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News » Phils get 'penned in, fall to Nationals

Phils get 'penned in, fall to Nationals

Phils get 'penned in, fall to Nationals
The Phillies had every reason to believe they'd come back.

Not only did the Phillies already have nine comeback wins this season, but with an 0-7 record and six blown saves, Washington's bullpen had been horrendous.

"I kept waiting for us to get a rally going," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I thought we had a couple of chances and we didn't come through."

Nope. Not once.

Didn't come through when they had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth.

Didn't come through with two on in the sixth.

Didn't come through with two more on in the eighth.

Manuel said it was a credit to the Nationals' starting pitcher Scott Olsen, who has pitched well in his last three outings after giving up 13 runs in his first two games.

At one point Wednesday, Olsen struck out four in a row and six of eight. He wound up walking two and giving up six hits in 52/3 innings.

"He got ahead a lot," Manuel said. "He threw first-pitch fastballs over the plate and it looked like he threw them inside and outside. He moved them around."

Once Olsen was pulled in the sixth inning with two on and two outs, the bullpen took over. Despite having a collective 5.51 ERA, the relievers were flawless. They threw 31/3 innings of scoreless relief and allowed just two walks and one hit (a two-out single in the ninth).

Julian Tavarez pitched the ninth for his first save since May 28, 2006, when he was a meber of the Boston Red Sox.

By the time the game was over, the Phillies (11-9) had left 10 men on base and were just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Brett Myers (1-2) gave the Phillies his third consecutive quality start, going six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks. For the first time in five starts this season, he didn't surrender a home run.

But he couldn't get out eight-hole hitter Anderson Hernandez, who had two hits against Myers, including a double. After the two-base hit, Myers walked Olsen and eventually walked a run in.

"I kind of got a little bit upset with myself too much with missing my spots and kind of let it get to me a little bit," Myers said. "I'm better than that. Usually it doesn't happen. [Wednesday] it did."

The success Hernandez had annoyed Manuel. Hernandez came into the game with just eight hits, but was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored on Wednesday.

"[Myers'] location, at times, was good, but the bottom of the lineup hurt him," Manuel said. "You've gotta get the eight-hole hitter out, especially in the National League."

The crowd got a chance to show some life in the eighth when the Phillies had two on for pinch hitter Matt Stairs, who was 4-for-12 (.333) with two home runs. But as quickly as the fans stood up, they sat down. Stairs grounded out to first on a 3-1 pitch to end the inning

"I don't know if they are [thinking home run], but I am," Stairs said. "I thought I had a pretty good at-bat going. My thought process was too much to right field instead of more bullpen.

"Especially in a situation like that, he's not going to groove a fastball to the inner half. So you learn from that."


Nationals 4

Phillies 1

Looking ahead: RHP Chan Ho Park (0-0, 7.16 ERA) faces Mets RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-0, 6.32) in the first meeting this season of NL East rivals.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 1, 2009

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