Nationals 7, Phillies 4
Game 10 - Tuesday Night, April 12th in Washington
One Sentence Summary: Joe Blanton continued his '11 struggles as old friend Jayson Werth helped the Nationals defeat the Phillies, 7-4.
What It Means: The Phillies are now 7-3 with a two game division lead over both the Marlins and the Nationals. They're now 2-2 on the road. Roy Halladay will try to turn things around today, as long as the rain stays away.
What Went Wrong: Werth hurt his old team. He doubled and homered off Blanton, and he scored twice. Blanton allowed five runs on seven hits in his six innings of work, and he's the owner of a 10.45 ERA after two starts this year.
I don't think it mattered in the final outcome, but the umpires blew a call in the fourth when Jimmy Rollins was "tagged" with Ian Desmond's glove following a sharp grounder to Desmond from Ryan Howard. Problem was, the ball was actually in Desmond's hand. The ump ruled Rollins out and a rally was thwarted.
Nationals starter Livan Hernandez kept the offense off-balance and it was nice to see him exit in the seventh inning. The Phils tried to start rallies in the seventh and eighth innings, but both fizzled and the bases were left loaded at the end of both innings.
What Went Right: Howard hit his third home run of the year in the second.
Featured Card: This is perhaps Werth's last baseball card as a Phillie, released in February with the Topps Heritage set. Topps Photoshop'd Werth into a Nationals uniform for his Heritage base set card, but he remained with the Phillies for this card, featuring a piece of game-used bat.
Other Stuff: Most of the talk during and after the game was Charlie Manuel's use of right-handed John Mayberry, Jr. to pinch-hit in the seventh inning, even though left-handed Ross Gload was available to face the righty Hernandez. Gload had faced Hernandez previously and had two hits off him. With the bases loaded, Mayberry struck out and armchair managers across the region (myself included) remain puzzled at Manuel's choice.