Phillies take 2-0 lead on Nationals

We’re through three innings at Nationals Park, in a ballpark that’s as electric as it’s been in months. That, of course, is because it’s largely stocked with Phillies fans who are booing everyone from Jayson Werth to the kid that gave the “Play ball” announcement, but hey, it’s entertainment!

That energy seems to have been passed on to John Lannan and Roy Oswalt, the two starting pitchers in this game who have been posting higher radar gun readings than they usually would. Both have been clocked at 94 mph tonight; when I first saw Lannan at 94, I assumed the scoreboard radar gun was too hot, but both MLB’s pitch tracker and the Phillies’ broadcast had him at 94, as well. Oswalt was also clocked at 94 mph.

The Phillies had the bases loaded in the second inning, but Ryan Zimmerman - who’s having quite a nice month - helped Lannan out of a jam with a slick double play. He fielded a ball at third and stepped on the bag on his way to throw home. Give Wilson Ramos credit for knowing he needed to tag Ryan Howard, too, since the force was off. Zimmerman might have been able to throw to third, but a throw home was quicker, and if it was on target, the Nationals didn’t have to worry about a run scoring.

But the Nationals allowed a pair in the fourth inning, after committing an error on a simple pickoff; John Mayberry broke for second, and Ian Desmond couldn’t handle a throw from Michael Morse at first. Mayberry was safe at second, and eventually scored on a Wilson Valdez triple.

It’s 2-0 Phillies in the fourth.