Danny Espinosa lit up Cliff Lee and the Phillies last night, homering twice in the first six innings and driving in four runs to lead the Nats to a 10-2 win.
After hitting a solo shot off of Halladay in game one of the three-game set on Monday, Espinosa is 4-for-8 with three home runs in the series.
Lee didn’t pitch real well, allowing six runs in 5 1/3 innings to get his ERA for the season up near four at 3.94. The bullpen was even worse — allowing four runs on six hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings as Baez and Zagurski were both hit hard.
The Phillies are 34-21 on the year after losing to the Washington Nationals 10-2 last night. The teams have split the first two games of the three-game set and will finish off the series this afternoon. The Phils remain in first place in the NL East, two games ahead of the second-place Marlins.
Lee got the starts for the Phillies and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both home runs by Danny Espinosa. He struck out four.
He threw a 1-2-3 first, getting Roger Bernadina on a fly ball to center for the first out, Ian Desmond on a fly ball to right for the second and striking out Jayson Werth for the third. Brown made a nice play for the second out in shallow right-center, charging and then sliding to make the catch.
Michael Morse started the second with a single to center and moved to second when Danny Espinosa followed with an infield single. Ivan Rodriguez was next and hit a double-play ball to second. The Phils turned two and Morse moved up to third with two outs. Jerry Hairston grounded to third to end the inning.
Brian Bixler started the third and bunted for a single. The pitcher Jason Marquis was next and he tried to bunt Bixler to second, but Lee fielded and threw to second to force Bixler for the first out with Marquis safe at first. Bernadina moved Marquis to second with a bloop single to left before Lee walked Desmond on five pitches, loading the bases. Werth was next and he flew to Brown in right, deep enough for Marquis to tag and scored, putting Washington up 1-0, and for Bernadina to move up to third. Morse followed that with a single into left, scoring Bernadina to make it 2-0. Espinosa was next and hit the first pitch of his at-bat out to left-center. 5-0. Lee walked Rodriguez before getting Hairston to fly to center for the third out.
Lee set the Nats down in order in the fourth.
The Washington lead was cut to 5-2 when he threw a 1-2-3 fifth.
Espinosa led off the sixth and homered to left center again, this time hitting a 3-1 pitch out. 6-2. Lee struck out Rodriguez behind him, but Hairston followed that with a walk and Manuel pulled Lee for Stutes. Lefty Rick Ankiel hit for the righty Bixler and popped to Polanco for the second out. Marquis moved Hairston to third with a single to left, but Stutes struck Bernadina out swinging to leave both men stranded.
Baez started the seventh and gave up a leadoff single to Desmond. Werth moved him to second when he grounded softly to third for the first out. Desmond stole third before Morse doubled just fair down the third base line, scoring Desmond to make it 7-2. Baez struck out Espinosa for the second out before Rodriguez singled into center. Morse was going to score anyway, but Mayberry threw it over everyone’s head and Rodriguez took second with the Nats up 8-2. Hairston followed that with a single. Rodriguez scored (9-2), but Ibanez at least hit the cutoff man. Polanco took his throw and went to second where Hairston was tagged out after Rodriguez crossed the plate.
Zagurski started the eighth and got Ankiel on a fly ball to left for the first out before walking pitcher Cole Kimball on a 3-2 pitch. He struck out Bernadina for the second out before walking Desmond. Turns out you don’t really want to walk Cole Kimball and Ian Desmond in the same four-batter span, cause sooner or later someone might show up who can hit. Werth was willing to take up that role in this case, doubling to the wall in center, scoring Kimball to make it 10-2 with Desmond holding third. Morse grounded to short to leave both runners stranded.
Zagurski didn’t get a lot of help from the home plate umpire in the inning, but you still want to try to avoid watching the relief pitcher and Ian Desmond in the same frame. Kimball should have been called out on the pitch he walked on, but you might want to try to stay away from ball three just in case. Career walk number one for Kimball, who was making the eighth appearance of his career. Desmond came into the game on-basing .261 for the year.
Zagurski threw 27 pitches in the game and now has a 7.71 career ERA in 36 appearances. Baez threw 18 pitches and Stutes ten. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row.
The Phillies lineup against righty Jason Marquis went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Brown (8) Mayberry. Brown in right against the righty. Mayberry in center. Ruiz continues to hit sixth.
Polanco singled to center with one out in the first, but Utley flew to right behind him and Howard grounded out to leave him stranded.
Ruiz singled with one out in the second. Brown hit a ground ball to second with Ruiz forced at second for the second out. Mayberry struck out swinging to leave Brown at first.
