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Gameday: Nationals (50-94) at Phillies (83-60)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 16, 2009 06:15 PM | Comments: 184
Gameday 2009, Posts

Washington Nationals (50-94) at Philadelphia Phillies (83-60)

Livan Hernandez (8-10, 5.30) vs. Joe Blanton (9-7, 4.11)

Time: 7:05 p.m at Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Overcast, chance of showers, 64
TV: CSN
Twitter: Phillies Nation

BREAKING NEWS: Greg Dobbs has been activated from the disabled list after missing nearly a month with a calf strain.

In tonight’s follow up to Cliff Lee’s masterpiece, Joe Blanton and Livan Hernandez square off once again.  It was just six days ago that the two met down in D.C., with the Hernandez getting the better of Blanton.  Big Joe had his worst performance in nearly two months, allowing eight earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. In eight career starts against the Nats, he has struggled mightily, posting just a 1-3 record and a 7.46 ERA. Ouch.

Hernandez tossed 7 1/3 solid innings against the Phils on September 10, allowing two earned over six hits, grabbing his eighth win of the year.  The 6’2, 240 pound pitcher has done quite well against the Phillies during his 13 seasons.  He is 11-9 with a 3.62 ERA in 26 starts. Here at Citizens Bank Park, however, it’s a different story, as his ERA is nearly seven in Philly.  Let’s hope the Phillies can capitalize on his penchant for allowing the long ball.  Hernandez has given up eight in six starts at the Bank.

A few questions for tonight: Will we see the bullpen?  The relievers have been relieved of their duty as of late, tossing just 4 2/3 innings over the last four games.  Will Ryan Howard find his late-season groove again?  He’s hitting just .167 over the last week, with no home runs.  Will Joe Blanton throw 130 pitches?  Just kidding.  Enjoy the game.

Grand Slam Baseball Beer
Your Gameday Beer – Yards Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale
I recently had this beer in a mixed six-pack and was pleasantly surprised by it’s bittersweet strength.  It goes down relatively easy for being 8% ABV, packing a punch, but tasting rather lemony.  It’s dark golden complexion and satisfying aroma made for an enjoyable experience.  Last night, the Phillies decided to play small ball. Tonight, let’s drink to them going “Yards”.  -By Pat

GO PHILLIES!

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1684 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 joedad

    My prediction for the Nats? PAIN.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jessie

    since the marlins won today the phils need to take this one and the series

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Yeah the Cardinals really crapped the bed and didn’t really help us much with the fish. Oh well, gonna have to do it all ourselves.

    Condrey and Dobbs both back. We are getting healthy at a good time.

     
  • Posts: 0 Colorado Joe

    Someone last night on here suggested that the Phillies might play the Rockies in the playoffs. I hope so. I would be able to see a game as I live 10 minutes walking distance from Coors Field. I think the Rockies would be easier to beat in the divisional series then the Giants. I was so happy to watch the World Series victory last year with about 300 Philly fans at Pat’s Steaks at 16th and Market in downtown Denver. Made me feel like I was home in Philly for the first championship in 25 years. I am thinking of buying tickets and flying home this year for the playoffs. But first things first, take care of the Nats tonight. Go Phils!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Bobby in Boston

    We will definitely see the bullpen tonight. Part of the reason why Lee and Martinez lingered for high pitch counts is because they have had some success above the 106-pitch count (yahoo mlb stats are helpful for this), though actually, at the 106-120 pitch count level, Lee has a 4.89 ERA for his career. Blanton is historically awful once he’s above the 105-pitch count.

    (Yes, I am weighing in here on Pat’s earlier and very important pitch count post.)

    The thing I don’t get is Charlie pulling Jamie Moyer after 93 pitches in Saturday’s game, the one the bullpen lost for us. Moyer had retired 21-23 hitters at that point and he’s historically very good up to about 110 pitches. So, I think Manuel screwed that one up, along with the pen.

    My general feeling is if a starter is setting down the opposition in a close game, leave him until he starts surrendering hits or gets wild. But as we head into the final weeks of this season, it is key that we head toward clinching while at the same time getting the bullpen as settled as possible. The starters are looking mostly quite good. The bullpen, as you demonstrated, Pat, is more rested than, say, LA’s pen. Therefore we need to get it straightened out pronto.

    We need to win all these final games, but we need to make sure all of our 4 or 5 main starters get some rest down the stretch, because we will need to get 7 innings out of them every night in the postseason.

