Livan Hernandez threw into the seventh inning as the Nationals defeated the Phillies 4-2 tonight. Hernandez also had two hits and two RBIs as he picked up his seventh win of the season. Cole Hamels struggled as he only went five innings, giving up three earned runs, six hits, and four walks. The Phillies’ offense, which had been on fire recently, was stagnant as they could only manage six hits and two runs. Ryan Howard had a nice game, going 2 for 4 with a run scored. The eight and ninth spots in the Nationals’ lineup had huge outings as they combined to go 4 for 7. The Phillies brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning off Nats closer Drew Storen, but Raul Ibanez popped out to end the game. The Braves crushed the Cubs 10-4 so the Phillies’ NL East lead fell to 7.5 games.
The Nationals put their first two runners on in the second inning as Cole struggled with his command. He struck out Ian Desmond and with Livan Hernandez up, it looked like Hamels would escape the jam. However, Hernandez singled to left scoring Wilson Ramos. The next batter, Rick Ankiel singled home Laynce Nix to make it 2-0 Nationals. Wilson Valdez, of all people, would put the Phillies on the board with an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the second inning. A Jayson Werth RBI ground out in the fifth inning made it 3-1 Nationals. Kyle Kendrick would give up another Livan Hernandez RBI single in the 6th. Drew Storen came in for the save for the Nationals in the ninth. He gave up singles to Shane Victorino and Chase Utley to lead off the inning. Ryan Howard struck out and Hunter Pence hit a sacrifice fly to score Victorino. Ibanez would end a chance at a come back when he popped up to second to end the Phillies’ three game winning streak.
-Danny Espinosa with some nice defensive plays tonight despite the error.
-Hunter Pence looked like he never saw Livan pitch before.
-Jayson Werth not coming up a hit with runners on scoring position? Shocking.
-Apparently, Cole Hamels struggled to get loose before the game. If he can’t warm up, why pitch him? No need to risk it.