2012 Game Recaps

Nationals Continue Dominance Over Phils In 7-1 Drubbing

With Gio Gonzalez on the mound, the Phillies offense stood no chance today. (AP)

After stealing a victory from the Phillies last night, the Nationals asserted their dominance today, beating the Phils 7-1, widening their lead in first place, and assuring themselves at least a series victory.

Unfamiliar with Gonzalez, Offense Is Dormant:

– Only two Phillies in today’s lineup–Placido Polanco and Ty Wigginton— had previously faced Gio Gonzalez, and the unfamiliarity was a clear detriment to the offense. The team had the right approach, taking more pitches than they usually do and working deeper counts. Despite those deep counts, they could only muster one walk off Gonzalez in seven innings. Combine that with the four hits and one run they mustered off the left-hander, and it made for a frustrating afternoon. Credit Gonzalez for mixing in a ton of breaking balls, preventing the Phillies from getting very much solid contact.

Gonzalez Retrospective:

– It was tough to watch Gonzalez, who was once a Phillies farmhand, pitch today knowing he could’ve been a Phillie. Sometimes when a good prospect is traded, as a fan you reside yourself to the fact that you got a quality player who helped the big club in return (see Michael Bourn traded for Brad Lidge). But the Phillies got Freddy Garcia–who pitched all of 11 starts with the team in 2007–for Gonzalez. Ouch.

Vanimal Absent:

Vance Worley, making his first ever start at Nationals Park, did not look very comfortable today. It wasn’t that his location was off (he only walked two) or that his velocity was down, but his pitches just didn’t have the life they usually do. Sometimes, pitchers just don’t have it, and it was that type of day for Worley. He looked more like Vance than Vanimal.

– After getting ahead of Gio Gonzalez, 0-2, to start the fifth, Worley started to nibble a little bit, and, to his credit, Gonzalez didn’t take the bait. He worked the count full before hitting his first career double to right center. In Worley’s defense, his 2-2 offering to Gonzalez looked to be a strike, but it was borderline. With the pitcher leading off an inning, that’s an out Worley needs to get, and one he needs to get quickly. He let Gonzalez hang around in the at-bat, and it ended up costing him when Jayson Werth came to the plate with two outs and two on and hit a 3-run home run to left. The Nats would tack on one more run with two outs in the inning. If Worley gets Gonzalez, Werth never gets to the plate in that inning, and those four runs aren’t scored (at least not then). That ended up being the difference in the game.

– Let’s face it, Worley was leaving runners on base at a ridiculous clip this season, and he was going to come back to earth eventually. His 95.8 LOB% entering today’s game was the best in baseball, and, frankly, entirely unsustainable. It caught up to him today when he allowed runners on base in each of his six innings. Through the first four, he was able to escape without damage, but the fifth inning, in which he allowed four runs, was simply a product of the law of averages. Worley is a good pitcher, but he’s not a dominant ace, and we’ll see him have a few bad outings to balance out the games where he’s electric.

Bullpen Continues Ineptitude:

– It will probably go unmentioned because the game was out of reach by the time they got into the game, but the Phillies bullpen continues to not get the job done. Outside of Jonathan Papelbon, there isn’t a single guy back there that I trust right now. They allowed two more runs today (both by Joe Savery), and pushed their ERA to 4.43. I understand that there are currently injuries in the ‘pen, but these guys need to get some outs if the Phillies are going to be in close games all season.

Game Notes:

– The Phillies have now been beaten by the Nats in seven consecutive games.

– Tomorrow, the Phils will look to avoid the sweep when they send Cole Hamels (3-1, 2.78) to the mound against Jordan Zimmerman (1-2, 1.89). It will be the team’s first appearance on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball this season.

Cliff Lee To Return, Utley Rejoins Team:

– After having no pain while throwing his final bullpen session before today’s game, Cliff Lee is expected to be reinserted into the rotation on Wednesday night when the Phillies take on the Mets.

