Jayson Werth and the Washington Nationals Conquer Joe Blanton and the Philadelphia Phillies…For Now

Last night, the Philadelphia Phillies had their weakest link in the name of their fifth starting pitcher in the rotation, Joe Blanton, facing perhaps the strongest link in the Washington Nationals chain, their first starting pitcher Livan Hernandez, next to their third baseman and strongest batter Ryan Zimmerman.  However, Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list recently due to an abdominal injury caused by a slide into second base last Saturday against the New York Mets, and his power wasn’t missed too much in this game as Jayson Werth compensated for his absence.

Although Ryan Howard homered to the left in the second inning, Jayson Werth responded in kind in the fifth inning.  By that time, Washington Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa sacrificed fly to bring in Wilson Ramos to tie the game into the top of third inning.  Unfortunately, Blanton will be Blanton…and the collapse of the fourth inning as Wilson Ramos doubled to bring in Jayson Werth for another run and the lead. Nationals outfielder Laynce Nix got another run to close the fourth inning with the score of 4-1.  Into the eighth inning, Raul Ibanez started a mini-rally against the Nationals, but it was too little, too late, and Placido Polanco’s single in the ninth simply wasn’t enough.  The game ended on a low note for the Philadelphia Phillies with the score of 7-4.

Phillies Joe Blanton, the starting rotation’s weakest link, had a disastrous 10.45 ERA on six innings pitched.  Nationals starting pitcher Livan Hernandez had a solid night with 3.50 ERA on 6.2 innings pitched, 7 hits and 1 homerun.  Their closer Sean Burnett had an excellent night with 1.35 ERA.  But that was last night…

Tonight is a bit of a different story for the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies at 7 PM.  Phillies devastating starting pitcher Roy Halladay will go against John Lannan of the Nationals.  With Halladay focused and maintaining exceptional statistics in the beginning of the season, he is a force to be reckoned with his 0.92 WHIP and 0.69 ERA on 13 innings pitched.  Tonight’s game should have a completely different complexion, and Jayson Werth and the Washington Nationals will get their due.

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