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Game 144: Nats at Phillies

Sep 15, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

PHILADELPHIA — There haven’t been a whole lot of encouraging developments for the Nationals over the last six weeks or so, but Stephen Strasburg certainly has been plenty encouraging of late. Tonight, the right-hander takes the mound at Citizens Bank Park hoping to continue his roll against a Phillies lineup that features journeyman Andres Blanco hitting cleanup.

The Nationals are going with the same lineup that scored eight runs last night, with Anthony Rendon still leading off and Jayson Werth still hitting cleanup behind Bryce Harper. That group will take its hacks against right-hander David Buchanan, owner of a 9.11 ERA.

Updates to come, so please check back…

Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183/869
Weather: Clear, 77 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF

2B Anthony Rendon
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
LF Jayson Werth
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
CF Michael Taylor
RHP Stephen Strasburg

PHILLIES (56-89)
LF Darnell Sweeney
SS Freddy Galvis
CF Odubel Herrera
2B Andres Blanco
3B Cody Asche
1B Darin Ruf
RF Brian Bogusevic
C Carlos Ruiz
RHP David Buchanan

HP Todd Tichenor
1B Chris Segal
2B Mike Everitt
3B Tim Welke (cc)

7:05 p.m. — We are underway on a gorgeous September evening here in Philly. Nice sunset behind the downtown skyline in the distance as David Buchanan delivers his first pitch to Anthony Rendon.

7:27 p.m. — Wow, interesting first at-bat for Bryce Harper. Buchanan’s first-pitch fastball sailed behind Harper’s legs, leaving the slugger pausing to look at the right-hander in confusion. Can’t imagine that was intentional, but it certainly was way, way off-target. Buchanan’s third pitch, however, was a meatball down the middle, and Harper proceeded to launch it over the 409-foot sign in center field. That’s his 38th homer of the season (his seventh in his last 10-plus games) and it gives the Nats a 1-0 lead. Which Stephen Strasburg preserved after a scoreless bottom of the first that included a walk but two strikeouts.

7:42 p.m. — Two strong innings for Strasburg so far. He has thrown only 28 pitches and allowed only one ball to leave the infield. Good fastball-curveball combo going tonight. Still 1-0 Nats after two.

7:56 p.m. — Hmm, Strasburg seems to have something going on tonight. It’s only three innings so far, but he looks unhittable. Which he has been, allowing only a walk through three scoreless innings on 38 pitches. Still only one ball has left the infield. And the Nats lead 2-0 thanks to Yunel Escobar’s double and Harper’s run-scoring single up the middle. That’s Harper’s second RBI tonight, his 88th overall.

8:08 p.m. — Four hitless innings in the books for Strasburg, with six strikeouts and still only the one ball hit out of the infield. He’s on cruise control right now, his pitch count at 51. Still 2-0.

8:26 p.m. — Well, so much for Strasburg’s no-hitter. Cody Asche led off the fifth with a sharp single through the right side of the infield. Strasburg, though, still is dominating this lineup, striking out the side after that. He’s got nine strikeouts in five innings tonight, 22 strikeouts over his last 12 1/3 innings. Impressive. Still 2-0 Nats after five.

8:42 p.m. — Ho-hum, just another 1-2-3 inning for Strasburg. He’s through six innings of 1-hit, 1-walk ball, having now struck out 10 on 85 pitches. That said, the Nats haven’t done anything against Buchanan since Harper’s RBI single in the third. They’ve left themselves with a 2-0 lead, which isn’t exactly a huge cushion right now. To the seventh we go…

9:01 p.m. — Wow, Strasburg just struck out the side on 10 pitches in the seventh inning. That’s back-to-back 13-strikeout starts for him, one shy of his career high. He’s at 95 pitches, so certainly a chance for him to come back out for the eighth. Still 2-0 Nats.

9:24 p.m. — Man, what a night for the Nationals’ two No. 1 draft picks. Harper just homered for the second time tonight, the 8th time in 11 games, the 39th time this season. And Strasburg just notched his 14th strikeout, matching his career-high. He’s through eight innings of 1-hit, 1-walk, 14-strikeout ball, sitting on 105 pitches. Nats up 4-0 after eight.

9:37 p.m. — No complete game tonight for Strasburg. It’ll be Blake Treinen for the ninth, with the Nats still up 4-0.

9:41 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats win 4-0. It was the Strasburg and Harper Show here in Philly.

