Found September 02, 2013 on
Stephen Strasburg was having trouble holding onto the ball, and the Nationals' playoff chances slipped further out of reach.
Strasburg pitched six solid innings, but had to leave partly because of perspiration on a humid evening and the Philadelphia Phillies pushed across two runs in the eighth to beat Washington 3-2 on Monday.
Strasburg fanned 10 while giving up an unearned run and two hits. He threw 100 pitches, 64 for strikes.
''I was sweating a lot out there,'' he said. ''It affected me not being able to pitch more innings. Strange circumstances but I have to be able to deal with it. It was tough gripping the ball like I usually do.''
Ryan Zimmerman homered for Washington, which had won nine of 12. The Nationals fell 7 1/2 games back of Cincinnati for the second NL wild card.
''We had opportunities . but we couldn't get it done,'' manager Davey Johnson said.
Jimmy Rollins hit a tying RBI double and scored on Carlos Ruiz's single during Philadelphia's rally in the eighth.
Cesar Hernandez started the winning rally with a two-out walk against Tyler Clippard (6-3). He came around to score on Rollins' double.
''I was really hoping (Hernandez got on base) so I could get up there and have a chance to do something,'' Rollins said. ''We put some at-bats together and it worked out.''
After Chase Utley was walked intentionally, Ruiz drove in Rollins with a single to left.
B.J. Rosenberg (1-0) recorded the final out of the eighth for the win and Jonathan Papelbon finished for his 24th save in 30 chances.
''That was really a tough one; it really hurt,'' Johnson said. ''It was like a stab in the heart.''
The Nationals put runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, but Wilson Ramos was called out on strikes and Anthony Rendon struck out swinging to end the game.
The Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the eighth on Scott Hairston's bases-loaded sacrifice fly that scored Anthony Rendon. Hernandez, a converted infielder who was playing his first career game in center, fielded the ball in shallow center field but his throw went weakly up the third-base line.
''Any loss is tough,'' Strasburg said. ''There's no point in giving up now. We just have to keep working hard, play our best and see where we're at, at the end of the year.''
Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels and Strasburg each pitched well before turning a tie game over to the bullpens.
''It was quite a pitchers' battle,'' Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Hamels struck out eight in seven sharp innings, limiting the Nationals to one run and two hits. He threw 87 pitches, 69 for strikes.
Hamels has a 1.90 ERA in his last seven starts but has just two wins during that span. The left-hander's record stands at 6-13, thanks partly to the fourth-lowest run support (3.44) among all major league starters entering Monday's action.
The performance was somewhat surprising considering Hamels struggled to find his rhythm in his pregame bullpen session.
''Sometimes later in the year it's hard to get loose,'' he said.
But facing Strasburg helped, he said.
''Anytime you get to compete against the best, you try to up your game,'' Hamels said. ''You try to throw zeroes just like he's doing. I definitely would take pitching against him more often than not because you feel like you really do have to strive for perfection.''
Zimmerman connected on an 0-2 pitch in the first for his 16th homer. Washington got just two baserunners off Hamels from that point, with Ramos reaching on an error in the fifth and Bryce Harper singling in the sixth.
Strasburg was equally stingy. His only blemish was Ruiz's broken-bat RBI single in the fourth that scored Rollins, who had walked. It was an unearned run because Rollins reached second when Ramos' throw trying to pick him off at first hit Utley's bat and went to the backstop.
Strasburg's record, like Hamels', isn't indicative of how well he has pitched. Strasburg has a 2.41 ERA in his last six starts but has just one win during the stretch.
The teams combined to use seven relievers after the starters left.
NOTES: Johnson said Harper has a sore hip. ''He keeps saying, `I'm fine, I'm fine.' He's a tough kid. That's the way he is.'' Harper missed 31 games with a left knee injury earlier this season. . Hairston entered with a .412 average (14 for 34) and five homers against Hamels, but went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts against the lanky lefty. ... The three-game series continues Tuesday night when Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-6, 3.56 ERA) opposes RHP Ethan Martin (2-3, 6.39 ERA). INF Freddy Galvis and RHP Tyler Cloyd were among the six players the Phillies called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Philadelphia also recalled relievers Luis Garcia, Mauricio Robles and Joe Savery, and purchased the contract of C Cameron Rupp from Lehigh Valley.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond engaged in a fairly amusing Twitter exchange on Monday on the bus ride from DC to Philly before the start of the Nats-Phillies series. It all started when Harper complained about the ride:
This bus is killing the game right now! Bored,Hungry, and tired! Not a good 3 to mix together! At least I got pandora! #GoFaster
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407...
