Phillies starter Joe Blanton had the 2nd of his 2 worst outings since coming to the team. Lefthanded relievers Jack Taschner and Scott Eyre didn’t fare muuch better as Washington jumped to 6-2 and 11-7 leads. But the Phillies rallied multiple times despite 5 Washington homers. The big blows of the game were 1st baseman Ryan Howard’s fifth inning game-tying grand slam to centerfield off of starter Shairon Martis and leftfielder Raul Ibanez’s 2 out, eighth inning slam to rightfield off of reliever Joel Hanrahan as the Phillies beat the Nationals by a 13-11 score on Monday.
The AP recap for Yahoo sports reports on Blanton’s performance and the 5 Washington homers:
Blanton allowed three homers and six runs in 4 1-3 innings, raising his ERA to 8.41 through four starts.
The five homers allowed by Philadelphia brought its season total to 39, highest in the majors.
“I had my worst control ever, my worst slider ever,” Blanton said. “Put those together, and it’s a bad night.”
Blanton gave up 6 runs on 8 hits, including 3 homers in 4 1/3 innings.
The 2 grand slam homers in a game is a rare offensive feat which the Phillies have accomplished only 4 times in franchise history.
With the game knotted at 2-2 after two innings, the Nationals charged to a 5-2 lead in the third inning on a 2 run homer by 3rd baseman Ryan Zimmerman, his 1st of 2 dingers for the game, and a solo short by centerfielder Elijah Dukes. Washington tacked on a 6th run in the fifth on Zimmerman’s solo short.
That 6-2 lead didn’t last long as the Phils loaded the bases with 1 out for Howard in their fifth. On a 1-2 pitch, Howard got it all and went yard for a slam off of starter Martis. As Kalas would say “Outta here” to deepest centerfield.
The two teams traded runs in the sixth inning, as Martis pitched five full innings and got no one out in the sixth giving up a walk and 2 doubles as the Phils tied the score.
Washington took an 11-7 lead on two 2-run homers in the eighth; by 1st baseman Nick Johnson and by leftfielder Adam Dunn off of Scott Eyre who got no one out in the inning.
Lefthander J.A. Happ, who emerged as the game’s winning pitcher — his 1st win of the season, took over for Eyre and got the side out, only surrendering a walk.
The Phillies went to right to work on relievers Garrett Mock and Hanrahan in their eighth inning as centerfielder Shane Victorino sacrificed to rightfield to drive in the 8th run and 2nd baseman Chase Utley drove in the 9th run with a 2 out single — both runs socred off of Mock.
Enter Hanrahan who promptly wild-pitched Utley to 2nd base. He then walked both Howard and rightfielder Jayson Werth to load the bases with Ibanez coming to bat. The lefthanded leftfielder tattoed losing pitcher Hanrahan’s 1st pitch out to rightfield as Citizen’s Bank Park fans went electric.
Reliever Ryan Madson came on to pitch the ninth and put down the Nationals on 1 hit to record his 1st save of the season.
Notably missing from his closer role in Monday’s game was Brad Lidge. The other day, it was reported that Lidge had resolved a flaw in his delivery so it was surprising that he was not inserted into a definite closer situation. MLB.com’s Andy James reports on why Lidge was unavailable in the ninth inning on Monday:
Lidge was unavailable because of inflammation in his right knee, it was announced after the game.
Lidge underwent an MRI on Monday and is listed as day-to-day. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday, and the Phillies are hopeful their closer won’t have to be placed on the disabled list.
The soreness and inflammation is located in the same knee which was operated on twice in 2008.
Lidge noted the soreness is most evident when he pushes off the rubber from the stretch.
“Based on the MRI, I’m not overly concerned,” Lidge said. “It didn’t show any tears. I’m concerned on a small level because it’s not feeling great.”
For all of the results of Monday’s games, click here.
The Phils entertain the Washington Nationals for 2 more games on Tuesday nd Wednesday, followed by a day off on Thursday before entertaining the NY Mets in a 3 game early season weekend showdown series on May 1-3.
Tuesday’s game is a battle of lefthanders as ace Cole Hamels is opposed by another youngster, John Lannan.
For all of Tuesday’s games, click here.