John Lannen looked nearly unhittable for six complete innings tonight, but Philadelphia hitters got to him in the seventh, hitting back-to-back home runs and powering the first place Phillies to a 5-3 win at Nationals Park. The damage was done in the top of the 7th, when Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez hit back-to-back homers. The Werth-Ibanez dingers were enough to chase Lannan, who was relieved by the usually effective Tyler Clippard. But Clippard gave up a homer to Chase Utley that sealed the game. The Nats threatened in the ninth against shaky Phillies’ closer Brad Lidge, but with runners packing the bases Ryan Zimmerman (the hero of Monday’s contest) and Adam Dunn (already the proud papa of 35 round trippers this year) could not bring them home. Zimmerman struck out to Ryan Madson and Adam Dunn hit a crippled duck to second base.
A dejected John Lannan gave up 4 round trippers on Tuesday (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Down On Half Street:
Bob Carpenter and Rob Dibble were making a strong case for benching Alberto Gonzalez
during the MASN broadcast on Tuesday. (Actually, they were thinking about benching him for a lot longer than just the MASN broadcast
.) They plead a good cause: Mike Morse
(who has already shown he can hit in the bigs) deserves a shot at more than the bench and Gonzalez (five for his last 29) has proved what he can’t
do . . . But, I’m not ready to give up on Gonzalez (or allow Dibs to replace Riggleman, for that matter). Alberto hit the hide off the ball the month before the All Star break. Then too, Bob and Dibs sat around praising Ronnie Belliard
when he was hitting below the Mendoza line, like he was the second coming of Ted Williams. At least Alberto has some kind of future . . . Here’s an idea, if you really want to prove what the kids can do, put Alberto at short and Morse at second and sit Guzman on the bench. Here’s the worst that can happen: we’ll end up in last place
. . . Bill Ladson reported
(yesterday, I think it was) that the Nats are considering moving Cristian Guzman to second base next year. What a great idea. Hardly anybody hits the ball to second base . . .
Shortstop hopeful Ian Desmond
has been called up to the big club with a number of others
as a part of the roster expansion. He had a pretty good year, playing in Harrisburg and Syracuse
. He hit .354 for the Chiefs with a .428 OBP and .328 overall with seven home runs in AAA and Harrisburg. Desmond was a third rounder back in 2004. He’s tall and lanky and about ready, though the powers that be are apparently worried about rushing him to the bigs before his time — unlike Mock, Balester, Detwiler, Martin and Martis . . . speaking of which, Mike Henderson over at Nationals Pride
gives a breakdown (ah, I mean an analysis
) of the call-ups and their impact on the bullpen and starting rotation and answers that most central of all questions: where is Shairon Martis (you remember him?) and why isn’t he up here with this ballclub? . . . Centerfield Gate is now a part of a new baseball blog network — the MLBlog Network
. The network includes ten (and counting) other baseball blogs . . .
Sh – – – tty Field:
A regular and loyal reader writes to tell us of a report of just how bad it’s getting for the Mets. “Bad year for the Wilpons. First Madoff, then the injuries . . . now this,” he writes. He’s referring to an NBC.com report on how Citi Field, the new high-falutin stadium for Mets fans (total cost: $850 million) is starting to fall apart. Among the problems: water damage to luxury suites, faulty electrical wiring, flooding in the outfield seating area and concrete falling off the facades. Which is not to mention the signage — this must be the most sign-filled ballpark in the majors. Every single space that can be filled is: with advertisements for sausages, real estate, hospitals, fizzy drinks. You name it. Someone must be hard up for money. Like, say, the Wilpons. A new book (and an absolute must read) called Too Good To Be True
reports that the Wilpons lost hundreds of millions of dollars to Bernie Madoff. The author, Erin Arvedlund, was interviewed last week on MLB satellite radio and would not speculate on whether the Wilpons will be forced to sell the team, but the New York Times
has been speculating on the possibility for a number of months . . .