A dearth of offense is more excusable against a bonafide ace like Cliff Lee. However, no excuse will get the Nats back a game in the standings. Atlanta may have lost both games of a doubleheader today (thanks Mets) but the Nats are going to have to find a way to win sooner or later. Ross Detwiler was mediocre, and going into tonight’s game, we knew he would have to be pretty good to keep the Nats in it. Unfortunately, four runs in six innings was not nearly good enough. The Nationals are looking more and more like a middle-of-the-road team, and that’s what Nats fans should be expecting until the Nats can prove otherwise.
Most Important Nationals Hit: Jayson Werth‘s solo homer (+14.1%)
June 18, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a home run during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The game actually got off to a pretty good start for the Nationals. Werth, the former Phillie who was booed heavily throughout the night, silenced the haters for a while by depositing a fat fastball from Lee into the left field bleachers on what was an absolute laser of a shot. He rounded the bases to stunned silence from the Phillies fans, having given the Nats a 1-0 lead over a previously-cruising Lee.
Most Important Nationals Pitch: Michael Young‘s RBI double (-18.3%)
The sixth inning got off to an inauspicious start for Detwiler, and it only got worse. Ben Revere opened the frame with a successful bunt single, and Young immediately drove him in with a double to center, made possible by the fact that Revere was attempting to steal second when Young put the ball into play. The Phillies would tack on two more runs in the frame thanks to a Kevin Frandsen bases-loaded single.
Champ of the Game: Werth (+6.8%) was 1-4, but his solo homer made him one of only four Nats with a positive WPA: the other two were Jeff Kobernus, who hit the other solo homer, and the two relievers. For the Phillies, Young (+25.8%) was 3-4 with three doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored.
Chump of the Game: Detwiler (-23.4%) was Haren-esque: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. He was cruising until the sixth, when he nearly escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam until Frandsen made him pay with two outs. Domonic Brown (-9.1%) was 0-4 with two strikeouts, including one with the bases loaded in the sixth.