    So, yes, I agree that pitch counts are over-analyzed and pitchers are babied, but you need to dig deeper into the numbers. If Cholly lets Blanton go up around 115-120 pitches in a close game tonight, he will be playing with fire. We need Myers, Madson, and, yes, Lidge getting work.

    As always, go Phils.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    the rockies killed the phillies 2 years ago in playoffs
    that makes me prefer the giants and thier anemic line up

    Be cool if you went to a game though

     
  • Posts: 0 jt

    livan sucks they need to rock him like they did when he was with the mets.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    heady play by Utley!

     
  • Posts: 0 dodger fan

    Am I missing something? Unless the phils catch the cards, it doesn’t matter whether it’s SF or COL that gets the wild card, the phils and the dodgers will get a rematch in the NLDS.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jessie

    this desmond guy kills blanton

     
  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    And in if that happens we will sweep the Dodgers so fast that by the time Joe Torre makes it back to the dugout after a pitching in game 3 the series will already be over….”Hey, who turned the lights out.” Silly Joe. The NLCS in 2009 will not include a team who is led by FannyWood.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    Dodger fan Seeing how the Cards are playing right now, there is a chance of that. The Cards didnt do well against the braves, and now they lost their first 2 against the Marlins. Thats only if the Phillies keep winning.

     
  • Posts: 0 Matt

    The only way the Phils would play the Rockies in the NLDS is if either the Phils pass the Cards and take the #1 seed, and the Rockies win the wild card, or if the Phils win the division, and the Rockies pass up the Dodgers to win the West.

     
  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    that’s pitching change… And the Cards did not crap the bed. The Fish are pretty good. Just too inconsistent…

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    Damn I was sure they would score there. Blanton settled down and got ‘er done.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    UPDATE: J.A. Happ will start Friday against the Atlanta Braves.

    -Thats good news.

     
  • Posts: 0 dodger fan

    Been doing a little pregame today Repeat?

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    The fish are pretty good, however, the cards were hot as hell and unstoppable in August, they havent been as hot in September thus far IMO.

     
  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    I got the Arizona Wildcats vs the Dodgers in the Softball World Series… I got the Wildcats winning it in an epic three game series for the ages…

     
  • Posts: 0 Keith

    well if we win today we go a half a game ahead of the Cardinals

     
  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    The Cards are not as unbeatable as some “experts” think they are.. Their staff is all righties which means all fun for the Phillies lineup……

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Just for the record, as of right now, the Phillies did pass the Cards by percentage points.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    As long as the Phillies hold on to this one. The only think I see as being questionable for today, is in the past, Blanton has not had success again the Nats, and Livan has had better success against the Phillies fv other teams.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Good point Repeat! If you look at the Card’s starters splits,(say that 5 times fast) their averages against lefties is significantly higher than it is against righties with the exception of Piniero. With him the difference is two percentage points. And we all know the numbers that Howard puts up in front of the home crowd.

     
  • Posts: 0 dodger fan

    I have a choice of dropping either Blanton or Gavin Floyd in my fantasy league.

     
  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Hey what’s up Edr… How far did you get in baseballl? I’m not trying to be funny… Just wondering since jreed say last week that you played at a “high level.” And the flyball fest continues…. I played in high school, ands

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    oy. I’m not liking the Phillies being retired in order like that.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I played through college. It was a small school though, not D1 or anything. I played baseball and ice hockey, the only two sports I was good at. Too small for football and too pathetic for basketball.

     
  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    Which ever one turns you on more dodger fan… From my last post and.. int in college which is obviously not “high.”

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    Livan with a freakin Double?

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Brain missed you for a few days.
    Thoughts on the Mets sweeping the phillies. The phillies losing the division etc etc?

    Yes if things hold as they are its Phillies at Dodgers in round 1. I like that match up more than any other also. Maybe Giants is better for phils.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    and yet again, gets out of it.

     
  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    That’s really cool EDR. Were there Double Headers and/or night games… Other than beer league softball, I never played a baseball game at night… I always wanted to though…. Ryan Howard would make a really good hockey goalie… His kick saves are amazing….

