Ross Detwiler was in the driver's seat tonight against the Phillies, throwing seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts in a winning effort for the Nationals.
Adam LaRoche chipped in for three hits off of Cole Hamels. The first was an absolute bomb that landed in the upper deck in right field, giving the (G)nats a 1 - 0 lead in the bottom of the second. That was all the Nationals would need as they cruised to a 3 -0 victory.
The Phillies almost jumped ahead in the top of the second inning. With runners on 1st and 2nd and one out, Michael Martinez (that's right folks, HEEEE'S BAAAACCK) singled through the hole on the right side. With Hamels on deck, Juan Samuel gambled by sending John Mayberry Jr. home against Bryce Harper's arm. Predictably, Harper threw a strike to home on the shallow ground ball, ending the Phils' only legitimate scoring threat of the night.
Your 2012 Phillies defense let Hamels down in the bottom of the third. With one down, Chase Utley botched a Ryan Zimmerman grounder off the mound that was generously scored a single. The next batter, Michael Morse, hit a sharp ground ball to Rollins; instead of a patented 6-4-3 double play, the ball rolled into center field for another single. Adam LaRoche then singled to center to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead. Martinez made a poor throw to third on the play, allowing each runner to advance a base and handing the Nationals another run on a Jayson Werth ground ball.
Despite the defensive lowlights, Mayberry threw out LaRoche at home in the bottom of the sixth when he attempted to tag up on a Steve Lombardozzi line drive. Ty Wigginton (He wears a glove?) also made an impressive catch on a foul pop-up in the bottom of the seventh - a play that could have been ruled fan interference if the catch wasn't made.
Cole Hamels pitched seven innings with an impressive nine strikeouts, but the Phils' anemic offense could not bail out the defense. The Phillies didn't record a hit after the third inning, and seventeen consecutive batters were retired between the third and eighth innings. Michael Schwimer tossed a scoreless eighth inning, but the Phillies failed to mount a ninth inning comeback against Tyler Clippard, who recorded the save. Pinch hitting for Domonic Brown, Ryan Howard, representing the tying run, struck out looking to end the game. This was the Phillies first loss since trading away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence on Tuesday.
The Phillies return home tomorrow night to start a series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at 7:05 PM.
Adam Gonsiewski is a contributer to Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @TheGons45 .