  1. DaveB - Sep 15, 2015 at 4:28 PM

    I haven’t been following the Phillies lineup recently … does Mackanin always bounce it around this much (e.g., why would you drop Bogusevic from 4th to 7th the night after he hits a HR)?

    • nats106 - Sep 15, 2015 at 4:44 PM

      He went to the summer session of the MW school of managing.

      In the winter session you learn how to repeatedly bench utility infielders who are doing well.

      Special Christmas special, how to manage your BP in the 7th inning and beyond.

      I heard he got the special 40% off deal when he signed up for all 3 sessions.

      • jfmii - Sep 15, 2015 at 5:33 PM

        winter session – I have to agree that his aversion to sitting Desi down more than he did was maddening.
        Christmas special – I didn’t always like his bullpen management but I think that we tend to blame the manager when relief pitching fails. Many many times it was on the pitchers. My worst moment in this season of bad moments was watching Treinan, Rivero and Storen unable to get the 3rd out in that 8-7 loss. Everyone was piling on MW that night, but I thought Treinan and Rivero were the right moves–they just didn’t get it done. And I can’t really find fault with MW seemingly time after time throwing Storen to the wolves in the last week or so. He had been so damn good earlier…

  2. Muddy Ruel - Sep 15, 2015 at 5:32 PM

    I’d like to see Trea Turner play. I’d be interested in hearing the Nats rationale for playing the soon-to-be-gone Desmond instead. I don’t think “never say die” re the pennant chase is convincing at this point, at least not to me. Maybe it’s paying respect to Desi, which does make some sense for me. I think Turner is penciled in at SS next season rather than 2B.

    • jfmii - Sep 15, 2015 at 5:38 PM

      Just not good etiquette to throw in the towel before the Mets clinch. And I agree Desmond receiving the proper farewell respect is appropriate

      But to your other point, the more I see of Turner, the more I see him ending up as a second basemen, not a shortstop.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 15, 2015 at 6:23 PM

        Wondering why you say that (more ikely a 2B than a SS) given that he’s only had 5 innings at SS and has only touched the ball twice (as I read the stats), both times without a problem. I’m not saying you’re wrong, it’s just that he’s had so few chances I don’t have any read whatsoever.

      • veejh - Sep 15, 2015 at 7:10 PM

        Dayum….already benching Espi. He just can’t catch a break.

  3. veejh - Sep 15, 2015 at 7:11 PM

    Harper be in fiyah…..for nothing.

  4. veejh - Sep 15, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Does anyone actually think that the Mets will retain Cespedes? They’re not that good, and without him, and his hot bat since they picked him up, they’ll be slightly above average next season. We can definitely compete next season.

    • veejh - Sep 15, 2015 at 7:22 PM

      Wilpon’s are cheap.

  5. carlospaula - Sep 15, 2015 at 7:38 PM

    Only reason to pay attention is to see what stats Bam Bam puts up…..unless they play Trey

  6. Drew - Sep 15, 2015 at 7:40 PM

    7 to reach 100 at age 22.

    662 from Henry Aaron.

  7. Joe Seamhead - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:36 PM

    So, I don’t post often right now, but that was a dumb assed at bat by CRobb. The guy just walked 2 guys in a row and you swing at a first pitch off speed pitch?

    • Joe Seamhead - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:38 PM

      Oh, yeah,and you hit into a double play.This is why you aren’t a starter, Clint

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:38 PM


  8. Joe Seamhead - Sep 15, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    So, just curious.. Would you all have given Herrara an error on the ball to CF?

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:32 PM

      Almost certainly.

  9. Drew - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:09 PM

    6 to reach 100 at age 22.

    661 from Henry Aaron.

    • Just. Dave - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:18 PM

      Drew, please tell me where he rates on the list for 22 yo. Google doesn’t give me the answer.

      • Drew - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:49 PM

        I think the only players to reach 100 homers at 22 are Mel Ott, Tony Conigliaro and Eddie Mathews.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:31 PM

      Just a day or two ago I suggested it wasn’t possible, but…

    • Nats Fan Zee - Sep 15, 2015 at 10:41 PM

      11 to be the first 22 year old to hit 50! I think he can do it!

  10. npb99 - Sep 15, 2015 at 9:11 PM

    What a shame Harper’s teammates under-performed so much this year. Would have been a blast seeing him in the post-season.

  11. Guapo - Sep 16, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    Bryce Harper is a good hitter.





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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

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