Maya done early again, but Nationals lead Phillies 4-3

Yunesky Maya has made three starts for the Nationals now, and we’ve still seen little to suggest the right-hander can be an effective member of the team’s rotation. Again today, he got in trouble with a high pitch count, unable to find an out pitch. He got called for his third balk in two starts, and he left the game before the end of the fifth inning, throwing 90 pitches in that time. But despite having to call on their bullpen before the sixth inning for the third time in as many days, the Nationals lead 4-3 in the sixth.

Michael Morse just hit a three-run homer to right field, besting Joe Blanton at the end of a seven-pitch at-bat. Morse turned on a middle-in fastball, hitting his 11th homer of the season and putting the Nationals in position to steal a game here if their bullpen can hold a one-run lead against the Phillies.

They’ll likely turn to Sean Burnett, possibly Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen to try and finish this one off. It’s disconcerting for the Nationals to see Maya still unable to put together a deep outing, but if they can pull out a win in spite of that, they’ll have to feel pretty good about a 3-3 road trip in Atlanta and Philadelphia.