Final: Nationals 2, Phillies 4.
WP: Roy Halladay (8-7, 3.88 ERA) LP: Gio Gonzalez (16-7, 3.28 ERA) SV: Jonathan Papelbon (29)
A common theme this homestand has been to take the early lead in the ball games. Well, the Phillies did it once again tonight. They jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the first inning thanks to RBI singles each from Chase Utley and John Mayberry.
Neither team would score again until the top of the fifth inning when the Nats tied the game at two from a Steve Lombardozzi two-RBI single. An inning later, the Phillies retook the lead thanks to John Mayberry's 12th home run of the season, the 33rd of his four-year MLB career.
The Nationals' Gio Gonzalez lasted just six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. 70 of his 104 total pitches were thrown for strikes. Tonight was his second-shortest outing since July 19th at home against the New York Mets, when he went just three and a third innings.
Roy Halladay was extremely effective for the Phillies tonight, and went deep enough to give part of the bullpen some necessary rest. He threw first-pitch strikes to 23 of the 28 hitters he faced. Going seven innings deep tonight, Doc allowed just two runs on seven hits and one walk. The only mistake he truly made tonight was the two-out, two-RBI single to Lombardozzi in the top of the fifth inning. 86 of his 105 total pitches were thrown for strikes (81.9 %).
Antonio Bastardo came in to relieve Doc in the eighth inning, and had arguably one of his best appearances of the 2012 season. He struck out the side in the heart of the Nationals' batting order- Harper, Zimmerman, and LaRoche- to keep the Phillies' 3-2 lead intact.
The Phillies picked up a key insurance run in the bottom-half of the eighth inning. Chase Utley led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch, and stole second and third base, his 5th & 6th steals of the season. John Mayberry then followed with a sacrifice fly RBI, which extended the Phillies lead to a two-run advantage, 4-2. That is small ball at its finest.
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon retired the Nationals in order during the top of the ninth to pick up his 29th save of the season, two shy of his 2011 total, (31). 8 of his 10 total pitches were thrown for strikes in the inning.
LHP Cliff Lee (2-7) will oppose RHP Jordan Zimmermann (9-7) in the series finale Sunday afternoon as the Phillies will look for the sweep against their division rival. Lee is (4-2) with a 2.44 ERA in his career against the Nationals organization, while Zimmermann is (1-3) with a 5.00 ERA against the Phillies.
Cliff is coming off of his last start where he went six and two-thirds innings, allowing just two runs on nine hits against the Cincinnati Reds. He has yet to win a game at home this season at Citizens Bank Park.
The game, starting at 1:35 pm EST, can be seen on MyPHL17 and heard on 1210 WPHT AM & 94 WIP FM.
Attendance: 44,256 (Sellout).
Starting Pitching Summary:
- Gio Gonzalez: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO, 1 HR, 3.28 ERA
- Roy Halladay: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR, 3.88 ERA
- Ryan Mattheus (7th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 2.32 ERA
- Sean Burnett (8th): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 2.01 ERA
- Antonio Bastardo (8th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR, 5.26 ERA
- Jonathan Papelbon (9th): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 2.70 ERA
- Bottom of the 1st (Nationals 0, Phillies 1): Chase Utley singles on a ground ball to right fielder Jayson Werth. Jimmy Rollins scores.
- Bottom of the 1st (Nationals 0, Phillies 2): John Mayberry singles on a ground ball to second baseman Steve Lombardozzi. Kevin Frandsen scores.
- Top of the 5th (Nationals 2, Phillies 2): Steve Lombardozzi singles on a line drive to center fielder John Mayberry. Danny Espinosa, Kurt Suzuki score.
- Bottom of the 6th (Nationals 2, Phillies 3): John Mayberry homers (12) on a fly ball to left field.
- Bottom of the 8th (Nationals 2, Phillies 4): John Mayberry out on a sacrifice fly to right fielder Jayson Werth. Chase Utley scores.
- Sunday, August 26, 2012; 1:35 pm EST
- Philadelphia Phillies (60-67) vs. Washington Nationals (77-49)
- Cliff Lee (2-7, 3.78 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (9-7, 2.54 ERA)
- TV: MyPHL17
- Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP
Matt Rappa is a contributor for Buzz on Broad. You can find him on Twitter at @mattrappa.