Less than textbook baseball being played in Philly (Nats lose 3-1)

PHILADELPHIA - The Phillies have committed four errors through five innings of play.

Somehow, they’ve still managed to grab a 1-0 lead.

Chase Utley has committed three errors himself, two of which came on one play in the fourth that put Jayson Werth on third with two outs. Michael Young committed a two-base error in the fifth that put Kurt Suzuki in scoring position with no outs.

The Nationals converted neither opportunity.

As sloppily as the Phillies have played defensively, the Nats have been just as inefficient from an offensive perspective. They’ve botched two bunt attempts, one of which resulted in a double play when Denard Span thought the ball was going to roll foul and didn’t run out of the box, and the other when Jordan Zimmermann’s sacrifice attempt got Suzuki thrown out at third in the fifth.

They’ve grounded into two double plays overall.

They’ve had a runner called out at home on a single to left, although you can’t really fault third base coach Trent Jewett or Bryce Harper for that one. Jewett made the right call waiving Harper home with two outs in the first and Harper made a nice slide to the plate. He should’ve been called safe, but home plate umpire Kerwin Danley missed the call.

Jordan Zimmermann has pitched well, but the Phillies manufactured a run in the fifth on a Carlos Ruiz infield single, a Kyle Kendrick sac bunt and a Ben Revere RBI single.

The Phillies were able to get a bunt down properly, and in what’s been a sloppy ballgame, they have a lead because of it.

Update: The Nats immediately tied things up in the top of the sixth on Ryan Zimmerman’s sac fly that plated Harper, although it was more sloppy play that allowed Harper to reach third base in the first place.

Harper ripped a line drive into the right field corner with one out in the sixth, and Phillies right fielder Delmon Young - who is less than graceful defensively - made an awkward sideways dive for the ball on the warning track. The ball skipped away, allowing Harper to cruise into third with a triple.

Zimmerman’s 51st RBI on the season then knotted the game 1-1.

Update II: In order to come up with a split of this four-game series, the Nats will need some late-inning magic.

The Phillies have taken a 2-1 lead after seven innings thanks to Kevin Frandsen’s RBI double off Span’s glove, allowing pinch-runner John McDonald to score the go-ahead run.

Kevin Frandsen led off the bottom of the seventh by slapping a hanging curveball into the left field corner for a double on the first pitch he saw. After a sac bunt, Frandsen came through, and the Phillies are six defensive outs from another win.

The Phillies nearly added another run when Ryan Zimmerman’s throw to first on a two-out groundball sailed high, pulling Adam LaRoche off the bag. LaRoche was able to leap for the ball and get down to the bag just in time, and first base ump Lance Barksdale called Jimmy Rollins out on a bang-bang play.

Zimmermann left after 6 1/3 innings, having thrown just 79 pitches on the night. He allowed two runs on eight hits, walked none and struck out six. He’s now in line for the loss.

Update III: The Nats got another quality start from Zimmermann, but the bats let a starter down again. This time, the result was a 3-1 loss to the Phillies.

One run was all the Nats could muster tonight on five hits. They put just four runners in scoring position all game and leave town having dropped three of four in this set.

The Nats have now scored one run or fewer in 24 of their 92 games this season. That’s 27 percent.

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