Jun 28, 2015, 10:34 AM EST
PHILADELPHIA — Well, it’s a beautiful day here in Philly … guess we might as well play two!
Yes, after yesterday’s rain-shortened, 1 1/2-inning fiasco, we’re back for a traditional, old-fashioned doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park. The Nationals and Phillies get underway with Game 1 at 1:05 p.m., then will pick right up with Game 2 only 25 minutes after the opener ends. Two games for the price of one!
After Gio Gonzalez was burned up yesterday, the Nationals turn to Stephen Strasburg to start the first game, with journeyman right-hander Kevin Correia on the mound for the Phillies. Still waiting on a Nats lineup; as was the case yesterday, there are several guys who need to be checked on first (Bryce Harper, Denard Span, Yunel Escobar). [UPDATE AT 11:20 A.M. — Harper and Span are both in the lineup, Escobar is not.]
Check back for updates all day long…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185/869
Weather: Partly cloudy, 78 degrees, Wind 15 mph out to RF
CF Denard Span
3B Danny Espinosa
RF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
1B Clint Robinson
2B Dan Uggla
SS Ian Desmond
LF Michael Taylor
RHP Stephen Strasburg
CF Ben Revere
2B Cesar Hernandez
3B Maikel Franco
1B Ryan Howard
RF Jeff Francoeur
LF Cody Asche
C Cameron Rupp
SS Freddy Galvis
RHP Kevin Correia
HP Paul Emmel
1B Sean Barber
2B Andy Fletcher
3B Jordan Baker
1:07 p.m. — And we’re underway with ball one from Kevin Correia to Denard Span.
1:25 p.m. — Scoreless, but eventful, first inning in the books. Bryce Harper, in his first at-bat since tweaking his hamstring on Wednesday night’s 11th-inning double … legged out a double down the right-field line. He didn’t quite look 100 percent running, but he wasn’t severely hampered, either. Stephen Strasburg, meanwhile, threw 14 pitches in the bottom of the first (I believe 11 of them fastballs). He did give up a 1-out single to Cesar Hernandez, who later stole second and took third on Wilson Ramos’ bounced throw, but Strasburg otherwise was very good. He broke two bats and struck out Ryan Howard on a 97-mph fastball (his hardest of the inning).
1:40 p.m. — Jeff Francoeur pounced on Strasburg’s first-pitch fastball to open the bottom of the second and sent it flying over the left-field fence for a leadoff homer, but Strasburg buckled down after that and retired three straight in short order. He’s through two innings on 26 pitches (16 strikes), having struck out two. Nats down 1-0 after two.
1:54 p.m. — Weird play in the top of the third. After Michael Taylor singled, Strasburg bunted right in front of the plate. Cameron Rupp picked up the ball and tagged Strasburg, then threw to second base, where Freddy Galvis caught the ball way before Taylor got there. Except he never tagged him, so Taylor wound up safe. Which meant Strasburg got credit for a sac bunt. Like I said, weird. The Nats, though, couldn’t take advantage, stranding Taylor in scoring position. Strasburg, meanwhile, is through three scoreless innings on 39 pitches. He has given up the one run on the Francoeur homer, struck out two and broken three bats. Phillies up 1-0 after three.
2:15 p.m. — Man, the Phillies infield defense is leaving a lot to be desired today. They had two more screw-ups in the top of the third, with Hernandez unable to throw out Dan Uggla on a grounder up the middle and Galvis making a bad throw trying to get the lead runner at third base on a grounder to the hole. The Nats couldn’t take advantage, though, with Taylor striking out with the bases loaded. Fortunately, Strasburg is on his game today. He’s through four innings on 54 pitches. And since coming off the DL, he has now thrown nine innings, allowing one run on six hits, with one walk and 10 strikeouts. He has looked like a completely different pitcher. Still 1-0 Philly after four.
2:34 p.m. — And the Nats tie the game in the fifth. Denard Span puts his bad back to the test by legging out three bases on a double to right field followed by a comedic adventure by Francoeur. Espinosa then drove him in with a sac fly to left. Strasburg, meanwhile, is in complete control. He struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth and has struck out four in a row, seven overall through five innings. 1-1 after five.
3:09 p.m. — Make it 3-2 after an eventful sixth inning. The Nats got an insurance run on a single by Uggla and an RBI double by Taylor. Then came a real head-scratcher. Pete Mackanin took starter Kevin Correia out of the game and brought in righty Jeanmar Gomez to face … Strasburg. And only Strasburg. Because he then brought in lefty Jake Diekman to face Span. Who he walked. Bizarre. The Phillies, meanwhile, got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Strasburg left a 3-1 fastball up to Francoeur, who lined it to center for a 2-out RBI single. Strasburg is through six innings on 96 pitches. Interesting call here for Matt Williams. If there’s no doubleheader, I think Strasburg would be done. But given the second game, I think he’ll stay in.
3:22 p.m. — Which he did. And it’s a good thing, too, because he finished on a high note, striking out both Galvis and Domonic Brown. So his final line is: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K, 113 pitches, 68 strikes. Really impressive. His total line over two games now is: 12 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 15 K. His ERA has dropped from 6.55 to 5.49. Nats still lead 3-2 after seven.
3:56 p.m. — David Carpenter, ladies and gentlemen. He just struck out Ryan Howard with 2 out and the tying runner on second, preserving the Nats’ 3-2 lead after eight innings. So that’s now six scoreless appearances for Carpenter since joining the Nats bullpen. To the ninth we go…
4:13 p.m. — Ballgame. Drew Storen wraps it up, so the Nats win 3-2 and stretch their winning streak to eight games. Don’t go anywhere, cause Game 2 is coming up in 30 minutes…
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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