After losing the last three games, the Phillies (24-31) entered tonight just looking to stay afloat against the Washington Nationals (29-28). A.J. Burnett (3-5 4.41 ERA) received the ball for the Phillies, looking to rebound after a bad month of May. The Nationals opposed Burnett with their staff ace, Stephen Strasburg (5-4 3.10 ERA).
The Game: After 3.5 innings of scoreless ball, the Nationals broke through in a major way. Adam LaRoche started the bottom with a double left. Then with one out, Burnett loaded the bases with back-to-back walks. Danny Espinosa followed with a double to right to score the Nationals first two runs of the night. Pitcher Stephen Strasburg then followed with a single of his own to score another run. Burnett got a RBI ground out and a caught stealing to end the inning. 4-0 Nationals.
In the top of the fifth, the Phillies cut the lead in half. Domonic Brown singled and moved to second on an error. Reid Brignac then crushed a double to score Brown. With two outs, Jimmy Rollins reached on fielding error by Strasburg, scoring Brignac. But, in the bottom of the inning, Anthony Rendon led off with his eighth homer of the year to left center. 5-2 Nationals.
The Nationals kept the scoring going in the sixth. With one out, Espoinosa singled and Stasburg worked a walk. Denard Span made Burnett pay for walking the pitcher, hitting a double to score another run. Rendon followed with a two-RBI single. 8-2 Nationals
With one out in the seventh, Ben Revere singled to bring pinch-hitter, John Mayberry Jr., up to bat. Mayberry crushed a ball for this third homer of the year to bring the Phillies within four runs. 8-4 Nationals.
In the bottom of the seventh, the game would be delayed by rain for an hour and 48 minutes. Unfortunately for the Phillies, their offense continued to sputter the rest of the night, ultimately leading another loss. 8-4 Nationals Final
Significant Offensive Stats:
Ryan Howard: 2-4
Reid Brignac: 2-4 RBI, 2B
John Mayberry: 2RBI, HR
Impact: The Phillies have now lost four in a row and are falling rapidly in the standings. If they keep this up they will fall to rock bottom and this team will look completely different come the trade deadline. It is really sad to watch what this this team has come to this over the last few years. Hopefully with a flow of young talent in the coming trades will improve the club in the long run.
Up Next: Tomorrow the Phillies close out their series against the Nationals (4:05 pm CSN). They will send right-hander Kyle Kendrick (1-5 4.21 ERA) to the hill. Kendrick took the no decision in his last start against the Mets going six innings giving up four runs. The Nationals will send fellow righty, Doug Fister (3-1 3.34 ERA), to close out the sweep. Fister won his last start over the Texas Rangers going six inning of two run ball.
Andrew Shipotofsky is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Ashipotofsky