A stellar pitching performance for six innings by Joe Blanton, helped by a late innings grand slam by Jayson Werth, led the Phils to a 6-1 win over the last place Nationals, 6-1. The win reduced the Phils’ magic number over both the Marlins and the Braves to 11.
The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, with runner on the corners, and with Raul Ibanez at the plate, with two men out, Chase Utley, who had earlier singled and then went to third on Ryan Howard’s single, stole home plate at the back end of a double steal as Howard first stole second. The game then became a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Joe Blanton, who in six innings would give up only five hits and four walks, but no runs, and Nationals’ starter Livan Hernandez, who in his first five innings would give up a run on five hits. The Phils would then increase their lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with one out, Pedro Feliz would hit a grounder to Nats’ shortstop Cristian Guzman. Guzman threw the ball to second baseman Ian Desmond to force out Jayson Werth, who had earlier walked, for the inning’s second out. But, Desmond then threw the ball away at first when he tried to double up Feliz. The throwing error would allow Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Werth’s walk, to head for home, after having reached third at the start of the play, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, as Feliz was safe on the error. The Phils then broke the game wide open in the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via Utley being hit by the pitch, Howard being intentionally walked after Utley had stolen second base, his second steal of the night, and then a walk to Ibanez, which would move both Utley and Howard up a base, with two men out, Werth hits a grand-slam home run, his thirty-fourth home run of the season, scoring Utley, Howard and Ibanez. In the ninth, the Nats would finally score a run as, with a runner on second, and with two men out. Willie Harris hits an RBI single, knocking in Justin Maxwell, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on defensive indifference, making it a 6-1 Phils’ lead, ending the Phils’ pitching staff’s 26 straight innings scoreless streak. That would be the final score as Tyler Walker would get the next batter, Guzman, to pop out to Utley to end the game.
Joe Blanton gets the win as he pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just five hits and four walks, while striking out seven. His record is now 10-7 with a 3.97 ERA. Chan Ho Park pitched a scoreless inning as he recorded his thirteenth hold, giving up a hit. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning as well, as he walked a batter, while striking out one. Tyler Walker pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Livan Hernandez took the lost as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. His record is now 8-11 with a 5.22 ERA. Tyler Clippard pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on no hits and a hit batter. Sean Burnett pitched to two batters, getting neither of them out as he walked both of them, giving up two runs. Jason Bergmann pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Zack Segovia pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the way with two hits, including his grand-slam home run, knocking in four of the Phils’ run, while he raised his batting average to .272. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz and Joe Blanton had the Phils other six hits, all singles. During the game, the Phils lost Chan Ho Park, as he injured his right hamstring while throwing a pitch to the mound. It is not, as of yet, known how long he may be out.
The Phils (84-60, 1st) will continue their home stand tonight with a night game against the Nats (50-95, 5th). The game will be played tonight at 7:05 pm Eastern and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies starter will be Cole Hamel (9-9, 4.21), who is coming off a victory against the Mets on September 11, as he pitched a sharp six and two-thirds innings, giving up only a run on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out six, in the Phils’ 4-2 win. He will be shooting for his tenth win, while trying to continue his recent string of good starts to get back to his playoff form. The Nats will counter with Ross Detwiler (0-5, 6.17), who last pitched in relief on September 12 against the Marlins, pitching two shut out innings, giving up only two walks, in the Nats’ 11-3 win. He will be trying to help the Nats avoid the sweep. The Phils hope to make it five wins in a row, with a series sweep, while trying to both increase their lead in the East and reduce their magic number even further.