The Phillie starter got blasted early again last night and the Phillies fell to the Nats 7-3.

A day after Kyle Kendrick allowed three home runs to the first eight Nationals he faced, Tyler Cloyd gave up two to the first five Washington hitters in the series finale. A three-run double by Darin Ruf in the bottom of the first made it look like the Phils might be able to overcome Cloyd’s rough start, but the Phillies wouldn’t score again in the game as Washington piled on five unanswered runs.

Last night’s game was the final game of the year at home for the Phils. They finish the season 40-41 at home. They went 52-29 at home in 2011.

The Phillies are 78-78 on the year after losing 7-3 to the Washington Nationals last night. The Nats take the series two games to one. The Phillies are 1-4 over their last five games and in third place in the NL East, 17 games out of first. They are six games out for the Wild Card with six games left on their schedule.

Cloyd got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and two walks. Five of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and three home runs. He struck out four.

Cloyd has a 4.91 ERA and a 1.21 ratio after six starts with the Phils. He’s walked just seven in 33 innings, but has allowed eight home runs and at least one in every start. Eight home runs in 33 innings has him on a pace to allow about 48 over 200 innings. That’s too many.

Jayson Werth was the first batter of the game and grounded to short. Bryce Harper was next, though, and the lefty hit an 0-1 pitch from Cloyd out to right-center, putting the Nats up 1-0. Cloyd struck Ryan Zimmerman out for the second out and got Adam LaRoche on a ground ball to first for the third.

The Phils led 3-1 when Cloyd started the second. Michael Morse led off the frame and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center. 3-2. Ian Desmond was next and hit a ball well, but Frandsen handled it at third and threw to first for the first out. Danny Espinosa tried to bunt for a hit, but Cloyd handled that one for the second out. Kurt Suzuki grounded to third to end the frame.

Cloyd set the Nats down in order in the third, striking the pitcher Gio Gonzalez out for the first out.

Zimmerman doubled to left to start the fourth. He went to third when LaRoche flew to center for the first out and scored on a ground out by Morse, tying the game at 3-3. Cloyd struck Desmond out to end the frame.

Cloyd walked Espinosa to start the fifth. Suzuki flew to center for the first out before Gonzalez bunted Espinosa to second with the second. Werth walked on four pitches, putting two men on for Harper. Harper singled softly to left past a diving Rollins. Espinosa scored to put the Nats up 4-3 and Werth went to third. Zimmerman struck out looking to leave the runners on the corners.

You want to avoid walking the leadoff hitter when you can.

LaRoche started the sixth with a double and came around to score when Morse blasted a 2-1 pitch into the Nationals bullpen in center. 6-3. Horst took over for Cloyd and got the next three hitters, striking out Desmond and Espinosa before getting Suzuki on a ground ball to short.

Righty Mark DeRosa hit for Gonzalez to start the seventh and singled into center. Eury Perez ran for DeRosa at first and stole second before Werth walked again, putting two men on for Harper. Horst walked Harper, too, loading the bases for Zimmerman. Zimmerman struck out swinging 1-2, but on a wild pitch that allowed everyone to move up a base. Perez scored (7-3) and it brought LaRoche to the plate with one out and men on second and third. LaRoche hit a ground ball to second. Utley fielded and came home where a sliding Werth was tagged out for the second out. Aumont came in and got Morse on a ground out to short, leaving runners on the corners.

Horst doesn’t fare well in his second inning of work, allowing the first three batters he faces to reach on a walk and two singles. He threw 42 pitches in the game, which is the most he has thrown this season. He also threw 42 pitches on July 27 against the Braves.

He’s charged with a run in 1 2/3 innings in the game, which is the only run he’s allowed in his eight appearances in September. He has thrown two days in a row.

Suzuki singled off of Aumont with two outs in the eighth. Lefty Chad Tracy hit for the pitcher Sean Burnett and grounded to first for the third out.

Aumont goes more than one inning for the first time in his career, getting one out in the seventh before throwing a scoreless eighth. That’s three good appearances in a row for him after he struggled for three straight games against the Astros and the Mets. He hasn’t walked a batter in 3 1/3 scoreless innings over his last three outings. If it’s not all about the walks for him, it’s a lot about the walks.

Diekman started the ninth. Werth led off and doubled to left. Diekman got Harper swinging for the first out and Zimmerman on a ground ball to second that moved Werth up to third for the second. LaRoche flew to center to leave Werth at third.

Werth continues to pound left-handed pitching. 384/464/534 for the year.

Diekman faces four hitters, allowing a leadoff double to the lefty-killer Werth and getting the next three. Righties are on-basing .394 against him for the year, which is a lot to on-base. He’s walked too many lefties, eight of the 55 left-handed hitters he’s faced, but they are hitting just .182 against him with a .227 slugging percentage.

