It hasn’t been the smoothest night for Edwin Jackson.
He’s allowed 11 baserunners in five innings, surrendered three home runs and has needed 94 pitches to get himself through his five frames.
Somehow, despite all that action on the bases and all the lengthy innings, Jackson has managed to give up just three runs this far. The Nationals trail 3-2 as we go to the sixth.
All three homers off Jackson have been solo shots (two by Jimmy Rollins, who is absolutely on fire right now), and the Nats right-hander has held the Phillies to 0-for-7 hitting with runners in scoring position.
It’s pure speculation on my part, but I have to wonder if Jackson has at all been affected by a play at the plate in the bottom of the second inning in which he went crashing into Phillies catcher Erik Kratz.
Jackson had retired six of the first seven hitters he faced tonight, but after getting tagged out by Krantz when the two met at the front of the plate, Jackson has given up seven hits and all three runs over the last three innings.
The decision by third base coach Bo Porter to send Jackson wasn’t a bad one in and of itself, as there were two outs and Jackson has good speed. He could have easily scored from second on that play had Phillies left fielder Dominic Brown not fielded the ball cleanly and made a strong, accurate throw to the plate.
But anytime your pitcher is involved in some sort of contact play, you have to wonder if it’ll affect him on the mound. It’s certainly possible this play has thrown Jackson off his game tonight.
Phillies starter Vance Worley, on the other hand, has delivered the exact opposite outing of Jackson - he started slowly, giving up two runs in the first inning before shutting the Nats down in innings 2-5.
Worley has retired nine straight Nationals hitters as we go to the sixth.
Update: Jackson’s done after 5 2/3 innings. He leaves having allowed three runs on eight hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
The three home runs was a season-high, while the four walks tied a season-high.
The Nationals still trail 3-2 as we go to the seventh.
Update: Ryan Zimmerman came through with a pinch-hit single with one out in the eighth, but a trio of Phillies relievers shut the door in the Nationals, and Zimmerman was caught stealing to end the inning.
It’s still 3-2 as Sean Burnett trots out to work the ninth.