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Moribund Phillies Offense Falls to Nationals in Doubleheader Sweep

       
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The offensively bone-cold Phillies extended their losing string to 4, their season worst and were humbled by 2 mediocre pitchers who on Tuesday took on the appearances of Giant-killers, make that Phillies killers.  In game 1, Rookie lefthander Tommy Milone, originally slated to start in nightcap, dueled evenly with Kyle Kendrick, with both throwing up goose-eggs for six innings.   But Kendrick, at 79 pitches through six innings was replaced by Michael Schwimmer in the seventh and the Nationals went right after him with two 1 out singles putting runners at the corners.   After getting the 2nd out on a fielder’s choice grounder and a play at the plate, rightfielder Roger Bernadina picked on Schwimmer’s 2-0 pitch slamming a 3 run shot to rightfield to put the Nationals up 3-0.   The Phils showed brief signs of life in their seventh on none out back-to-back singles followed by pinch hitter Raul Ibanez’s 3 run game-tying blast to rightfield after falling behind 0-2 to reliever Tyler Clippard.    The Phils muffed game-winning opportunities in both the ninth inning, loading the bases with 1 out, and in the tenth when recently called up catcher Erik Kratz opened the inning with a double, but was left stranded along with 12 other Phillie runners for the game.   The Nationals notched the winning run in their tenth inning as pinch hitter Ryan Zimmerman followed 2 Michael Stutes with an RBI single to centerfield.   In game 2,    lefthander Ross Detwiler totally befuddled the moribund Phillies offense holding them scoreless and to 3 hits over 7 1/3 innings to win his 3rd game of the season while his All Star lefthanded counterpart Cliff Lee suffered through a rare sub-par outing.  As written previously, stars like Lee or Roy Halladay, need offensive support to have the luxury of overcoming an occassional mistake.   Well Lee made a mistake — a second inning solo homer to 2nd baseman Danny Espinosa, and gave up a total of 11 hits in a 120 pitch, seven inning, 9 strikeout performance which included Detwiler’s 2 out RBI single in the sixth and former Phil Jayson Werth’s seventh inning leadoff double.   Werth scored the final run on an errant pick-off throw by catcher Carlos Ruiz.  Two Nationals relievers followed Detwiler by going clean on the Phils in the eighth and ninth with closer Drew Storen notching his 40th save as the moribund Phillies offense fell to Nationals by  4-3 and 3-0 in a doubleheader sweep.

The Atlanta Braves maintained their 2 1/2 game lead in the NL Wild Card race after shutting out the Florida Marlins while the St. Louis Cardinals kept pace in the race by rallying to beat the Mets.

Kendrick worked another gem over six innings in game 1, his 6th such performance in his last 7 outings in a starting role.   But the Phils could do nothing with rookie lefthander Milone.   How Charlie (manager Charlie Manuel) could pull Kendrick after merely 79 pitches is beyond me, particularly when he knows that the best that can be said for the Phils offense is that it is sputtering, and that recent call-up Schwimmer had bombed out in his previous such situation.

Ibanez’s homer came off of Clippard with 2 of the 3 runs being charged to reliever Doug Slaten who gave up the preceding hits.

In game 2, the score could have been much worse with the 11 hits which Lee gave up — testament to Lee’s ability to keep the Phils in the game.  But, as with Milone in game 1, Detwiler took on the look of an All Star seemingly dominating the Phils while holding them to a mere 3 hits.  He walked 1.

Young relief call-up Justin De Fratus tossed his 2nd effective inning in 2 opportunities going clean on the Nationals on 8 pitches in the eighth inning of game 2.

AP’s game recaps of both games for Yahoo sports can be found here and here for the masochists among you.

For all of Tuesday’s scores and recaps, click here.

The Phillies look to show signs of offensive life and to get back to winning ways in Wednesday’s game 3 as rookie Vance Worley, 2-0 against the Nationals this season and 3-0 career, tries again for his 12th win opposing lefthander John Lannan was shelled by the Phils in his 2 August starts against them and is 1-3 this season and 1-12 lifetime against them.

For all of Wednesday’s scheduled games throughout MLB, click here.

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One Response to “Moribund Phillies Offense Falls to Nationals in Doubleheader Sweep”

  1. » Nationals Pound Oswalt in Eighth Inning, Sweep Phillies | Blogging-Baseball.com Says:

    […] Pitiful, embarrassing — there have to be a ton of adjectives to describe the NL East division winning Phillies’ stale, flat-as-Israel-lafa offense of September which just got swept before our very eyes by… duh, the Washington Nationals.   Just as rookie teammate lefthander Tommy Milone did; a 4 hit six inning shutout in game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, so too did rookie Brad Peacock but 1 better — 5 2/3 innings of 1 hit shutout ball on Thursday.   The Phils collected just 4 hits total off of Peacock and 5 Nationals relievers and left 6 men stranded, 3 of them were catcher Carlos Ruiz who went 3 for 4 driving in 1st baseman John Mayberry Jr. with the Phils’ only run in the ninth.  Mayberry Jr. had poked a 2 out double preceding Ruiz.   Starter Roy Oswalt was solid through 7 2/3 innings keeping the Phils in the game, only giving up 2 two out runs in the third on shortstop Ian Desmond’s RBI double and rightfielder Roger Bernadina’s run-scoring single and a total of 4 hits through seven innings.  Bernadina has spelled trouble for the Phils throughout this series.  Oswalt got the first 2 outs of the eighth inning before the roof caved in with the Nationals scoring 4 runs, 1 on Bernadina’s double to right centerfield and leftfielder Michael Morse’s 3 run clout which broke the game open chasing Oswalt.   Reliever Brad Lidge came on and got the side out on a 3 pitch strikeout.   Rookie reliever Joe Savery came on in the ninth and went clean on the Nationals on 11 pitches, but the Phils had too-little, too-late once again, with 2 out in the ninth as the  Nationals pounded Oswalt in eighth inning of the series final enroute to a 6-1 win and Nationals sweep of the Phillies. […]

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