Freed from any burden of expectation or disappointment, the Phillies have jumped out and won the first two games of their 2012 "surrender" season, topping the Nationals by a score of 3-2, with healthy contributions from their two newest players.
The Phillies got all the offense they needed from solo home runs from the longest tenured player on the roster -- shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who cracked homers in the third and fifth -- and the newest, right fielder Nate Schierholtz, whose home run in the fifth inning gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead, which they would hold forever and ever. Schierholtz also impressed on a nice sliding catch on a dead quail fly ball in the seventh inning.
The Nationals struck first, however, capitalizing on an error by third baseman Kevin Frandsen and a misplay by Chase Utley on a sure double play grounder to score two unearned runs in the first inning off starter Vance Worley. It was a very weird linescore for Worley -- seven innings, six hits, no earned runs, one walk, and zero strikeouts. The Nationals threatened to score again in the second, but with Edwin Jackson attempting to score from second on a two out single from Bryce Harper, left fielder Domonic Brown nailed Jackson at home with a beautiful throw .
The Phillies touched Edwin Jackson for all three home runs, and a total of eight hits. Jackson walked a total of four batters, none of whom factored into the final score.
Three relievers combined for the eighth inning for the Phillies, including Other New Guy Josh Lindblom, who allowed a single to Ryan Zimmerman, but then struck out Michael Morse. Lefty Jeremy Horst would replace him, and wrap up the inning after one pitch, with catcher Erik Kratz making a marvelous throw to catch Zimmerman attempting to steal second base.
Jonathan Papelbon worked a clean ninth inning, although we all held our breath on the second out, a long fly ball to left that Domonic Brown tracked down at the wall.
Come back tomorrow, as the Phillies go for the SWEEP behind Cole Hamels.
Gamegraph of fun after the jump.