Jun 28, 2015, 4:42 PM EST
PHILADELPHIA — And we’re back for Game 2 of this doubleheader, with the Nationals now looking to extend their winning streak to nine games and sweep this weekend series from the Phillies.
It’s Tanner Roark getting the start for the Nats, a decision that wasn’t made until late in Game 1, once it was clear he wouldn’t be needed in relief in the opener. Matt Williams said the right-hander has “no restrictions,” so he can go plenty of innings and pitches this afternoon. Rookie right-hander Severino Gonzalez starts for the Phillies.
The Nationals did bring Taylor Jordan in from Syracuse in case he was needed to start Game 2, but since that’s not needed anymore, it’s actually infielder Wilmer Difo called up from Harrisburg as the 26th man for the game. Given the beat-up nature of the Nats’ lineup, an extra healthy body on the bench isn’t such a bad idea. Speaking of that, Bryce Harper and Denard Span are both out for the nightcap, but Yunel Escobar is back in the lineup.
Updates to come…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Gametime: 4:45 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185/869
Weather: Partly cloudy, 79 degrees, Wind 17 mph out to RF
CF Michael Taylor
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Yunel Escobar
LF Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
C Jose Lobaton
1B Tyler Moore
RF Matt den Dekker
RHP Tanner Roark
CF Odubel Herrera
2B Cesar Hernandez
3B Maikel Franco
RF Domonic Brown
1B Darin Ruf
LF Cody Asche
C Carlos Ruiz
SS Andres Blanco
RHP Severino Gonzalez
HP Jerry Meals (cc)
1B Andy Fletcher
2B Jordan Baker
3B Sean Barber
4:46 p.m. — And we’re underway again with Michael Taylor at the plate and Severino Gonzalez on the hill.
5:07 p.m. — Scoreless first inning in the books. The Nats nearly took a 2-0 lead when Clint Robinson crushed a ball down the right-field line and into the second deck … but just foul, as confirmed by a replay review. Tanner Roark, meanwhile, pitched around an infield single and a ball bobbled by Ian Desmond to post a zero during a 17-pitch bottom of the first.
5:36 p.m. — Well, that was a painful bottom of the second to watch. The Phillies scored four runs on six hits, batting around, but nearly every hit was a groundball that just happened to be perfectly placed. They already have three infield hits, plus a couple more grounders just through the hole. Roark hasn’t been dynamite, but he has deserved better luck than this. The worst part is, he’s already thrown 52 pitches. Which isn’t what you want in a doubleheader. Nats down 4-0 after two.
5:50 p.m. — A desperately needed 4-6-3 double play gets Roark out of the third at 64 pitches. His teammates aren’t doing much against Severino Gonzalez so far, though. So it remains 4-0 Phillies heading to the fourth.
6:35 p.m. — Yeah, the fourth inning took 45 minutes to complete. It wasn’t pretty. Well, the top of the inning was. It included three runs scored by the Nats, two on a gargantuan home run by Desmond, a 458-foot shot that struck the last row of the bleachers in deep left-center, the longest homer hit in this ballpark this season. That trimmed the lead to 4-3. Unfortunately, the Phillies got four runs back in the bottom of the inning, knocking Roark out of the game in the process. He gave up 12 hits, 11 of them singles. Felipe Rivero entered and couldn’t completely put out the fire. So it’s now 8-3 Phillies after four very long innings on a very long day at the ballpark.
7:11 p.m. — We’ve completed six innings now, and the Nats have trimmed the lead to 8-4 via a second-deck homer by Jose Lobaton. Yes, Jose Lobaton. Blake Treinen took over in the bottom of the sixth and retired the side, a much-needed development. The Nats still have a shot here against the Phillies bullpen.
7:36 p.m. — Make it 8-5 as the Nats keep chipping away. Clint Robinson’s 2-out RBI single scored Taylor in the top of the seventh. Nice job by Treinen, as well, with two perfect innings of relief. So we go to the eighth, the Nats down 3 runs.
7:51 p.m. — Nothing happening in the eighth. So the Nats are down to their last three outs, still trailing by three runs.
8:00 p.m. — That’ll do it. Nats lose 8-5. Their winning streak is snapped at 8 games.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
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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