Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL) SB CS
WAS 44-81 462 3.70 16 675 (16) 55 29
PHI 66-58 595 4.80 4 764 (5) 97 17

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
WAS 44-81 624 4.99 13 4.73 (11) 4.25 (13)
PHI 66-58 529 4.27 3 4.33 (10) 3.19 (2)

I’m not sure the Phillies’ problems are as complicated as they may seem. If your team is hitting .202 for a month and is last in the league in runs scored you’re going to lose a whole lot. The Phils hit better last night — it wasn’t the spectacular burst of offense that fans have been hoping for, but a win is a win and the Phils can use all they can get.

Coming off an off-day, the rested pen bailed out Joe Blanton. After Blanton gave up four runs in five innings to the meek Nationals’ offense, Durbin, Madson and Lidge shut Washington down the rest of the way. Blanton left down 4-1 in the fifth, but the Phils got within one in the bottom of the inning, pushed across another run in the seventh to tie the game and won it on a solo blast by Werth in the eighth.

Charlie Manuel rolled a seven last night as well. Manuel put the righty Werth in the starting lineup against the righty Jason Bergmann and left the lefty Jenkins on the bench to start the game. Werth hadn’t faced Bergmann coming into the game and Jenkins was 4-for-6 against him this season and 5-for-9 with a home run in his career. Jenkins got an at-bat against a righty in the game and came up with a big sac fly. Werth went 0-for-3 in his first three at-bats. When he hit against a righty in the eighth, the big lefties typically on the Phillies’ bench, Dobbs and Jenkins, were both unavailable. Even if Manuel wanted to call on a lefty he didn’t have a choice and Werth delivered the game-winner.

The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 5-4 to improve to 67-58.

Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out three.

With one out in the first, Willie Harris hit an 0-1 pitch out to right to put the Nats up 1-0. Blanton got the next two.

Ronnie Belliard led off the second with a double. Jesus Flores flew to left before Blanton walked Austin Kearns. It put men on first and second for Kory Casto and Blanton got him on a soft liner to short. The pitcher Jason Bergmann grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.

Blanton threw a 1-2-3 third.

Lastings Milledge and Belliard started the fourth with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second for Flores and Flores singled to left. Milledge scored to put Washington up 2-1 with Belliard moving to second. Blanton avoided further damage, though. He got Kearns to fly to center for the first out. Casto hit it hard but Howard took the line drive for the second out. Bergmann struck out to leave two more runners stranded.

Harris singled with one out in the fifth. Ryan Zimmerman was next and sliced a ball just fair down the right field line and off the base of the wall and then the corner on a weird bounce. Harris scored to make it 3-1 and Zimmerman had a triple. Milledge flew to center with Zimmerman holding for the second out, but Belliard came up with a two-out single into center. Zimmerman scored and it was 4-1. Flores struck out looking for the third out.

Durbin started the sixth with the Phils down 4-3 having hit for Blanton in the bottom of the fifth. Kearns and Casto led off with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second for Bergmann and Bergmann hit for himself and bunted. Durbin fielded the bunt and threw to third to force Kearns for the first out. Emilo Bonifacio grounded to first for the second out with the runners moving to second and third. Harris flew to right for the third out.

Bergmann hitting for himself and bunting into an out at third was a huge play in the game. The Nats’ fear of their own miserable pen might have helped the Phils out there.

Durbin returned for the seventh and got the first two before Belliard singled and was thrown out trying to steal second.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 eighth with the game tied at 4-4.

Lidge pitched the ninth with a 5-4 lead. He struck out pinch-hitter Aaron Boone, got Bonifacio to pop to short and Harris swinging 2-2 to end the game.

Four scoreless innings from the pen kept the Phils in the game after Blanton was hit hard. Durbin gave up three singles, but was helped by the Bergmann bunt and force at third. As a group the pen went four innings, allowing three singles and striking out five. In the eighth and ninth, Madson and Lidge went two perfect innings while striking out four.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jason Bergmann went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Werth continues to hit second with Victorino batting sixth. Coste catches.

Down 1-0 in the first, the Phils went in order.

Howard led off the second with a single. Burrell popped to short before a double by Victorino moved Howard to third. Dobbs looked struck out on a 1-2 breaking ball, but got the call and hit the a 2-2 pitch into left-center well enough for Howard to tag and score to tie the game at 1-1. Coste flew to center for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third and fourth.

Victorino led off the fifth with a triple. Dobbs was next and hit a ball to left that Harris didn’t catch for an error. Victorino scored to cut the Washington lead to 4-2. Dobbs stole second before Coste singled on a ball deflected by Belliard, moving Dobbs to third. With men on first and third with nobody out, Manuel called on Jenkins to hit for Blanton and Jenkins delivered a sac fly to left that scored Dobbs. 4-3. Coste held first and Rollins hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Blanton had thrown 92 pitches in the game. The bullpen was rested after an off-day yesterday, which may have contributed to hitting for him with nobody out.

1-2-3 in the sixth.

Burrell reached on an infield single in the direction of Belliard to start the seventh. Victorino followed with a ground ball to second and Burrell was forced at second for the first out. A single by Dobbs moved Victorino to third and righty Steven Shell came in to pitch to Coste. Coste hit a ball to right deep enough to score Victorino and tie the game at 4-4. Taguchi hit for Durbin and tried to bunt for a hit but was thrown out to end the inning.

Rollins flew to deep right-center to start the first. With the righty Shell still on the mound, Werth got behind before Shell hung a 1-2 curveball and Werth blasted it out to left-center to put the Phils up 5-4. Huge homer for Werth against a righty after he gets the start against the righty. Howard walked after Utley grounded to first for the second out, but Burrell flew to left to leave him stranded.

Rollins was 0-for-4. He’s 2-for-his-last-25.

Werth was 1-for-4 and won the game with his 17th home run, which is a career-high for him. He has 17 home runs in 284 at-bats this season. No other NL player with at least 17 home runs this season has fewer at-bats (in the AL, Marcus Thames has hit 21 in 246 at-bats for the Tigers).

Utley was 0-for-4. He’s hitting 206/315/444 in August. On-basing .315 for the month after on-basing .336 in July.

Howard was 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 3-for-his-last-27 and hitting 186/310/373 in August. He has 14 strikeouts in his last 22 at-bats.

Howard had the Phillies only walk in the game.

Burrell 1-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s hitting .173 in August.

Victorino was 2-for-3 with a double and a triple, which were the only extra-base hits in the game for the Phillies other than Werth’s home run.

Dobbs was 1-for-2 with an RBI. 294/324/559 in August.

Coste was 1-for-2 with an RBI. After hitting 208/208/333 in July he’s hitting 194/257/226 in August.

Brett Myers (5-10, 5.02) faces righty Collin Balester (2-5, 5.06) tonight. Balester held the Phils to two runs on six hits over six innings but was outpitched by Myers on July 29. He’s allowed seven home runs in 42 2/3 innings on the season, five of which have been hit by lefties. Myers hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start in any of his last five outings. In his five starts since his trip to the minor leagues Myers is 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA and an 0.92 ratio.