Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 5: The Phils lose in the bottom of the ninth on a walk-off home run by Adam Dunn, as they lose a close one to the Nats, 2-1.

The Phils lose a close game in the bottom of the ninth on a walk-off, lead-off home run to Adam Dunn, as they drop one to the Nats, 1-0.

The Nats took the lead in the first, without getting a hit, as, with two men on base, and with one man out, Adam Dunn hits an RBI ground out, 3-1, knocking in Nyjer Morgan, who had earlier walked, stole second base, then was safe at third as third baseman Greg Dobbs committed a missed catch error on Roy Oswalt’s throw of Ian Desmond’s fielder’s choice ground to Oswalt, while allowing Desmond, who had gone to second base on the error, to go to third, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead. The Phils tied it up at one-all in the fourth as Raul Ibanez hits a lead-off home run, his sixteenth home run of the year. The game then became a pitchers’ duel, in which the Phils’ offense allowed several scoring opportunities to slip away, while Oswalt and the Phils’ bullpen allowed the Nats only two hits, a single by Danny Espinosa in the fourth and a single by Jason Marquis in the fifth, along with three walks and a hit batter. Then in the bottom of the ninth, Dunn ended the game by hitting a 2-0 fastball into the right field seats for a lead-off, walk-off home run, his thirty-eighth home run of the season, giving the Nats a 2-1 win.

Roy Oswalt receives a no-decision as he pitches five strong innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits, three walks and a hit batter, while striking out three. Danys Baez, David Herndon, J.C. Romero and Antonio Bastardo combine for three scoreless innings, giving up a walk (Baez), while striking out six (Baez (1), Herndon (1), Romero (1), Bastardo (3)) between them. Jose Contreras took the lost as he pitches to one batter, giving up a run on one hit, a home run. His record is now 6-4 with a 3.46 ERA. Jason Marquis also receives a no-decision as he pitches six innings, giving up a run on seven hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Tyler Clippard pitches two scoreless innings, giving up two hits, while striking out two batters. Drew Storen gets the win as he pitches a scoreless inning, walking a batter, while striking out two. His record is now 4-4 with a 3.74 ERA.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Ryan Howard and Ben Francisco both leading the team with two hits each, all singles. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, Chase Utley, Dom Brown and pinch hitter Ross Gload had the other five Phils’ hits, with all but Ibanez’s hit being singles, while Ibanez’s hit was a solo home run, which accounted for the Phil’s only run. The offense did not get the key hit, which could have given them the win before Dunn’s walk-off home run.

The Phils (94-64, 1st) will conclude their three-game series with the Nats (66-90, 5th) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Nationals Park and will starts at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (8-6, 4.94), who is coming off a win against the Mets on September 24, as he pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 3-2 win. In his last three starts, his record is 2-0 with a no-decision, as he had pitched nineteen innings, giving up seven runs on eighteen hits and four walks, while striking out twenty-two batters. He will be trying to contain the Nats tonight while getting in pitching shape for the playoffs. The Nats will counter with Ross Detwiller (1-2, 2.52), who is coming off a win against the Astros on September 23, as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks, in the Nats’ 7-2 win. In his last three appearances, his record is 1-0, as he pitched ten innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out a batter. He will be trying to give the Nats a chance to win the series against the Phils. The Phils will be trying, for the second straight day, to give most of their regulars a rest, while giving those who will be on the bench during the playoffs a chance to gets some at-bats so that they will be ready when they have to come off the bench to bat.


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