The Philadelphia Phillies failed to capitalize on having taken the first two games of the series in D.C., settling for a split despite a good start from Hamels, eventually losing the game 4-0.
The first run of the ballgame came in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Nats catcher Lobaton reached on an error by Cody Asche. Stephen Strasburg bunted him over to 2nd base before Denard Span singled him home for his 25th RBI of the year; 1-0 Nationals.
It was to be another frustrating night offensively for Philly who, after getting shut-out by Zimmerman and co. last night, struggled to rally against Strasburg. Jimmy Rollins led off the top of the 4th inning with a single, but was promptly stranded as Utley lined out, Howard struck out swinging and Byrd grounded to 3rd.
Cody Asche hit a 2-out double in top of the 5th, but sadly the next due batter was Hamels, and Asche was stranded in scoring position. In the bottom half of the inning Scott Hairston, filling in for the rested Bryce Harper in left, led off with a single but was also left on base despite stealing 2nd and 3rd base (steals 22 and 23 on the season for him).
Ken Giles was brought on to pitch in the 8th for the Phillies, and Washington managed to open up a cushion in the bottom of the 8th, killing the Phillies chances as Denard Span led off with a single before Rendon doubled to left to score him, making it 2-0. Jayson Werth then stepped up and cranked double number 26 on the season off the right field scoreboard to make it 3-0, earning his 61st RBI of the season in the process. Giles then intentionally walked Adam LaRoche and struck out Ian Desmond, but advanced the runners to 2nd and 3rd on a passed ball with Harper pinch-hitting. His lack of control would hurt him, as a wild pitch allowed Werth to score and LaRoche to move to 3rd, the score at 4-0 with still only 1 out. Giles struck out Harper and Cabrera to stop the bleeding, however.
Rollins, Utley and Howard went 1-2-3 to end the ballgame, meaning Philadelphia would have to settle for a 2-2 split on the four game set in Washington, extending the run-less streak to 18 innings in the process.
Cole Hamels left the ball game with a fantastic line of 7 innings pitched, allowing 1 run on 4 hits, but with no offensive support he falls to 6-6 on the season. His lack of run support is the sole reason for his record, and in spite of taking the loss, his ERA fell to 2.42 on the season.
Stephen Strasburg was also stellar, shutting out the Phillies in 7 innings pitched with 3 hits allowed and 10 strikeouts to move to 8-9 on the season with a 3.39 ERA.
Cody Asche was the only real offensive highlight in an otherwise barren night with the bats, getting 2 of the Phillies 3 hits, moving to .253 on the season and .500 for the month of August.
The Phillies fall to 49-63 on the season, falling 12.5 games back of first place Washington who improve to 6-49 on the season and temporarily increase their division lead to 3 games.
Tomorrow the Phillies have a day off before returning home to face Houston in interleague play on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. Philadelphia will likely send Kyle Kendrick to the mound, who is 5-11 on the year with a 4.92 ERA. Houston’s starter will likely be Dallas Keuchel, who has been impressive this season, going 10-7 with a 2.97 ERA over 136.1 innings, including 104 strikeouts and 33 walks.