As seen on Phillies Nation.
Brad Lidge’s struggles are well documented. Before the game, Charlie Manuel discussed Lidge’s fate. Unsure if Lidge would pitch in the next save opportunity, Manuel said he would go with his gut feeling. It was not the prettiest game, but the Phillies edged the Nationals 6-5. The Phillies played small ball and long ball to beat the Nationals.
Cliff Lee looked like Cy Young during his first five starts with the Phillies. Since, he has cooled off. He was not as bad as he was in his last two starts, but he was not the Cliff Lee that we’re accustomed to seeing. He pitched seven innings and did not walk a batter. On the other hand, he gave up five runs (four earned) on ten hits. Five hits went for extra bases.
Adam Dunn’s RBI single gave the Nats an early lead, but Jayson Werth quickly tied it with a single of his own. The Phillies have been struggling getting the little-big hit, but leave it to Lee to help his own cause. Lee singled, collecting his first career RBI. It gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the second inning.
Raul Ibanez continued his Nat swatting. His RBI double gave the Philliesa 4-1 lead. Ibanez is now 5-for-9 with three runs batted in during this series.
They are already eliminated from playoff contention, but the Nationals don’t quit. Phillies/Nationals games are always close. As expected, the Nationals fought back. Dunn’s RBI single made it a one-run game. Jorge Padilla’s bunt single barely stayed fair, and all of a sudden the Nationals had runners at the corners with one out. Christian Guzman looked like he had grounded into the inning-ending twin killing, however Chase Utley was unable to handle the late flip from Jimmy Rollins. Tie game.
Jayson Werth has displayed his power throughout the year, reaching the second deck at Citizens Bank Park and Rogers Centre. Once again, he reached new heights. Werth hit a towering drive to straight away center field to give the Phillies the lead. Pedro Feliz immediately followed with a solo home run of his own, to make it back-to-back jacks.
Trying to make his job easier, Manuel tried to stretch Lee through eight innings. However, the first two batters reached base, forcing Manuel to go to Chan Ho Park. Park allowed a walk, loading the bases with nobody out. Pete Orr’s sacrifice fly put the Nationals within one. That was all Park would give up, avoiding further damage.
Ryan Madson was called on to close. Although he converted Tuesday’s save, Madson previously struggled as a closer. Justin Maxwell greeted him with a single and stole a base. Madson was firing 98 mph fastballs, and struck out Guzman. Maxwell was dancing off second when Dunn lined a shot to Utley. Utley caught it, and flipped to Rollins covering second base. Maxwell was doubled off, ending the game.
With the victory, the Phillies have not only won their second game in a row, but clinched the series. Manuel’s gut feeling worked. They’ll look to sweep the Nationals tomorrow.