Fielding what was more or less a Triple-A baseball team with some major league pinch-hitting and relief, the Philadelphia Phillies dropped the first game of their day-night double header against the Washington Nationals by a final score of 4-3 in ten innings.
A scoreless game through six, the offenses opened up in the seventh, delivering three runs apiece. In the top of inning, Michael Schwimer quickly fell into trouble and would be ultimately responsible for 3 runs on 3 hits thanks to a Roger Bernadina home run to right. Thankfully for the Phils, Charlie Manuel tapped Raul Ibanez to deliver a three-run pinch-hit bomb of his own to once more tie the game by the end on the inning.
From there, the three man combination of Joe Savery, Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson would lock down the eighth and ninth, thereby forcing the game to extras after the Phillies' offense failed to convert any of its own opportunities.
Despite their effort, Michael Stutes would surrender the game-winning hit to Ryan Zimmerman in the top of the tenth. Though Stutes was beginning to turn things around after two scoreless outings against the Marlins and Cardinals, both he and Michael Schwimer continued today what has been a difficult stretch for both pitchers over the past few weeks.
A bright spot in the loss, Kyle Kendrick pitched six scoreless innings in his second double-header spot start in five days. He's given up just one run in his last eleven innings.
All things considered, it's tough to get broken up about this one considering the personnel on the filed and the interest in getting the starters rested. The team made full use of its expanded roster in game one and will more than likely do the same in game two.
For anyone wondering, Charlie confirmed after the game that Hunter Pence is "fine" after appearing jam his knee on the first base bag. Prior to being pulled in the sixth, Pence was expected to start tonight's game and to receive some time off later this week. Hopefully, Pence really is just fine and not trying unnecessarily tough out an injury. Time will tell.
We'll be back in a bit with the pitching match up for second leg of today's double header and a copy of Charlie's game two lineup. 'Til then.