WP – J. Lannan (2-3) LP – D. Haren (4-10)
S – J. Papelbon (19)
John Lannan, like most other left-handers this season, baffled the Washington Nationals for eight innings. He struck out four while scattering four hits and two walks to keep the Nationals scoreless.
Jonathan Papelbon came on for the ninth and ran into the only challenge Nationals hitters posed on the night. He allowed Bryce Harper to single up the middle and a double to Ryan Zimmerman before Jayson Werth came up just a couple feet short of tying the game with a blast to centerfield. Both runners tagged, scoring Harper. Zimmerman scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam Laroche to center and with two outs pinch hitter Chad Tracy hit a little fly ball to center to end the game.
The Philadelphia Phillies scored early on Dan Haren, getting two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Haren again struggled with control, allowing one of the runs to score on a bases loaded walk. He allowed two or more base runners in three of the five innings he pitched.
The Phillies would add one more run in the bottom of the sixth against Fernando Abad on a single by Jimmy Rollins to center field. Ben Revere pestered Nationals pitching all night, going 3-for-5, with a stolen base and two runs scored.
The Nationals this season have had consistent problems with left-handed pitchers that throw a variety of off speed stuff. The biggest problem is that the Nationals hitters seem to fail to adjust in the batter’s box to be able to consistently hit the off speed pitch on the outside half of the plate with any power. Lannan induced fifteen ground balls from the Nationals tonight keeping them off balance on what pitch was coming all night.
Additional: The Nationals completed a trade with the Chicago Cubs today for Scott Hairston and a player to be named later for a minor league pitcher and a player to be named later.
The Nationals fall to 46-43 on the year, and 5-32 in games that they score less than three runs.
Robert Peterson lives in the Washington DC Metro area and has been covering the Nationals since the team moved to the area in 2005