In their previous 13 games against John Lannan, the Phillies had never lost to the lefty and hit him to the tune of a 6.44 ERA. This afternoon, in temperatures over 90 degrees, Lannan allowed four hits over five and 1/3 innings, walking three but allowing just one unearned run.
This was the Phillies’ 20th game in as many days and the team will get a much needed day off tomorrow before traveling to Pittsburgh for a three game set with the Pirates. That series will conclude a nine game road trip by the Phils.
Charlie Manuel has elected to sit Jimmy Rollins and Domonic Brown for the series finale against the Washington Nationals. Jimmy is likely just getting a rest, but despite his hot bat, it looks like Charlie wants to keep Domonic Brown away from lefty starter John Lannan. Eventually Brown is going to have to get some experience vs lefty pitching, and when he's hitting well with a guy the Phillies have pounded on the mound, today would seem like it would have been a pretty good day to give him a run out... Placido Polanco will bat leadoff with John Mayberry in the two hole. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Ben Francisco will hit 3-4-5.
Roy Oswalt will take the hill for the Phillies against Nationals starter John Lannan, who has already lost twice to the Phils this year. He was knocked around in his last appearance against the Phils on May 5th when lasted two innings and served up six runs. Lannan is 0-10 with a 6.44 ERA in 13 career starts against the Phillies.
Lil Roy has a lifetime 5-3 record with a 3.10 ERA in 15 career starts against the Nationals.
It's been a long stretch for the Phils who will play their 20th game in 20 days this afternoon. They'll get a much needed day off tomorrow before heading to Pittsburgh for a weekend series with the Pirates.
Cliff has dominated the Nationals in his career prior to tonight… when the tables were turned in a big way. Lee was rocked for six runs and seven hits over five innings en route to his fifth loss of the season and his first to the Nationals.
Danny Espinosa homered twice, including a three run shot in the third inning that really blew the game open. Danny Espinosa went 3-4 with four RBI.
The lone bright spot for the Phils was rookie Domonic Brown, who hit his first homer of 2011. He also doubled in the seventh.
Cliff Lee takes the hill tonight looking for another shutout win over the Washington Nationals with the Phillies in DC for the second of a three game series. Lee is undefeated against the Nats in his career and threw a three hit shutout in which he struck out 12 in his last time out against them. A win tonight would be the Phillies' seventh straight over their NL East "rivals."
He will oppose Jason Marquis, who has not fared nearly as well against the Phillies. In fact, since joining the Nats last year, Marquis is 0-5 with a 9.49 ERA against the Phils. He's been particularly victimized by Chase Utley, who is 13-28 (.464) lifetime off Marquis.
The Phillies have been on a tear as of late, winning eight of their last 11 and starting off 3-1 on this current nine game road trip. After a bit of malaise in early to mid May, the Phils resurgence seems to have coincided with the return of Chase Utley. Charlie Manuel says that it's no coincidence that things are starting to pick up now that the team is getting healthier.
"We're close to really being healthy," Charlie Manuel said. "We should be at 100 percent and our offense should pick up. Our pitching has been there all year. We could really get into a season where we play real good baseball. It's kind of up to us. We're the ones that have got to make it happen."
Roy Halladay wasn’t his best today, but was good enough to improve to 11-1 all time vs the Nationals as the Phillies beat Washington 5-4 in the first of a three game series at Nationals Park. Halladay went seven innings, giving four runs, three from solo home runs.
Two or three weeks ago, four runs surrendered by the starter probably would have meant a loss, but a resurgent Phillies offense sparked a seventh inning comeback which propelled them to their MLB leading 34th win. The pivotal moment in the seventh came when Nats manager Jim Riggleman opted to bring lefty specialist Sean Burnett to face the Phillies trio of lefties Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez, who were hitting 3-4-5 today in an attempt to take advantage of righty starter Livan Hernandez.
After Placido Polanco singled in the top of the 7th, on came Burnett and the lefty failed to do his job to say the least. He walked Chase Utley to put runners on first and second. Then, he served up a single to Ryan Howard, which scored Polanco to tie the game. Raul Ibanez then put the Phils up for good with a sac fly to right. So the lefty Burnett was brought on to shut down the Phillies three big lefties and all three had productive at bats against him.
The matchup between Roy Halladay and the Washington Nationals franchise has proved to be downright unfair. In his career against the Nationals and their previous iteration, the Expos, Halladay is 10-1 with a 2.01 ERA over 13 starts. Since joining the Phils, he's 5-0 against Washington, with two wins coming this year. The reigning NL Cy Young award winner takes the hill this afternoon in the first of a three game series at Nationals Park.
He will be opposed by Livan Hernandez, who is 1-1 against the Phils this year. In 13 innings he's given up 17 hits and five runs to the Phils, but was strong in his last outing on April 12th. He gave up just one run over 6 2/3 innings. The righty has lost five of his last seven decisions however.
The Phils have beaten the Nats in five of six meetings this season. Washington trails the Phillies in the NL East by 10.5 games.