If this is how the Nationals are going to play in the postseason, then the rest of the National League playoff contenders better watch out. The Phillies fell victim again to the Nats tonight in the final home game of the 2012 season. The Phils may be looking powerful as of late, but they were no match for Morse, Harper, and the rest of the mighty Nats.
Last night, Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer in the first inning off of Kyle Kendrick, putting his team up early on. He did the same tonight off of Tyler Cloyd, this time for a solo home run.
The Phillies got that run back in the bottom of the inning, and then some. Gio Gonzalez loaded the bases up for Darin Ruf. Ruf didn't disappoint- he cleared the bases with a double, putting the Phillies up 3-1.
Michael Morse hit the first of his two home runs in the top of the second. This one was a solo dinger to left-center, making it a one-run ballgame.
In the fourth, Michael Morse tacked on another run with an RBI groundout scoring Ryan Zimmerman. Tied game.
With two men on in the fifth, Bryce Harper singled over the head of Jimmy Rollins, scoring Danny Espinosa. 4-3 Nats lead.
Tyler Cloyd's line tonight: 5 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. He tossed 90 pitches, 56 for strikes. His ERA hiked up to 4.91 as he was charged with the two-run homer that was to come.
Michael Morse's second home run of the evening came in the sixth with Adam LaRoche on base. Morse hit it into the Nationals' bullpen, maybe 15-20 feet shy of Ashburn Alley. After that, Jeremy Horst came in to retire the Nats.
With Horst still in for the seventh inning, the Nats had the bases loaded up for Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman struck out swinging, but, Horst had thrown a wild pitch which allowed Eury Perez to come home. Jayson Werth was tagged out at home on a fielder's choice to follow that. With two outs, Charlie Manuel pulled Horst for Phillippe Aumont. Aumont only tossed one pitch to retire Michael Morse who grounded out.
Phillippe Aumont pitched a scoreless top of the eighth, leaving it to the Phillies to turn this game around. However, the Phillies had gathered just three hits after the third inning. In the eighth, they remained dry as Laynce Nix, Ryan Howard, and Domonic Brown went down 1-2-3 to Tyler Clippard.
Jake Diekman came in for the ninth inning tonight, allowing a double to Jayson Werth to lead it off. But, he wouldn't allow a run to score.
Drew Storen closed it out beautifully for the Nationals, sending them to a series victory.
That wraps up the 2012 home schedule. The Phillies will travel to Miami tonight and start a three-game series tomorrow at 7:10. Cliff Lee will take the hill against Mark Buehrle.