Chase Utley rejoined the Phillies early this morning, and is expected to go through workouts with the team until he feels ready to go on a rehab assignment in Clearwater. My guess is he’s back playing with the big club before June 1st.

Click to comment



    May 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Being a Phillies fan is somewhat like being a family member or a parent. When a child is good, then all is great . When a child is bad, it is not so great but you love the child anyway.
    That is the way I feel now. I rooted for the Phils when they were the doormats of baseball and I loved them when they were champs. Hopefully, they will pull things out and rise to respectability this year.

    I do feel that Ruben Amaro. Jr and his position as general manager are in jeopardy, especially since we lost so many top prospects. Hey, the guy did all he could to put us back in the World Series. And if the Phils fall, then somebody needs to take the fall, as well.


    May 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    If things continue this way, then we really need to bring up some of our minor league talent and give them a chance. I would like to see Overbeck, Brown and some of our pitchers get big league exposure. We need to give these guys a chance if we cannot improve with our current players.

    • wbramh

      May 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      You mean that’s not our triple A team out there now?

    • George

      May 6, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Some of the minor leaguers are being given a chance. Look at the Phil’s current bullpen, with Savery, Schwimer, and Sanches, and look at how all of them have pretty much stunk up the ballpark. Brown has had a few shots, and still doesn’t appear ready, and Galvis currently mans second base. Kratz is currently on the team. Mayberry became a semi-regular only last year, but hasn’t been worth anything in 2012.

      Overbeck might help, but all the really good pitchers are in the lower levels and will need more time.

      People who want to see new blood have somehow missed the fact that quite a few current Phils ARE new blood. Trouble is, it’s been bad blood so far.

  3. EricL

    May 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    A few constructive criticisms for next time:

    1. That picture needs to be cropped better. It’s all out of proportion and looks goofy.

    2. In the Gio Retrospective paragraph, it’s “… as a fan you resign yourself to…” not “..a fan you reside yourself to the fact…”

    3. In the second Worley paragraph your narrative is guilty of the fallacy of the predetermined outcome. If Worley gets Gonzalez out we can’t know happens the rest of the inning, because nothing else that actually happened can be assumed. Once one outcome differs the rest of the inning plays out entirely differently. Maybe he gets out of it unscathed, maybe not, but it’s not knowable.

  4. TheDipsy

    May 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Hahahahahahaha. Thats funny. I’m taking a poll. As Phillie fans, and I need you male fans (or maybe not) to answer this. Here goes. As a fan would you rather:

    A) Wake up tomorrow with Justin Upton in our outfield;
    B) Wake up tomorrow with Kate Upton in your bed;
    C) Have Upton Sinclair come back to life and sign a copy of “The Jungle” for you, or
    D) Find your old VHS tape of “Upton Saturday Night”?

    The Dipsy

    • Lefty

      May 5, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      B- And it didn’t take a millisecond of thought.

    • psujoe

      May 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      No brainer, B. Just hope I’m there with my wife and Kate when they wake up in my bed LOL.

      RAJ finally learned that the little deals mean just as much as the big deals. Getting TW, JP and LN have kept us hanging around. I could think of many ss and 2b the Phils could have in there that would help. Rollins was just a bad deal and I keep hoping he proves me wrong. I thought they paid too much for Paps, but he’s been a rock. Trading Lee for scaps was bad(seriously, one of the worst moves ever). Trading Valdez for a huge ? was bad. Can’t complain about getting Halladay, great deal. the Pence deal was steep when you add in Santana. Starting to ramble with the Kate Upton pics on my laptop.

    • shawnmac

      May 6, 2012 at 7:48 am

      The one and only answer = B (but I’m happily married). Still going with B.

  5. SavannahPhillies Phan

    May 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    I had the distinct feeling that Worley gave up trying at some point. I don’t know if it was intimidation or just resignation!!!

  6. brooks

    May 5, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Not much to cheer about today at all. Victorino’s double, moved over by Pence’s long drive and he scored on a not so deep fly ball to JW. Quite a chance by Vic, knowing that Jason’s defense and arm was a key selling point. A good throw would have nailed him.

