The Washington Nationals (45-58) jumped all over Roy Oswalt in his Philadelphia Phillies (56-47) debut by a score of 8-1 last night in the nations capital.
The Nats wasted no time getting to the two-time defending NL champs as Nyjer Morgan drove Oswalt’s very first pitch for his new team to right center field for a triple. Morgan then crossed home plate thanks to an Adam Kennedy groundout, this would be the only time Kennedy wouldn’t reach base in the game as he collected four hits and scored two runs.
Washington’s starter, Craig Stammen, singled off Ryan Howard’s glove, sparking the next run scoring inning in the bottom half of the third. Stammen’s hit was followed by a hit batsman, putting runners on first and second with none out. Kennedy then came up with the intention of laying down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over, but thanks to Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, that sacrifice bunt turned into a run scoring single after Ruiz fired the ball to third base where…no one was covering, and allowing Stammen to score. With Morgan now on third, Ryan Zimmerman brought him in with a sacrifice fly to right, pushing the score to 3-0 at the end of three.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kennedy reached second on a double and Adam Dunn, who wasn’t even sure where he would be playing the next day, took one for the team after getting hit in the upper back by a pitch. Josh Willingham, who has also been the center of some trade talk, then doubled home Kennedy and Dunn giving the Nationals a commanding 5-0 lead and essentially ruining Oswalt’s day.
The headline of this game is obviously Oswalt’s struggles, but lets not overlook the masterful performance put on by Stammen, who went 6 1/3 allowing five hits, striking out five, walking just one, and gave up just one run, a solo shot crushed by Jayson Werth. Tyler Clippard and Colin Balester came in relief for Stammen and allowed no runs and just one hit.
The Nats put up three in the bottom of the seventh, all off Chad Durbin, thanks to a Roger Bernadina two run double and a sacrifice fly by Ian Desmond giving Washington a commanding 8-1 lead.
The Nationals and Phillies continue their three game set tonight as Ross Detwiler (0-1, 0.00) faces off against Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.85).