It just seemed like nothing could go right tonight. Lack of hitting – check. Lack of pitching – check. Lack of defense – check and check. The Nationals committed three errors on the night, Third Basemen Ryan Zimmerman being the only man in the infield not to commit one. Starter John Lannan and relievers Henry Rodriguez and Ryan Mattheus got roughed up by the potent Phillies offense, and the Washington offense struggled against Roy Oswalt.
Overall, it was just not the Nationals night. The game started off rough for the Nationals as an error by Danny Espinosa allowed Jimmy Rollins to oreach base in the first inning and allowed Ryan Howard to come up with a man on when he hit his 2-run home run.
The third inning went strikingly similar. The leadoff batter – in this case, Shane Victorino – reached on an error – this time by Ian Desmond – the inning was extended because of this, and the Phillies put up five in the inning. The sixth inning also saw the Nationals give up extra runs later in an inning thanks to an error.
Roy Oswalt threw 7 strong innings, allowing three runs while scattering six hits and a walk, and striking out five. John Lannan was anything but – just 3 innings allowing 7 runs (only one earned) and giving up four hits and five walks, while just striking out one.
The king of the promotion/demotion game, Colin Balester, pitched three solid innings of relief, just allowing one unearned run and one hit while striking out three. Balester was especially impressive in throwing 32 strikes on 47 pitches. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Rodriguez and Mattheus, who combined for 2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits and two walks.
The Nationals and Phillies finish their weekend series in Philly Sunday at 1:35 pm. Chien-Ming Wang (1-2, 3.60 ERA) is coming off an impressive 6-inning 1-hit performance against the Cubs. The Nationals will get the pleasure of facing Roy Halladay (15-4, 2.51 ERA), who is putting in another Cy Young-caliber season. You can listen to the game live on The Fan tomorrow, with pre-game starting at 1 pm.
Follow Brendan Darr on twitter: @BrendanDarr1067