    The rest, as they say is history. The Phils have no BP and the offense is inept. What else is new?

  7. barry m

    May 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Today–that was not good enough.

  8. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    May 5, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    On another blog someone named x39 wrote: “Outhit, outhustled, and outmanaged EVERY game….the 2012 Philadelphia Phillies…if they were any older, theyd be preserved in a museum.”
    Ouch. The Fightins need to rally in this season at some point. I’m still giving it to the All-Star break for us to turn it all around. Go Phils.

  9. bacardipr05

    May 6, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Bart i think i know what you are tying to say..But the way you put it seems like your saying lets concede the race now and just give the minor league guys some exposure..Besides whats been talked about i dont think this team has that Good Mojo going for them as well…

    • shawnmac

      May 6, 2012 at 7:55 am

      There isn’t a realistic option to go with young guys because the reality is that the talent level of position players in the minors is terrible. It’s Rollins and his .229 BA or bust. It’s Victorino swinging at the first pitch or bust. It’s waiting on Utley and Howard or bust. It’s Polanco hopefully making it through the season or bust. It’s hoping Nix and Wiggington can contribute consistently or bust. It’s hoping the pathetic bullpen somehow gets better or bust. It’s hoping Mayberry doesn’t continue to fail or bust. It’s hoping the Phillies can somehow make it to the playoffs via the Wildcard. Not good.

  10. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    May 6, 2012 at 8:15 am

    @Shawnmac: Well said. Our farm system is depleted, and more annoying than that, is the fact that those prospects we have traded away, like Gonzalez, are coming back to haunt us.

    • George

      May 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

      People blame Amaro for everything, but it was Gillick who got rid of Gio Gonzalez.

      But let’s give them both SOME credit. Five straight NL champions isn’t exactly faillure, and all good things come to an end no matter what anyone does.

      • George

        May 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

        Five straight NL EAST championships.

      • EricL

        May 6, 2012 at 10:22 am

        Yes, but this thing likely to come to an end earlier than was necessary due to imprudent moves by Ruben.

  11. TheDipsy

    May 6, 2012 at 8:20 am

    We don’t have good enough players. Period.

    The Dipsy

    • Jeff Dowder

      May 6, 2012 at 11:04 am

      The sad part is that they have a $175 million payroll and still don’t have enough good players. Go figure.

      Tampa Bay figured it out with a $65 million payroll.

  12. arclight

    May 6, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I wish charlie would stop messing with the batting order.

    • EricL

      May 6, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Yesterday’s batting order was great. I love to see them move Ruiz up, considering he’s one of their best hitters and shouldn’t be batting 7th.

    • George

      May 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Let’s see. He needs to play play all the right handed platoon players against all comers, no matter if they’re lefties or righties. He needs to keep Galvis in at all times, even though Orr hits better. He needs to keep his current best hitter in the seven slot. He’s not allowed to rest any ailing players.

      Go ahead and wish if you want. Maybe it’ll actually come true, and all those guys who can’t hit same-handed pitchers will carry the team to the playoffs.

  13. Psujoe

    May 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

    4 games out of the playoffs with 134 to play. Long way to go.

    • Lefty

      May 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      They have to go-
      77-57 to get to 90 wins. That’s reasonable and within reach.
      82-52 to get to 95 wins. Less likely, still possible.
      87-47 to get to 100 wins. Not gonna happen.


    May 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm


    • George

      May 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      What happened? Did the other Yankees fans get annoyed and throw you off all of their sites?

  15. Chuck A.

    May 6, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Dipsy – late to the party but I’ll choose B (of course 🙂 ). And what were you trying to do there….do your best Regis Philbin impersonation of ho Wants to be a Millionaire?

  16. brooks

    May 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I read your headliner for this post and I cringe, and want to take a shower. Nats dominance over the Phils? Just does not sound like anything I’ve ever heard of before

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