Strasburg Keeps Phillies Down


6. 4. 90. Final. 1

In front of a crowd of 36,631 at Nationals Park on a cloudy 68 degree Sunday afternoon in the nation’s capital, the host Washington Nationals (6-7) beat the Phillies (4-9) by a score of 4-1, taking 3 of the 4 series games and moving themselves within a game of the .500 mark.

Big, hard-throwing righthander Stephen Strasburg was dominating for the Nats in evening his record at 1-1 on the young season. He lasted 7.1 innings before being removed having thrown 95 high-quality pitches, 73 for strikes. His fastball was popping, his curveball was breaking, and his slider was devastating.

Strasburg allowed just 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7 Phils batters, and didn’t allow a hit until Carlos Ruiz singled with two outs in the 5th. In relief, Matt Thornton pitched a perfect 2/3 of an inning, and closer Drew Storen earned his 4th Save despite allowing a pair of 9th inning hits.

Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez, each with a hit and a walk, were the only two Phils batters to reach base twice. Odubel Herrera scored the only run after doubling with one out in the 8th, scoring on Galvis’ rbi single. For the Phillies offense, that was it. 

The Phillies have now scored just 32 runs across their first 13 games, an average of fewer than 2 1/2 per game. That won’t win you too many games, and these 2015 Phillies have little to look forward to for improvement, and don’t promise to win too many.

Phils starter David Buchanan battled Strasburg even through the first four frames. But then in the bottom of the 5th, after Buchanan had gotten the first two batters to ground out, the Nationals would rally for three runs.

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Denard Span, playing his first game of the season after being activated off the DL prior to the game, started it with a 2-out single. Ian Desmond doubled to left, scoring Span, and Jayson Werth followed with a single to center, scoring Desmond. Werth moved up to 2nd when the throw went to the plate on the play, and the Nats had another in scoring position.

After Buchanan intentionally walked Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman made the Phillies pay for the defensive blunder with a soft looping rbi single to right. The score was then 3-0, Nationals, and with the Phils scoring average being what it is, things were pretty much settled.

The hosts added a 4th run in the bottom of the 7th when Desmond led off with a walk from reliever Dustin McGowan. He moved up to 2nd on a ground out, and then scored on another clutch 2-out rbi single off the bat of Zimmerman.

All that was left at that point was for Strasburg and the Nats bullpen to close it out, which they did with ease. The Phillies will now return home to Citizens Bank Park for a 6-game home stand beginning Tuesday night against the Miami Marlins. Following three with the Fish, it will be the Atlanta Braves coming to Philly for three next weekend.