open the game, Lee sat at 135.2 innings pitched for the year, having allowed just nine home runs all season. He quickly got ahead of Anthony Rendon 0-2 to start the fifth. And then, out of nowhere, a quick flip of the rookie’s wrists sent the next pitch into the first row in the left field bleachers. Two pitches later, Wilson Ramos rode an outside fastball to the opposite field and out for a solo shot of his own. Just like that, 2-0 Nationals.

But Washington wasn’t done there. The very next inning, nearly the exact same scenario played out once more. Ryan Zimmerman fell behind 0-2 leading off the inning. Then he turned around an elevated fastball and crushed it to deep left-center to make it 3-0. Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz tossed Lee a new baseball, which Jayson Werth promptly deposited into the left field seats on the first pitch of his at-bat. Back-to-back home runs in back-to back-innings.

Of course, you may remember that Lee’s only other game allowing multiple home runs this season was that start against the Nationals, when both Werth and Jeff Kobernus took him deep for the only Washington scoring of the game. But for those of you whose only knowledge of Lee has come from that other Nationals game, you may have a skewed view of just how stingy he normally is when it comes to the longball. By the end of the night, Lee had the following astounding split:

123.2 innings pitched vs. rest of the league – seven home runs

15.0 innings pitched vs. the Nationals – six home runs

That means the Philadelphia southpaw holds the rest of baseball to just 0.5 home runs per nine innings pitched. Meanwhile, the Nationals are averaging 3.6 big flies per nine frames against him.

With four games left on the final road swing before the All-Star break, it was a good sign that the Nationals have brought their newfound high-scoring offense on the road with them.

Highlights: 7.10.13

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7.10.13 – Nationals 5, Phillies 1

Stat of the Game: The Nationals hit back-to-back home runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, the fifth and sixth times they’ve gone back-to-back this season.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Gio Gonzalez won for the fourth time in as many starts to improve to 7-3 and lower his ERA to 3.03.

It Was Over When: After Philadelphia scored in the seventh, Washington added a fifth run in the top of the ninth to provide the final margin.

What to Watch for: 7.10.13

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Washington Nationals (46-44) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (45-46)

LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-3, 3.14) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (10-2, 2.73)

The Nationals look to get back on track behind Gio Gonzalez in a battle of lefties, as they take on Cliff Lee in Philly. Gonzalez is riding a personal three-game winning streak, and his 2.20 ERA since May 11 is the fifth-best in the National League over that stretch.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Desmond SS

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. Werth RF

6. LaRoche 1B

7. Rendon 2B

8. Ramos C

9. Gonzalez LHP

ALL-STARS GALORE

Bryce Harper, Jordan Zimmermann, Davey Johnson and Head Athletic Trainer Lee Kuntz will represent Washington and the National League in the 84th MLB All-Star Game, which will take place on Tuesday, July 16 at Citi Field in New York City. Harper will be both the youngest player in history to start an All-Star Game for the NL and the first player to represent the Nationals in multiple All-Star games (also 2012). Zimmermann currently leads the NL with 12 wins and is 14-0 in his last 22 starts at home dating to May 2012. Ian Desmond has a chance to join them as a Final Vote candidate. You can vote for #DesiIn13 at nationals.com/vote through 4:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.

CATT’S MEOW

Stephen Strasburg (sixth, 2.45), Jordan Zimmermann (seventh, 2.57) and Gio Gonzalez (18th, 3.14) all rank among the NL’s top 20 in ERA this season. Among teams with at least three qualified starters, the Strasburg-Zimmermann-Gonzalez triumvirate is baseball’s best as they’ve combined on a 2.72 ERA (104 ER/344.0 IP) this year.

DATE IN D.C. BASEBALL HISTORY

2008 – Left fielder Wily Mo Pena records 11 putouts to establish a Nationals single game record for outfielders in an 11-inning 7-5 setback vs. Arizona.

Highlights: 7.9.13

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7.9.13 – Phillies 4, Nationals 2

Stat of the Game: Scott Hairston had a pair of hits, batting leadoff in his Nationals debut.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Jayson Werth launched his ninth home run of the season in the second inning off Cole Hamels.

It Was Over When: Washington scored once and got the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but could not complete the comeback.

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