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    The sad part is, I loved baseball but really didn’t enjoy playing it in college. Part of it was knowing that this was the end of the line, I mean, I could have played in an Independent League but I honestly that is not much of a living at all. It was actually easier and more economical for me to put my degree to use.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    Yes Andrew, I usually only get on here when I work, and I had a few days off. I do recall being “afraid” of the series, and the division, not “guaranteeing” either one. The Phillies turned it on pretty well there, slightly concerned about the Bullpen still. Lost a 9-5 lead that we had going into the 8th inning, held onto the following game regardless of Lidge giving up another 2 runs. The offense has come back, even if it doesnt look like it today. As for the division, I always say the Phillies have good shot, and when I was really afraid of them losing it, they were playing like utter crap. However, I will wait to sew the ’09 on my NL East stuff until they win it. We still dont know how they will play the Fish. Seeing how the Phillies have 6 games against the fish, it COULD make it interesting in the final week, or it could make it a mute point if they sweep them in the first series.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Thanks Repeat. There were Double Headers, usually when we had to travel a distance, or when a team had to travel a distance to play us. We would play two games on Saturdays. Once in a while there would be a night game if we played in a tournament which we did every year during Spring Break and part of Christmas/Semester break. Usually the last two rounds would be played at night. I enjoyed night games, but whenever we played them it was usually down south so the weather was pretty warm. Not sure how much I would have enjoyed playing a night game in the cold.

    I agree, Howard would be a pretty good hockey goalie…

    Now was Werth safe at first because he busted it down the line or because Ibanez stood up in the baseline?

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Brian I think its hilarious that you get on the blog when you work but when you are off you don’t visit the site….now wonder the country’s productivity is down…just playing.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    :) Pays off to have a job with alot of down time. Also why at times, I will have multiple posts within a few minutes, then nothing for an hour. I dont do it at home because I already torment the wife with an ALL Philly basement. Nothing but Eagles and Phillies stuff, and watch alot of it, so I try not to torment her with being on the computer at the same time.

     
  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    The Phillies are on pace to loose…

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    I would like to see things being done with the bull pen. If we go into the playoffs with the staus quo it could be blood shed.
    I do have faith though still.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    @ Repeat, huh?

     
  • Posts: 0 Repeat!

    ….because they’re playing zombie baseball. The wind is knocking the ball down like crazy, yet we continue to swing for the fences.. Thanks for the baseball stories Edr…. It’s sounds like you had some memories that’ll last a life time…. If I bug you for more baseball stories in the future, please don’t be annoyed. Just kidding…

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    Andrew, you are correct, however the Playoffs are a completely difference beast. For all we know, they may turn it on in the pressure, and get it done like last year, but I am just wanting the division won before I get to far ahead of myself. I guess after so many years of watching some not so good baseball from the Phillies, regardless of the last two season of really good late season heroics, I dont have quite as much faith as you do. I still think the Phillies obviously have the upper hand here, but with still having 6 games against the Fish, thats what worries me. IF somehow we get swept in both series against the fish, we would only have a 1.5 game lead, (maybe 2 maybe 1 depending on the other half game) but still that doesnt leave alot of room to actually lose some. Thats just a concern though.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    well they will do that at times. I sure hope that Utley stealing home isnt it for the day. Even if Blanton shuts them out, if he turns it to the bullpen, watch out.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    only 1 out RISP. Come on now.

     
  • Baseballbriefs.com tracking back Gameday: Nationals (50-94) at Phillies (83-60)…

    Baseballbriefs.com tracking back Gameday: Nationals (50-94) at Phillies (83-60)…

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I hear ya Brian. We do not have an All Philly basement here though I am in the process of collecting stuff for that. Most likely when we move into a home we will do that, right now we live in a condo, so I don’t see the point in spending the time and money when I know I will be moving out in the next 5 years or so.

    I know the feeling about the cpu. I come home and plug my work laptop in right next to my spot on the couch. I too torment the wife, she knows if the Phillies are on that is what we will watch. If the Flyers/Eagles/Penn State are on then they all get first dibs on the tv. God bless her for putting up with it.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    was pitch 5 any where near the strike zone? Come on, that probably would have been a walk.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Of course its a concern
    But if the phils blow this I am going to be a bridge jumper like the people that call the mets shows after thier collapses lol

    I just dont see it. Would take too much of a choke and its not in the charachter of this team.

    you brought up the Eagles earlier it is in thier charachter to lose to a team like the Cardinals in a championship game. Teams are who you thought they are. The mets this year are who I thought they were.
    Phils are a playoff team with a good shot if the pen doesnt kill them. Its a big if. I still remember Mitch Williams and the jays. I was 21. I was on jack daniels for abot a week after that.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Also notice how much more active this blog is when the phils are struggling. When its going good there are abotu 4 of us here.
    One of the reasons I accent the positives in the worst of times.
    At least in regards to things other than Howard getting a clutch late inning hit.

     
 
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