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Phillies 5, Nats 3

Fascinating game Tuesday night at Nats Park. All along, we thought John Lannan was a groundball pitcher in a groove. We also thought Brad Lidge was Philadelphia's closer.

Then:

Lannan gave up three homers in a four-batter span.

Lidge loaded the bases, nearly blew a lead, and perhaps lost his job for good.

Lannan first. Seventy-nine pitches into his 66th major league start, Lannan was protecting a 2-1 lead. And he was rolling. Groundball outs galore. Then, something almost unprecedented happened -- at least for Lannan. Jayson Werth yanked a homer into the home bullpen. Raul Ibanez popped a homer into the same spot. One out later, Carlos Ruiz pulled a homer to left. Lannan had allowed three home runs in a four-batter span. This, from a guy who had allowed more than two home runs only once in 65 previous big league starts.

"Well I have to learn how to slow the game down a little bit when things get out of control," Lannan said. "Kind of learn how to step off and slow down. When it's going good, I get into a nice rhythm, but when things go bad I've got to learn how to step back and take a deep breath and tell myself I still have control. And when you give up homers like that you have no control."

Now Lidge. He must have gotten a Hanrahan costume at Spencer's. Entering in the ninth with a 5-3 lead to protect, he promptly loaded the bases with a hit, a hit batsman and a walk. There was one out. Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn were due up. Charlie Manuel trotted to the mound, presumably for a calm-'em-down-let's-get-'em talk... and wait! Out came Lidge. In trotted Ryan Madson. A manager who will be taking his club into October doesn't pull his closer unless he thinks the closer can no longer handle his job.

Madson saved the Phillies.

He struck out Zim on three pitches. Then Dunn grounded to second. Game over.

Talk radio will be interesting in Philly on Wednesday.

"We had our guys up there," Willie Harris said. "A shot with Zim. A shot with Dunn. That's all you can ask for."

By Chico Harlan  |  September 8, 2009; 11:19 PM ET
 
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Next: Reading Material

Comments

Chico, am i right that tonight was the first time Burnett pitched since he hurt his thumb?
Is there a story on him?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 8, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Chico. Now I know what I'm gonna be for Halloween.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | September 8, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

kierkegaard, what a homerun ball?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 8, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Also, the link to the gamer on the front page incorrectly says Phillies beat Nats 5-2.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 8, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Every Phillies run in tonight's game was a homer. What was remarkable was that they were all solo homers, so the damage was absolutely manageable. It could have EASILY been 10 or more to 3.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 8, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

okay this was funny:

"Said Nationals interim manager Jim Riggleman [about the Phillies]: 'Sometimes you just hope you don't do anything to wake a club up.'"

Posted by: NatsNut | September 8, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

hey, where'd everyone go. I feel like periculum with all my solo posts.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 8, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Has any team in MLB history had 5 solo HR's and no other runs scored in a game?

Can there be any debate about Lidge's (lack of) usefulness as a pitcher? His breaking ball is still sharp, but his fastball doesn't move. There was no doubt in our minds (1 Nats fan, 1 Phillie fan) that Manuel would not let him pitch to Zimmerman. Too bad for us.

Here's the Hanrahan costume you seek: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm74356736/tt0060390 I think the cap would look sporty on Joel, or Brad.

Posted by: paulkp | September 9, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

RE "He must have gotten a Hanrahan costume at Spencer's."

Priceless.

I so wished for Manuel to have more faith in Lidge.

Even Guzman figured out midway through the at bat to stop swinging.

Posted by: QuakerWildcat | September 9, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, NatsNut. I went to bed right after the game. (That was funny, though!)

I liked the costume line, too. Lidge is not so much lights out this year. Wonder what they're going to do in October.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 9, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Morning reading from the archives of a Phillies blog:

http://pabaseball.blogspot.com/2009/08/post-not-about-brad-lidge-sucking.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 9, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

hey anyone out there, has it ever been considered that the baseball season might just be plain'ole too long? and over half of the teams are worn out????

Posted by: bsballu5 | September 9, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I think the season is definitely too long. Especially for teams like the Nationals... and its fans. After each loss I just keep thinking to myself "make it stop."

Posted by: NatMeg | September 9, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

bsballu5, I definitely think the season is too grueling, but I assume neither the owners nor the players wd be willing to give up income to make it a little less likely to produce injuries and exhaustion.

