The Phillies responded in the bottom half of the second in a way that was sure to relax some Phillies fans. The Phillies got two runs and all of them came off singles. John Mayberry Jr. got his first of three hits tonight with a single to left. Raul Ibanez then singled to right that put runners on first and second. Ben Francisco then followed that up with a single to center that scored Mayberry. Brian Schneider then singled to right to load the bases. That brought up Phillies pitcher Vance Worley who singled home Ibanez to tie the game at 2. The bases were loaded with one out for the top of the order. Jimmy Rollins fouled out to first base then Shane Victorino ended the inning by popping out to Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond.
It would stay this way all the way to the top of the sixth when Phillie killer Danny Espinosa hit a one out two run home run deep into the right field seats. Things stayed the same all the way until the top of the 8th when it got chaotic. Phillies September call-up Justin De Fratus started the inning by hitting Espinosa and then walking Marrero. Antonio Bastardo came in to relieve De Fratus but “relieve” isn’t the word I would use in this situation. After a crazy play that ended up with Rick Ankiel grounding into a fielder’s choice and an Antonio Bastardo throwing error, there were runners on first and third and Espinosa had scored to make it 5-3. Wilson Ramos, again, drove in Marrero with a single to right center and there were once again runners on first and third with the score now 6-3. Jonny Gomes then hit a pinch hit sacrifice fly to Raul Ibanez in left that scored Ankiel. The Nationals had blown it open in the eighth.
The Phillies 1-4 hitters went 0-for-16 with two walks and one run scored tonight while the 5-9 hitters went 10-for-19 with four runs scored and five RBI. The Phillies hitters, well the 5 through 9 hitters at least, came alive tonight and produced ten hits and 5 RBI for the club. Starter Vance Worley didn’t pitch a terrible game and really only made two bad pitches- the one to Ramos and the one to Espinosa and both guys took him deep on his mistakes. Worley went six innings, gave up six hits, four runs, walked three, and struck out six. Not his greatest line but not terrible either.
The starters really haven’t gotten hit too hard during the losing streak and the hitters seemed to come alive, somewhat tonight. The only thing I am overly concerned about is the combination of Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes. Both have pitched so well throughout the season but from the end of August until now, they have struggled mightily. Both have gotten lit up like Christmas trees in recent outings. Maybe some rest would be good for them? I don’t have the answer.
The Phillies get back at it to try and avoid the sweep tomorrow night at 7:05pm at Citizens Bank Park. Roy Oswalt gets the nod of the Phightins and the Nationals give the ball to Brad Peacock.