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Well, Opening Day is a wrap, and once again, the bullpen is responsible for the Phillies’ first loss of the season. You may recall Ryan Madson blowing last year’s opener by serving up a two-run home run to Edgar Renteria, then of the Atlanta Braves. Today’s culprit is Tom Gordon, responsible for all five runs the Washington Nationals scored in the top of the ninth inning.
A recap of the coup the Nationals staged against the ineffective right-hander and de facto closer:
- Lastings Milledge legs out an infield single to shortstop.
- Nick Johnson hits a one-out RBI double to deep center field and advances to third on the throw home.
- Austin Kearns walks.
- Johnson scores when Carlos Ruiz tries to catch him napping off of third base when Paul Lo Duca bluffs a squeeze bunt.
- Lo Duca doubles to left-center, scoring Kearns.
- Ronnie Belliard doubles to deep center, scoring Lo Duca.
- Dmitri Young hits a two-out RBI double that bounces high off of the right field fence off of reliever Clay Condrey.
Starter Brett Myers wasn’t sharp, but nonetheless effective. He pitched five innings, allowed five hits, walked two, allowed four runs (three of which were earned), and only struck out two.
Ryan Madson relieved Myers in the sixth inning. With two outs, Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman eked out an infield single to shortstop, and Lastings Milledge followed by jacking a two-run home run well over the left field fence.
The Phillies had opportunities but could only manage three runs in the first six innings. Chase Utley hit a sacrifice fly in the first, Pat Burrell hit an RBI single in the fourth, and Utley hit a solo homer to right field in the sixth.
The Phightin Phils did mount a comeback in the seventh. Jayson Werth led off with a walk. The gravy train appeared to be rolling when catcher Carlos Ruiz yanked an RBI double to left-center and reigning NL MVP Jimmy Rollins defended his honor by tying the game up with a two-run homer that just barely cleared the fence around the 380-foot sign, courtesy Nationals left-hander Ray King.
That was it though, as the Phils quickly went down 1-2-3 in both the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings.
Game graph courtesy FanGraphs.