The Nationals and Phillies faced off for a doubleheader on Tuesday, with the Nationals stealing both games in Philly.  The Nationals took the first game 4-3 in 10 innings thanks to a Ryan Zimmerman single in the tenth.  The second game saw the Nationals shutout the Phillies 3-0.

Pitching seemed to rule the day, as game one saw the Nationals and Phillies played out a pitching duel as starters Tom Milone (Nationals) and Kyle Kendrick (Phillies) each went 6 shutout innings before being let down by their respective bullpens.

The highlight of the day had to come from the Ross Detwiler-Cliff Lee pitching duel in game two. Detwiler pitched 7 and 1/3 innings of three-hit, shutout ball; while striking out three and surrendering one walk.  Lee went 7 innings and struck out 9 while allowing two runs.

The Nationals have gotten a few strong pitching performances from their starters in the last few weeks.  An encouraging sign after Jason Marquis was traded to Arizona and Jordan Zimmermann was shut down for the year.  The return of Detwiler to the starting rotation, and the promotions of Tom Milone and Brad Peacock.

The bullpen has been consistently good all season long, but it seems like everyday someone comes in and has a bad outing.  Today was Doug Slaten’s day, as he couldn’t record an out and was credited with two earned runs on two hits.  Tyler Clippard had the pleasure of following Slaten with the two inherited runners. But it was Clippard who gave up the home run to Raul Ibanez to put the Phillies back in the game in the bottom of the seventh.  This was after Roger Bernadina hit a three-run home run of his own in the top of the seventh.

Game two saw the Nationals get on the board with a Danny Espinosa home run in the second inning.  Ross Detwiler helped his own cause with a single in the sixth inning that scored Espinosa.  The single capped off Detwiler’s phenomenal evening.  The Nats added an insurance run in the seventh off a throwing error from Carlos Ruiz that saw Jayson Werth score.

The Nationals have won four of their last five against the Phillies, and will have two more games in the series to steal from the Phillies in their quest to reach .500 for the season.  Tomorrow the Nationals and Phillies will have their first pitch at 7:05.  The Nationals send John Lannan (9-13, 3.68) to the bump to face off against Vance Worley (11-2, 2.85 ERA).

Follow Brendan Darr on twitter: @BrendanDarr1067


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