Sleeper Hold: Nationals 4, Phillies 1

The thing about crazy comebacks is that you can’t come to expect them. Through their first 19 games of the 2009 season, the Phillies rallied for nine victories—all but two of their total—including a few that had to be seen to be believed.

So when the team fell behind the visiting Nationals 3-1 in the sixth inning of tonight’s game, confidence was understandably high: the Nats had squandered bigger leads in Monday’s 13-11 Phils win, and starting pitcher (and Phillies-hater) Scott Olsen had entered the game with a 7.29 ERA. But after allowing a first-inning home run to Shane Victorino, Olsen held the Phils off the board into the sixth inning. Even more implausibly, the burned-over Washington bullpen backed him up with 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, quashing potential rallies in the sixth and eighth innings.

Brett Myers fell to 1-2 despite his third straight quality start. But it wouldn’t be quite correct to call him a hard-luck loser tonight: Myers issued three walks in the third inning, including one to Olsen and another to Ryan Zimmerman with the bases loaded. Then in the sixth, already down 2-1 with a man in scoring position and the pitcher due to hit next, Myers let Anderson Hernandez beat him with a hit up the middle that plated the third Nationals run. A career .238 hitter, Hernandez was Washington’s star tonight with three hits, including two doubles.

Their five-game win streak over, the Phils now have an off-day before their first meeting with the rival Mets in a three-game set that starts Friday. 

 

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