Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats look to avoid a sweep this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
If you haven't seen all the roster moves, check the homepage for details, but in a nutshell...
-- Jason Bergmann was designated for assignment, clearing space for Scott Olsen to be recalled from Class AAA Syracuse to start today's game.
-- Justin Maxwell was recalled from Syracuse to take the spot left open by last night's demotion of Roger Bernadina. Maxwell will start in right field.
-- Garrett Mock, who had been optioned to Syracuse on Sunday, has actually been called back and placed on the 15-day DL with a neck injury.
So after all that, there's still a game to be played, with the Nationals looking to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Phillies. Check back here throughout the game for updates, and check the homepage for other news...
NATIONALS AT PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 3:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Mostly sunny, 71 degrees, Wind 9 mph LF to RF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
2B Cristian Guzman
1B Adam Dunn
LF Josh Willingham
C Ivan Rodriguez
RF Justin Maxwell
3B Alberto Gonzalez
P Scott Olsen
CF Shane Victorino
3B Placido Polanco
2B Chase Utley
1B Ryan Howard
RF Jayson Werth
LF Raul Ibanez
SS Juan Castro
C Carlos Ruiz
P J.A. Happ
3:01 p.m. -- Plenty of stuff going on here today. The Phillies just got their NL championship rings, and Nats reliever Tyler Walker (who pitched for Philadelphia last season) got one himself. Also, it's Jackie Robinson Day across the majors, and all players on both sides will be wearing No. 42 today. This day is particularly special for Willie Harris, who grew up in Robinson's hometown of Cairo, Ga., and today was moved when he got to touch a bat once used by Jackie.
3:15 p.m. -- We're underway, about 10 minutes late, because of the various pregame festivities. Gorgeous day here and a full house on hand, as has been the case here in Philly for several years now.
3:28 p.m. -- Chase Utley has homered against the Nats. Shocking development, I know. Utley tattooed a 90-mph fastball at the letters from Scott Olsen, who didn't help himself falling behind the Phillies slugger. Olsen emerged from the first inning without allowing anything else, but his fastball ranged between 85 and 90 mph, and he fell behind both Utley and Victorino. Only 10 pitches for the inning, though. So after one, the Phils lead 1-0.
3:46 p.m. -- Better second inning from Olsen. He retired the side, got a couple of groundball outs and then struck out Juan Castro on three pitches, including a 91 mph fastball.
3:54 p.m. -- The Nats suffer their first caught stealing in eight attempts this season but actually score a run because of it. Huh? Allow me to explain: Nyjer Morgan took off for second but was picked off by J.A. Happ. Ryan Howard's throw to second, though, was offline and Morgan was safe on what was ruled a caught stealing+E3. A sac bunt by Ian Desmond moved Morgan to third, and a groundout by Cristian Guzman brought him home. So: Walk + caught stealing + error + sac bunt + groundout = run. We're tied 1-1 heading to the bottom of the third.
4:02 p.m. -- Don't look now, folks, but Adam Dunn is starting to look like a halfway decent first baseman. Dunn just made a nice play on Happ's sac bunt attempt, gunning a throw to third to nail Carlos Ruiz. He's made several nice plays over the last week, plays frankly he wouldn't have made a year ago. Scott Olsen, meanwhile, looks sharp. He's allowed only the Utley solo homer and Ruiz's leadoff double in the third, otherwise has retired everyone else. He's consistently hitting 90 mph with his fastball, and he's throwing strikes (22 of 29 pitches so far). Still 1-1 after three.
4:24 p.m. -- Where was this Scott Olsen all spring? Through four innings, he's allowed one run on two hits with one walk. He's struck out three, including Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez. He's showing command of both his fastball and slider. And he's only thrown 51 pitches so far. Impressive.
5:10 p.m. -- Scott Olsen's day is over, and though it didn't end well (a two-run single to Juan Castro with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth) it will really be a shame if the left-hander is charged with the loss. Plain and simple, he pitched really well. He did kind of struggle here in the sixth, though it wasn't a meltdown by any means. With two on and two out, he battled Raul Ibanez and had the Nat-killer out in front of several breaking balls that rolled foul before finally walking him during an eight-pitch at-bat. He threw some good pitches to Castro, too, before allowing that single on a 2-1 fastball. Phillies now lead 3-1, with Tyler Clippard pitching in the sixth.
5:31 p.m. -- Oh my god, it's a clutch hit late in the game for the Nationals. Ian Desmond smokes an RBI single up the middle to score Alberto Gonzalez in the seventh and cut the Phillies' lead to 4-2. For those keeping score at home, that's now a total of three runs scored by the Nats after the fourth inning this year. Yeah, three runs in nine games after the fourth inning. Pathetic.
5:44 p.m. -- Olympic speedskater Apolo Ohno is on top of the Phillies dugout with the Phanatic. Why, I have no idea. But he got a nice ovation.
5:46 p.m. -- Adam Dunn has hit a home run. I repeat: Adam Dunn has hit a home run. First of the year, including spring training. First since Sept. 22, 2009. Crushed one to right-center on the first pitch from Danys Baez in the top of the eighth. All of a sudden, the Phillies' lead is down to 4-3.
5:49 p.m. -- And now Ryan Zimmerman is stepping to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Guess he's not going on the DL.
5:52 p.m. -- And Zim crushes a 1-0 fastball just over the right-field fence for a two-run homer. First career pinch home run for Zimmerman. Nats lead 5-4 in the eighth.
6:03 p.m. -- Jim Riggleman is going to ask Matt Capps to record a five-out save. Protecting a one-run lead. Against the Phillies lineup. Hold your breath.
6:11 p.m. -- Despite a misplayed, bloop single to shallow right field -- Willie Harris has got to take charge on that play and call off Cristian Guzman -- Capps gets out of the eighth. And he only threw 11 pitches, so he's got plenty left in the tank for the ninth. Due up for the Phils: Victorino, Polanco, Utley, Howard. You just knew those guys were going to get one more shot, didn't you?
6:26 p.m. -- Not only did Pudge Rodriguez just drive home two big insurance runs with a base hit to left, but a big section of Nats supporters in the upper deck down the third-base line went nuts. NatsTown has invaded Philly! Nats lead 7-4 now, still in the ninth.
6:29 p.m. -- Stat of the day: The Nats scored a total of two runs after the fourth inning in their first eight games. Today, they've scored six runs after the seventh inning.
6:32 p.m. -- Those insurance runs look pretty good right now. Victorino leads off the bottom of the ninth with a solo homer. It's now 7-5. Capps, for what it's worth, has never recorded a save of more than one inning.
6:42 p.m. -- Ballgame. Capps retires Utley, Howard and Werth and the Nats win, 7-5. For all the turmoil and disastrous pitching, they actually went 3-3 on this road trip to New York and Philly and stand at 4-5 overall.