The best result for the Philadelphia Phillies from spring training was the winner of the outfield competition: Domonic Brown. Looking ahead to 2014, the red pinstripes will count on his production.
From camp he was one of six athletes, promoted or acquired. How many of the other five players are in tomorrow’s picture?
TAL’S HANDY CAPS
This article represents...
Quick to the point, to the point, no fakin'...the Phillies bullpen is horrible. True story. As the calendar flipped to September, rosters around Major League Baseball ballooned with expansion open to any player on the 40-man roster. One of the Phils call-ups was Mauricio Robles, a 24 year old lefty with control problems. In 38 innings with the Iron Pigs he walked more...
Boo hoo. Phillippe Aumont was left off of the Phillies' September call-ups after a tumultuous year in which he did everything to keep himself out of the Phillies' good graces. After Aumont closed out the 2013 AAA season with a thud on Monday, he now heads home for a long...
Anybody watching Bryce Harper during Monday night’s 3-2 loss to the Phillies could tell the Nationals outfielder was less than 100 percent healthy. Harper took awkward swings he labored to get down the first-base line and he gingerly took his position in the field between innings.
In the middle of the third inning shortly after Harper limped down the line on a groundout to second...
Jayson Werth's two-out RBI double in the eighth inning capped a late rally and the Washington Nationals avoided a series sweep with a 6-5 win over the New York Mets on Sunday night.
The Nationals trailed 5-2 entering the seventh, but scored once in that inning on Wilson Ramos' run-scoring single and added three in the eighth.
The victory moved Washington within 6 1/2 games...
Still clinging to postseason hopes, the Washington Nationals will take every win they can get.
Wilson Ramos hit a three-run homer and Corey Brown also went deep to back Gio Gonzalez, helping the Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-6 Tuesday night.
The Nationals remained 7 1/2 games behind Cincinnati for the second wild-card spot after overcoming a sloppy all-around effort...
B.J. Rosenberg stood on the mound surrounded by Nationals, bases loaded with the team from Washington up 2-1. On three straight sliders, Rosenberg struck out Ryan Zimmerman and the Phillies went to the eight down 2-1. With two outs, center fielder Cesar Hernandez walked and Jimmy Rollins smacked the eighth pitch he saw for an RBI double off of Tyler Clippard. After an intentional...
Ethan Martin's future could be in the bullpen if he keeps pitching like this as a starter.
Martin failed to reach five innings for the third consecutive start and the Philadelphia Phillies lost 9-6 to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.
Wilson Ramos hit a three-run homer off Martin and Corey Brown also went deep for the Nationals to back Gio Gonzalez.
Martin (2-4) allowed...
Carlos Ruiz hit a tiebreaking RBI single in Philadelphia's two-run eighth inning, helping the Phillies edge the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Monday night.
Cesar Hernandez started the winning rally with a two-out walk against Tyler Clippard (6-3). He came around to score on Jimmy Rollins' double. After Chase Utley was walked intentionally, Ruiz drove in Rollins with a single...
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown wasn’t in the
team’s starting lineup for yesterday’s weekend finale against the Chicago Cubs
as he continues to deal with a sore Achilles. As a precaution, manager Ryne Sandberg told reporters – including Manny Randhawa of MLB.com – that the Phillies
are having Brown undergo an MRI on his ailing Achilles to ensure he hasn’t...
Philadelphia Phillies (62-73) at Washinton Nationals (69-67)
Cole Hamels (6-13, 3.58 ERA) vs RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 2.96 ERA)
TIME: 7:05 ET, Citizens Bank Park
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Weather: 80, Clear
Media: Twitter and Facebook
The red-hot Washington Nationals, winners of nine of 12, including a come-from-behind win against the Mets last night, square off against the Fightin’...
Only took 5 years. Probably the amount of time Chase’s people actually needed to make sure Mac wouldn’t li…
[[ Read More ]]
The Mets (62-73) lost to the Nationals (69-67) by a score of 6-5 Sunday night at Nationals Park.
Jon Niese took the hill against Ross Ohlendorf as the Mets sought to sweep Washington on the road. Jon was handed a 2-0 lead before throwing a pitch thanks to Daniel Murphy’s RBI double and an RBI single from Lucas Duda. Matt den Dekker padded the lead in the top of the 2nd with his...