Mayberry came into the game having struck out in four of his last nine plate appearances.
The Phils went in order in the third.
Down 5-0, Utley started the fourth with a single to right. Howard was next and hit a ball that Marquis fielded. He started a double-play that cleared the bases. Ibanez was next and singled to right, but Ruiz lined to short for the third out.
Brown led off the fifth and hit a 3-2 pitch out to right for his first homer of the year, cutting the lead to 5-1. Mayberry was next and he homered to left center on a 2-1 pitch. 5-2. Lee and Rollins went down behind Mayberry before Polanco singled to right. Utley flew to right to leave him at first.
Ibanez and Ruiz both struck out as the Phils went in order in the sixth.
Down 6-2, Brown started the seventh with a double to right. Mayberry grounded to short for the first out and with the righty Marquis still on the mound, Gload hit for Stutes. He did his best to strike out, but reached on catcher’s interference on an 0-2 pitch, putting men on first and second with one down. Righty Tyler Clippard took over for Marquis and Kendrick ran for Gload at first. Rollins lined to right for the second out and Polanco popped to Desmond for the third.
Mayberry can’t move the runner up after the leadoff double by Brown. Gload now has more reached on catcher’s interferences than walks for the season. 282/282/282 on the year for him and I’m pretty curious to see how long he can keep the no walks and no extra-base hits thing up. I would have guessed not until June.
Utley walked to start the eighth. Howard was next and hit a hard ground ball to first. Morse fielded and threw to second, where the third baseman Hairston was covering and made a snazzy leaping throw to first over a sliding Utley to complete the double-play. Ibanez grounded to second for the third out.
Ruiz lined a single to left to start the ninth with the Phils down 10-2. Brown flew to left behind him for the first out. Mayberry was next and he grounded to third with Ruiz forced at second for the second out. With the righty Kimball on the mound, Francisco hit for Zagurski and popped to third to end the game.
Rollins was 0-for-4. He’s 0-for-9 in the first two games of the series.
Polanco 2-for-4. He hit 248/289/294 in May.
Utley was 1-for-3 with a walk. 278/435/500 over his last five games (5-for-18 with four walks, a double and a home run). 222/364/370 in 33 plate appearances on the year.
Howard was 0-for-4 and left three men on base. He hit 208/317/434 in May. After driving in 27 runs in 26 games in April he drove in 15 in 28 games in May.
Ibanez was 1-for-4. He hit 315/339/602 in May after an awful April.
Ruiz 2-for-4. 4-for-his-last-9 and 393/485/536 over his last eight games (11-for-28 with five walks and four doubles).
Brown was 2-for-4 with a double and his first home run of the year. He’s hitting 333/378/545 in 33 plate appearances for the season.
Mayberry was 1-for-4 with his third home run of the year. 194/254/323 over his last 67 plate appearances. 4-for-his-last-13 with two doubles and a home run.
The Phils will have to make a roster move to make room for Victorino, who may be back Friday if all goes well. Mayberry or Francisco, who still has an option left, seem to be the primary candidates. The linked article seems to suggest that Manuel would like to keep Martinez, which seems like a mistake to me. I think it’s true that the Phils should be worried about their middle infield depth given Utley’s health, but less worried about trying to hold on to Martinez all year.
Roy Oswalt (3-2, 2.60) faces lefty John Lannan (2-4, 4.40) this afternoon. Lannan has already made two starts against the Phils this season, allowing nine runs in eight innings. He pitched well on April 13, holding the Phillies to two earned runs over six innings, but Halladay threw a complete game and the Phils won 3-2. The Phils hit him hard on May 5 and Lannan was charged with six runs in just two innings. Oswalt has allowed three earned runs in 18 innings over his last three starts. He has been charged with more than two earned runs in just one of his eight starts on the year.
PS: Updated the Starts Log, which shows the Phils are now 18-5 when Halladay or Hamels starts and 16-16 when anyone else does. Not only that, but the Phils also are exactly .500 in the games started by each of the other five starting pitchers: 6-6 when Lee starts, 4-4 when Oswalt starts, 3-3 for Blanton, 2-2 Worley and 1-1 Kendrick. And that’s not all: 0-0 when you start. It’s both strange and frightening.
Phils’ starters have thrown to a 5.13 ERA and a 1.62 ratio over their last nine games, making four quality starts and allowing 77 hits in 54 1/3 innings. In the first 46 games of the season, the starters threw to a 3.10 ERA with a 1.13 ratio.