Assuming you had the same prediction as any other baseball fan for today's Phillies-Nationals matchup, you were correct. The Stephen Strausberg we've seen dominate teams across the league appeared today in Nationals Park, and handed the Phillies yet another loss. Meanwhile, Kyle Kendrick's "meltdown" of sorts was further stretched in the ballgame.
It didn't take long for Washington to get on top, either. In the bottom of the first, the face we've come to know and love, Jayson Werth, singled home leadoff hitter Denard Span to begin the scoring. A 1-0 lead for the Nats carried into the fourth inning.
In that fourth frame, Kendrick's head-scratching downturn reared its head. After beginning the inning by allowing a hit and a walk to Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche, Kendrick gave up an RBI single to Wilson Ramos. After getting the next two batters on a groundout and a strikeout, KK surrendered a tough infield hit to second by Span. This moved the Washington lead to 3-0.
The difficulties continued into the fifth. After loading the bases on two singles and a walk, Ramos grounded a ball to Chase Utley at second. He threw the ball home, but Erik Kratz could not make the catch, allowing Werth to score. Then, as Kratz took his time recovering the dropped ball, Desmond took advantage an hustled home. In one of the most embarassing plays I've ever seen, the Nationals jumped out to a 5-0 lead. The next batter, Steve Lombardozzi, singled to score yet another run for Washington. 6-0 advantage over the Phils.
It was all Stephen Strausburg in this one. Much to my surprise, Strausburg had never thrown a complete game shutout in his career. So, naturally, the Phillies laid down and gave it to him. The final score stood at 6-0, and the Phillies were swept. Heading into Atlanta, the only thing to do is hope we aren't beaten too badly, and that our young stars make some positive noise. Standing at 4-17 since the All-Star Break, one can only hope that Cole Hamels continues to pitch well in tomorrow night's game. However, opposing him will be Braves' Julio Teheran, who has been nothing short of outstanding for Atlanta recently. Tune in at 7:05 tomorrow night for the "action."