09/08/09 11:50 PM ET
Lannan, Nats stung by Phillies' homers
Starter gives up four solo dingers; Harris goes deep
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
During the first four innings, Lannan was cruising and was given a 2-0 lead against right-hander Pedro Martinez. In the first inning, Washington scored the first run of the game, when Cristian Guzman singled to drive in Willie Harris.
Washington added to its lead in the fourth, when Elijah Dukes scored on an infield single by Wil Nieves.
But Philadelphia used the long ball to take the lead. In the top of the fifth, Raul Ibanez homered to cut the lead in half.
In the top of the seventh, Jayson Werth and Ibanez hit back-to-back home runs to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Two batters later, Carlos Ruiz hit another solo shot over the left-field wall.
"I left the ball up and I was feeling good today," Lannan said. "They have some pop. I made my pitches and that's what happen. I guess you could say they played home run derby. They are a great hitting team. When you make mistakes like that, it's going to hurt, and it hurt tonight."
Of all the Phillies' position players, the one guy the Nationals can't seem to stop is Ibanez, who has been a nemesis this season, hitting .426 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs. It appears Lannan doesn't have an answer to stop him, either.
"He's a good hitter," Lannan said. "He hits the ball where it's pitched. He can beat you the other way and hit home runs. He is having a great year. You have to tip your hat, because he is doing a good job this year."
In retrospect, Lannan said he should have slowed the game down when Ibanez was at the plate in the seventh.
"I had him, 0-2, and I threw the curveball in the dirt," Lannan said. "[The next pitch] I kind of sped it up. I knew if I threw a good one, I could get him out. I sped up a little bit and that's what happened. If I speed it up, the ball gets elevated. ... At some point, I could have stepped off [the mound] and realized the game was still tied."
In the bottom of the seventh, Harris made it a one-run game when he homered off Martinez, who pitched 6 2/3 innings and gave up three runs.
But Chase Utley made it a 5-3 game in the eighth, taking Tyler Clippard deep over the right-field wall.
Washington has a chance to win the game in the ninth off Philadelphia closer Brad Lidge. Nieves started the inning off with a single to right-center field.
After Alberto Gonzalez grounded out, Lidge hit Harris with a pitch and walked Guzman to load the bases.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had seen enough and called upon Ryan Madson to face Ryan Zimmerman. Madson simply overpowered Zimmerman. Madson threw two straight fastballs on the outside part of the plate for strikes, while Zimmerman struck out on a pitch out of the strike zone for the second out of the inning.
"Madson's tough," Zimmerman said. "His changeup is really good. I just couldn't pull the trigger on the first two pitches. Those were pitches I had to hit."
Adam Dunn was the next hitter, and he grounded out to shortstop Jimmy Rollins to end the game.
"We won the game and that's the bottom line," Lidge said. "Madson did a great job coming in and picking me up. When I got to the stretch, my control wasn't there. Charlie said, 'Hey, I want to get [Madson] in there and I want to make sure it goes the right way.' Chuck has been awesome. He had a feeling about that one. Madson came in and did great job."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.