UPDATE: Cliff Lee struck out 12 and threw a complete game shutout, as the Phillies beat the Nats 4-0 to take the rubber game of the series. Plenty more on this one to come.
Not only did Jordan Zimmermann lose his perfect game on the first at-bat of the sixth inning, he also lost his shutout, and the Nationals lost a tie game. And after they allowed two runs in the inning, the Nationals are now faced with having to rally against Cliff Lee.
Zimmermann hung a slider and gave up a homer to Carlos Ruiz on the second pitch of the inning, putting the Nationals down 1-0. Then, after Shane Victorino singled to left, Jerry Hairston tried to make a throw from across the diamond on Placido Polanco’s infield single. He didn’t have much chance to get Polanco, and when the ball skipped away from Adam LaRoche, the Phillies got a 2-0 lead.
And Lee has thrown just 61 pitches in six innings. It looks like he’ll have a chance to go the distance and be the second straight Phillies pitcher to turn in a complete game against the Nationals. On what’s been a great night for Zimmermann, his one mistake looks like it could be one too many.