Roy Oswalt’s debut with Philadelphia didn’t go the way the hordes of fans in from out of town hoped it would. Instead, Phillies and Nats fans and were treated to 6.1 fine innings pitched by Nationals right-hander Craig Stammen and a hard-hitting line-up all throughout the order.
Nyjer Morgan has become quite a catalyst for the line-up in recent days, according to Manager Jim Riggleman. He started things off with a first pitch triple of the recently acquired Oswalt, and came around to score after a wild throw from Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz to third.
Stammen, who was sent down to send Strasburg up back in June, has been inconsistent this season. Good Craig, bad Craig – it’s unpredictable which one will show up to play. Last night, good Craig reigned supreme.
“Right from the get go we saw him really throwing good, you know,” Riggleman said. “Good velocity, kept the ball down pretty good, got some ground balls and came in on some hitters good. You know, just a really good performance by Craig.”
What hurt the Phillies the most wasn’t the Nats pitching staff, although that was quite the contributor. The Phillies biggest problem was themselves. They couldn’t score a run despite getting six hits. They committed two errors. It was a sloppy night and the steady stream of fans to the Metro in the eighth spoke to that fact.
The Nationals bullpen continues to do a spotless job featuring 14.1 consecutive scoreless innings in the last four games. With Matt Capps off to Minnesota, Collin Ballestar was handed the ball during the ninth.
“You know, we’ve played good, that’s the key,” Riggleman said regarding the Nats recent success against the top one and two teams in their division. One night against the Braves they made a couple errors, we played clean, and we won. Tonight, a couple errors were made and we played clean and then we won and that’s kind of what our message to the ballclub has been is you know we’ve just got to start playing clean baseball.”