Welcome to MASN's discussion space for today's Nationals-Phillies game at Nationals Park. I'll have updates and analysis throughout the afternoon, and if you'd like to take part in the discussion, you can leave your comments in this thread, and I'll respond to you there.
1:35 We're underway here at Nationals Park -- the day-after recap video of Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off got a loud response from the crowd, as did the introduction of Zimmerman and Adam Dunn in the lineup. I've heard more Nationals fans fired up about beating the Phillies than I ever have. If these two teams are ever good at the same time, this can be a great rivalry. Plenty of boos for Zimmerman, too. Hi, Phillies fans!
1:45: It's been an eventful first inning here. John Lannan has continued his struggles against the Phillies, giving up three hits and hitting Ryan Howard with a pitch after getting two quick groundouts. But the big news happened when Howard slid into second on Ben Francisco's single to right. He jammed his left ankle into the bag hard, and had to walk off the field with help from Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and a trainer. It's 2-0 Phillies after the top of the first, but there are bigger concerns for them.
2:29: Through three innings, the Nationals had just one hit on Cole Hamels - a blooper to left from Alberto Gonzalez. Lannan has continued to struggle, having given up six hits against the Phillies. But they've got runners on second and third with none out after Roger Bernadina was hit by a pitch and Ian Desmond doubled to center. We'll see if Adam Dunn can put a run or two - or three - on the board here.
2:36: It was Ryan Zimmerman who tied the game, actually. After walking off against the Phillies last night, he hit a high fastball from Cole Hamels to right for a game-tying double. It's 2-2 in the fourth.
3:11: Miguel Batista has come on for John Lannan in the sixth inning, and we're still tied at two. Lannan allowed two runs on seven hits in five innings. It was a good outing, all things considered, but the things we're considering include Lannan's awful history against the Phillies (a 6.32 ERA against them before today) and the fact that he stranded runners in scoring position four times, meaning the Phillies were a hit from this game spinning away from Lannan. But it's still 2-2 in the sixth, and Lannan escapes with a no-decision.
3:19: For the first time today, the Nationals have the lead; Hamels left a fastball up to Dunn, who turned it into a moon shot to right. It's 4-2 Nationals, and Zimmerman has just singled to left. The Nationals have a chance to break this game open against Hamels here.
3:33 The Phillies are within one, after Batista walked Jimmy Rollins and gave up a double to left to Placido Polanco in the seventh. Joel Peralta is coming in for the Nationals, and Nyjer Morgan is in center for Roger Bernadina. That's part of the reason Riggleman used Livan Hernandez as a pinch hitter in the fifth; he's only got four bench players today, and will probably use most of them in the late innings today.
3:44: Tie game. Francisco's hard hopper to third bounced off the heel of Zimmerman's glove, and though the third baseman picked it out of the air with his bare hand and threw to second, Alberto Gonzalez couldn't turn a double play to end the inning. Polanco scored, and we're tied at four.
4:08: Still tied as we head into the bottom of the eighth. But manager Jim Riggleman came out to argue with second-base umpire Dana DeMuth after Ian Desmond flipped over Wilson Valdez at second base when Valdez stole the bag. Catcher Wil Nieves' throw took Desmond right into Valdez, and as he tumbled over the top of the baserunner, Desmond said something to DeMuth about the lack of a call. Still, the Nationals got out of the inning, and have the top of the order up in the eighth.
4:36: We're headed to extra innings. After Drew Storen set three down in the ninth, he's back out for the 10th, getting the early call in the ninth innings of close games. The Nationals have two guys left on their bench (Ivan Rodriguez and Willie Harris) and they will need to use one of them in the 10th to pinch hit for Storen, who's due up third.
4:43: Two innings, 19 pitches and no baserunners for Storen. The Nationals will face Jose Contreras in the 10th. He probably should've walked Domonic Brown on a 3-1 pitch, but got a called strike on a fastball off the outside corner. Then, Storen struck Brown out with a slider. An impressive day for the rookie, who's getting his first taste of the closer's role. The Nationals will get into the top of their order in the 10th, with Adam Dunn due up fourth.
4:57: Into the 11th we go. The Nationals couldn't get the winning run home in the 10th after Nyjer Morgan led off with a bunt single. Dunn struck out with Morgan on third to end the 10th, and now the Phillies have the go-ahead run on second with one out in the top of the inning and Collin Balester on the mound.
5:10: The Nationals' bid for a sweep is going to have to wait. Collin Balester gave up two runs in the top of the 11th, unable to beat Valdez to the bag on a bunt at the beginning of the inning. A flyout to Jimmy Rollins moved Valdez to third when Nyjer Morgan missed cutoff man Alberto Gonzalez, and Polanco singled up the middle for the go-ahead run. Just for good measure, Jayson Werth bashed a hanging curveball off the center field wall, putting the Phillies ahead 6-4, and the Nationals went 1-2-3 in the 11th. So it's a 6-4 win for the Phillies. It's still a very good 4-2 homestand for the Nationals, but oh, how much better it could have been with a win today.