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Game 145: Nats at Phillies

Sep 16, 2015, 3:36 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

PHILADELPHIA — On the heels of dominant performances last night from Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, the Nationals tonight go for a series sweep of the Phillies, hoping Gio Gonzalez can turn in another quality performance. Gonzalez has been good his last two times out, tossing six scoreless innings against the Braves and five innings of 1-run ball against the Marlins.

Harper, meanwhile, will be looking to join the 40-homer club for the first time in his young career, trying to go deep against Phillies rookie right-hander Alec Asher. Asher was a late switch for previously announced starter Adam Morgan, who apparently got lost driving around U Street and couldn’t find his way back. (Sorry, little D.C. neighborhood humor there.)

Updates to come, 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, 79 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to RF

2B Anthony Rendon
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
LF Jayson Werth
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
C Jose Lobaton
CF Michael Taylor
LHP Gio Gonzalez

PHILLIES (56-90)
SS Freddy Galvis
2B Andres Blanco
CF Aaron Altherr
RF Jeff Francoeur
1B Darin Ruf
LF Darnell Sweeney
3B Chase d’Arnaud
C Cameron Rupp
RHP Alec Asher

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

7:07 p.m. — And we’re underway. It’s yet another sparse crowd here in Philly.

7:19 p.m. — Nothing doing for either team in the first inning. Gio Gonzalez was especially effective, retiring the side on 12 pitches, striking out a pair. That’s a good sign for the lefty.

7:40 p.m. — The Nats got a run in the top of the second, but they certainly had a chance for more. They loaded the bases with nobody out thanks to a pair of drops by first baseman Darin Ruf. Jose Lobaton brought home one run with a sac fly, but then Ian Desmond was thrown out trying to steal second (a call overturned on challenge) and Michael Taylor struck out to end the inning. 1-0 Nats after two.

7:55 p.m. — Three scoreless innings in the books for Gonzalez, who has been quite efficient. A pitch count of 40 would be solid no matter the situation, but especially when you’ve struck out five batters already. Good stuff so far from the lefty. Still 1-0 Nats after three.

8:12 p.m. — Lotta power on display in the fourth inning. It began with Jayson Werth, who launched his third homer of the series, a solo shot to left that put the Nats up 2-0 … but only temporarily, because Darin Ruff clobbered a pitch down the pipe from Gonzalez for a 2-run, game-tying blast. Just like that, it’s a 2-2 game after four.

8:37 p.m. — Wild fifth inning. The Nats scored two more runs but also had two guys thrown out at the plate. But one of them (Escobar) appeared to be clearly safe. But the replay folks in New York said there was no conclusive evidence of that, even though everybody in the park (fans and Phillies included) would’ve insisted otherwise. Anyways, it’s 4-2 Nats after all that. Gio also has eight strikeouts so far.

8:58 p.m. — Oh my, is Jayson Werth enjoying his time here in Philly or what? He just launched his fourth homer of the series, this one a towering shot to deep left-center. Then the Nats added another run on back-to-back doubles by Robinson and Desmond. It’s 6-2 after six.

9:17 p.m. — Bryce Harper, ladies and gentlemen. The newest member of the 40-homer club. He’s only the seventh player 22 or younger to do it, and the previous six are all either in the Hall of Fame or have/will be held out for PED use. So that’s some exclusive company. Also exclusive: Gio Gonzalez, who struck out 12 in 7 innings tonight. Combined with Stephen Strasburg last night, the Nats starters have 26 strikeouts in two games. Pretty good. It’s 8-2 after seven.

9:40 p.m. — And the onslaught continues. The Nats scored three more runs in the top of the eighth. It’s 11-2 now.

9:55 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats win 12-2. It’s their first road series sweep of the season. Meanwhile, the Mets are down 6-0 in the ninth in Miami. I mean, it’s not going to happen, but still …

  1. Sonny G 10 - Sep 16, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    Give me a good game tonight, Nats. Go Gio, Go Nats!

    • NatsNut - Sep 16, 2015 at 5:25 PM


    • natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2015 at 6:16 PM


  2. jfmii - Sep 16, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    Mark, wouldn’t 18th Street or Columbia Road have been better?

    • janebeard - Sep 16, 2015 at 5:53 PM

      Probably. But I appreciate the joke anyway.

      • natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2015 at 6:16 PM


    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 16, 2015 at 6:47 PM

      It’s been a few years since I lived in DC, but I would have gone with ‘disappeared down a pothole’ (but maybe that’s not as big a problem anymore?).

  3. janebeard - Sep 16, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    Here’s to #40 coming up tonight! Maybe even #41!

  4. Joe Seamhead - Sep 16, 2015 at 8:03 PM

    Jayson Werth’s demise has been greatly exaggerated.

    • ArVAFan - Sep 16, 2015 at 8:08 PM


  5. Joe Seamhead - Sep 16, 2015 at 8:09 PM

    OK, I’ll talk to myself on here. That’s better than talking to some of the people that have disappeared. But Jayson has been pretty impressive the past few weeks.

    • ArVAFan - Sep 16, 2015 at 8:16 PM

      Agreed: which is a good sign for next year. I expect he’ll keep wearing that wrist protection, and with any luck he won’t miss the middle of his next-to-last year in the field. Sure, he’s going to lose a few steps out there, but he can make up for some of that with smarts at the plate (hmm, brings to mind Adam Dunn’s quote about “as long as I knock in more than I let in”).

    • Nats Fan Zee - Sep 16, 2015 at 9:41 PM


  6. Joe Seamhead - Sep 16, 2015 at 8:17 PM

    What is it about Darin Ruf and his success against the Nats!

  7. Joe Seamhead - Sep 16, 2015 at 8:25 PM

    Yunel was safe.That call on the replay had no justification!

    Taylor? You can’t teach instincts. I have no idea why he stopped, unless Hendley had something to do with it.

  8. TimDz - Sep 16, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    THAT was clearly a “nuts and bolts” call…..we got screwed…

    • Joe Seamhead - Sep 16, 2015 at 8:46 PM


  9. Joe Seamhead - Sep 16, 2015 at 8:43 PM

    Have I mentioned that I’m not ready to give up on Jayson Werth yet?

  10. Drew - Sep 16, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    5 to reach 100 at 22.

    660 from Henry Aaron.

  11. npb99 - Sep 16, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    Hats off to Kid Harper. What a player!

  12. Nats Fan Zee - Sep 16, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    Keep this up and Bryce hits # 50 @ Citi Field on October 4th as the Nats sneak past the Mets to clinch the East!

    (Hay, I fella can dream …..)

    • ArVAFan - Sep 16, 2015 at 9:55 PM

      Can I have some of what you’re drinking?

    • natsfan1a - Sep 16, 2015 at 10:10 PM

      I’ll have what they’re having.

    • sec112 - Sep 16, 2015 at 10:11 PM

      Last two nights DeGrom and Colon, the only pitchers who have been solid for the Mets recently, both lose. 7.5 games and facing 3 against the Yankees 1-3 starters. The Mets have now named Harvey as the starter for Sunday after saying they’d hold him out. Yes, this is a large lead. But they are worried. They’ve been here before and had it not end well.

      • Nats Fan Zee - Sep 16, 2015 at 10:25 PM

        The Yankees will play them hard … The Mets have had this “Take back NY” thing going on all year and the Yanks want to win their division.

        Ask me what I’m drinking come Sunday night ….





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)...

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