Posted by: Section109 | September 9, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if any of you listen to the post game show Nats Talk Live on 1500am but the host and i got into a little tiff concerning Ryan Zimmerman's at bat last night, taking two straight fastballs right down the middle in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and then swinging at an off speed pitch for strike three that was low and in the dirt,listen i love Zimm but my point was you can't stand there and not swing at the first two pitch's which were right down the middle of the plate. The host(whose name i can't recall) thought i was wrong saying "you couldn't hit those pitch's" which i thought was childish, anyway long story short the host thought i was being unfair to Zimm, any thought's?

Posted by: dargregmag | September 9, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

bsballu5, as somebody who's hoping there's Latin Winter Leagues coverage on the MLB Network this winter, who'll be taking in a couple of Arizona Fall League games in November later this year and as somebody who once went out of this way to attend a December doubleheader during a trip to Australia (Perth vs. Brisbane -- the teams that would meet for the Aussie national championship at the end of that season in February) the season is not too long. Now, individual players may be in need of a break from playing, but the very existence of the winter leagues shows, to me, that there's a place for year-round baseball.

Posted by: greggwiggins | September 9, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

dargregmag, sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other team or other player. Zimmerman's at bat in the ninth last night was one of those times.

I mean, the other guys are good, too.

From where I was sitting last night those first two pitches to Zimm did look unhittable -- at least, unhittable as anything other than likely to be a double play ground balls. So I'd also say that Zimm did the right thing by taking the pitches and hoping they missed the strike zone. But they didn't. On the third pitch, Madson simply fooled him with a nasty/beautiful (depends on which uniform you're wearing) offspeed pitch.

As was once said, (was it Dizzy Dean?) sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you.

Last night the bear won.

Posted by: greggwiggins | September 9, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

dargregmag, you were completely and rightly pwned by Byron Kerr on the call-in show last night.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 9, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

MLB Network did cover the Caribbean World Series after the network rollout in January, so I have hopes that they'll cover the Latin Winter Leagues as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the CWS games that they showed (and Cookie Rojas rocks).

---

bsballu5, as somebody who's hoping there's Latin Winter Leagues coverage on the MLB Network this winter, who'll be taking in a couple of Arizona Fall League games in November later this year and as somebody who once went out of this way to attend a December doubleheader during a trip to Australia (Perth vs. Brisbane -- the teams that would meet for the Aussie national championship at the end of that season in February) the season is not too long. Now, individual players may be in need of a break from playing, but the very existence of the winter leagues shows, to me, that there's a place for year-round baseball.

Posted by: greggwiggins | September 9, 2009 9:00 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 9, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I can barely pick up 1500 AM at night, so no. Didn't watch the tv postgame show either (zzzzz).

BTW, there is a morning reading post.

---

I don't know if any of you listen to the post game show Nats Talk Live on 1500am but the host and i got into a little tiff concerning Ryan Zimmerman's at bat last night, taking two straight fastballs right down the middle in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and then swinging at an off speed pitch for strike three that was low and in the dirt,listen i love Zimm but my point was you can't stand there and not swing at the first two pitch's which were right down the middle of the plate. The host(whose name i can't recall) thought i was wrong saying "you couldn't hit those pitch's" which i thought was childish, anyway long story short the host thought i was being unfair to Zimm, any thought's?

Posted by: dargregmag | September 9, 2009 8:52 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 9, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

>i love Zimm but my point was you can't stand there and not swing at the first two pitch's which were right down the middle of the plate. The host(whose name i can't recall) thought i was wrong saying "you couldn't hit those pitch's" which i thought was childish, anyway long story short the host thought i was being unfair to Zimm, any thought's?

Posted by: dargregmag

Maybe the fact that you're trying to find meaning in a meaningless situation. This season's been reduced to a tryout for next year unfortunatley. And a lot of the guys we'll see, won't be in the mix next year anyway. They'll use their opportunities to play their way out of a roster spot in '10. That's the way it usually happens anyway.

Posted by: Brue | September 9, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The second pitch to Zimm was a ball outside. Can't blame him for taking that one. That put him down 0-2 and at Madson's mercy..

Posted by: slopitchtom | September 9, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, particularly for a guy trying to hit the ball to Syracuse when all they needed was a single.

***********
The second pitch to Zimm was a ball outside. Can't blame him for taking that one. That put him down 0-2 and at Madson's mercy..
Posted by: slopitchtom | September 9, 2009 12:16 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 9, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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