Overall, the pen goes four innings in the game, allowing a run on three hits and two walks. Horst threw 42 pitches in the game and has thrown for two straight days, so I wouldn’t be expecting him tonight. Diekman threw 19 pitches last night, but is well-rested.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Gio Gonzalez went (1) Rollins (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Ruf (7) Brown (8) Kratz. Ruiz on the bench with Kratz catching. Ruf in left for the third straight game and hits ahead of Brown this time, which makes a lot of sense. Mayberry dropped to fifth with the hot Frandsen hitting second.

The Phillies were down 1-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first. Utley singled with two outs and stole second before Howard walked. Mayberry followed with a walk of his own, loading the bases for Ruf. Ruf got ahead in the count and ripped a 2-0 pitch to center that dropped on the warning track for a bases-clearing double, putting the Phils up 3-1. Brown followed with a walk. Kratz flew to right to leave runners at first and second.

Huge hit for Ruf, moved ahead of Brown into the sixth spot in the order against the lefty.

It was 3-2 when the Phils hit in the second. Rollins and Frandsen singled back-to-back with one out, putting runners on first and second for Utley. Utley flew to right for the first out. The runners moved up to second and third on a passed ball before Howard grounded to first to leave them there.

Ruf singled to left with one out in the third. Brown was next and lined to third for the second out. Kratz grounded to short to end the inning.

Another hit for Ruf. Brown looking a little better against the lefty in the game, walking in his first plate appearance and lining out in his second.

It was 3-3 when the Phillies went in order in the fourth.

They were down 4-3 when they went in order in the fifth.

Brown doubled to right with one out in the sixth and the Phillies down 6-3. He took third on a wild pitch before Kratz struck out swinging for the second out. Schierholtz, who had entered the game in the top of the inning with Horst, popped to third to end the inning.

Kratz can’t bring the runner home from third with one out.

Frandsen doubled to right off of lefty Sean Burnett with one out in the seventh. He moved to third on a ground out by Utley. Howard grounded to Desmond to leave Frandsen at third.

Another extra-base hit for Frandsen against a lefty. He’s hitting 434/464/604 against left-handed pitching for the year.

Righty Tyler Clippard set the Phillies down in order in the eighth. Nix hit for Aumont and struck out for the first out.

Righty Drew Storen threw a 1-2-3 ninth. Pierre hit for Kratz and grounded to second for the first out. Schierholtz grounded to first for the second out and Rollins popped to second for the third.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-13 with a walk and a home run in the series. 248/312/428 for the year. 2-for-his-last-23.

Frandsen 2-for-4 in the game. 5-for-12 with three doubles and a triple in the series as the Nats throw three left-handed starters. 335/385/445 for the year. He came into the series 4-for-his-last-18.

Utley 1-for-4 with his tenth stolen base. 4-for-11 with a walk and a double in the series. 265/377/452 for the year. Big series for Utley against a Nationals team that, again, started three lefties. His numbers against lefties are getting better, but they still aren’t real good for the year — 223/328/375.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-10 with a walk in the series. So he does less well against the Washington lefties in the set. 220/296/425 for the year and 173/226/378 against lefties.

Mayberry 0-for-2 with a walk. Had a chance to feast on left-handed pitching in the series, but went 1-for-10 with a single and two walks. Have I mentioned that the Nats started three lefties in the series? They did! 252/307/405 on the year for Mayberry. 6-for-his-last-37 with six singles. Sure looks to me like he could use some rest.

Ruf 2-for-4 with a double, three RBI and two strikeouts. 5-for-11 with a double and a home run in the series. 5-for-13 on the season.

Brown 1-for-3 with a walk and a double, both of which came against lefties. That raises his line against lefties on the year to 156/269/289. He’s hitting 238/325/399 overall. 268/345/439 against righties. He’s 2-for-his-last-18.

Kratz 0-for-3 with a strikeout, which came with a runner on third and one out. He’s 3-for-his-last-29 and hitting 248/303/511 for the year.

The Phils face another lefty tonight as Lee (6-8, 3.18) goes against Mark Buehrle (13-13, 3.84). Lee has a 2.40 ERA with a 1.07 ratio in his 15 starts since the end of June. He’s walked nine in 108 2/3 innings in those outings. He’s allowed one home run in 50 innings over his last seven starts. Buehrle threw to a 3.18 ERA over his first 18 starts and has thrown to a 5.01 ERA over his last 12, allowing 13 home runs in 73 2/3 innings. It will be his fifth start of the year against the Phils. Over his first four starts he’s 2-2 with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.30 ratio. Wigginton is 4-for-11 with two home runs against him this season, so it will be interesting to see if Manuel makes an effort to get Wigginton into the lineup or continues to play Ruf and Brown at the corner outfield positions.