After a dismal roadtrip that saw the Phillies go three and seven against the likes of the Brewers, Twins, and Rockies, the Phillies returned home Monday to open up a series with the division rival Washington Nationals. The Phillies gave the ball to John Lannan, fresh off a two month stint on the disabled list, to oppose Dan Haren for the Nats.
Things got off to a rocky start for Lannan in the first, as Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman both reached base on singles. Former Phil Jayson Werth drove in Rendon, to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Lannan would escape the first having only given up one run, and a fifth inning RBI double for Steve Lombardozzi was the only other run that he allowed. Lannan went five innings, scattering six hits and two runs. It was a decent start, which is really what the Phillies paid Lannan to be, so I guess they can’t complain. Also take into account that this was Lannan’s first start at the MLB level in a couple months.
Offensively the Phillies showed some encouraging signs. In the second inning, Ryan Howard hit a second deck homerun to break his 16 game homerless streak. In the third inning, Delmon Young did something productive for the first time in weeks seemingly. With the bases loaded, Young hit a bases clearing double to right-well sort of. Young’s double scored Michael Young from third, and Jimmy Rollins from second, before Ryan Howard was thrown out at third after being indecisive on whether or not to home. Howard would make up for the run later though, by singling Ben Revere in to give the Phillies an much needed insurance run. Howard also singled in the eighth inning, and with a walk earlier in the game, Howard reached base four times in one game for just the second time this season. His swing is looking a lot better, as he is hitting .346 in June, but you can tell by the way he runs that he still is pretty banged up. Still though, if his bat can come around, this summer will be a lot more interesting for the Phillies.
The Phillies bullpen, early on, did a really nice job tonight. After Lannan’s five innings, Michael Stutes only needed 22 pitches to get through both the sixth and seventh inning. Stutes is beginning to look like the pitcher he showed signs of being in 2011, before an arm injury cost him most of the 2012 season. In the eighth Mike Adams surrendered one run, before Antonio Bastardo finished off the eighth inning. Jonathan Papelbon, after a day of his name surfacing in trade rumors, Jonathan Papelbon had Chad Tracy down to the last strike of the game, before Tracy lifted a ball that somehow made it over the rightfield wall to tie the game. It was Pap’s first blow save, and it came after an at-bat that Humberto Quintero and him never seemed to be on the same page for.
In the bottom of the ninth, Ben Revere started the inning off with a single. Ben Revere attempted to steal second, but with a Jimmy Rollins single, Revere was able to advance to third base. After a Steven LeRud pinch hit strikeout, Dom Brown got a clutch single to score Revere and win the game. It was a great hit for Brown who fought off an inside pitch, to send it back through the middle to win the game.
This was a big win, that helps the Phillies start off a series against a divisional rival on a positive note, rather than losing their third straight game.
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