The Washington Nationals took the first game of their three-game series against the division rival Phillies on Monday night with a 2-1 victory. Davey Johnson received some excellent pitching, as Gio Gonzalez and Craig Stammen breezed through eight shutout innings. Henry Rodriguez came on in the 9th and was once again extremely wild, walking the first batter he faced on four straight. The first three pitches were nowhere close, and went to the backstop. After giving up a hit to Mike Fontenont and throwing two more to the backstop, Rodriguez was eventually pulled for Sean Burnett.
The Phillies finally knocked in their first run of the game when Ty Wiggington hit one to deep right allowing John Mayberry to tag up. After issuing a walk to Hector Luna, Burnett closed it out by retiring Placido Polanco on a lineout to second, stranding the game-tying run at second base.
Gonzalez fanned 9 Phillies and allowed just three hits in six innings pitched. He continues to be a stopper for Davey Johnson, leading the staff and getting his fourth consecutive win in his first season with the club. Stammen was impressively efficient in his two innings of work to push the shutout into the 9th.
Ian Desmond, who's been raking while hitting in the five-hole, provided all the offense the Nats would need. Desmond took a Kyle Kendrick pitch deep into the shrubs beyond the wall in left-center field for a 1-0 lead in the second. In his next at-bat, he pulled one through the left side, singling home Bryce Harper for the 2-0 lead. The Nationals would not get another hit for the rest of the evening, as the Phillies pitching staff retired 17 straight Washington hitters.
Jordan Zimmermann will try to rebound from his last outing to win the series in Game 2 on Tuesday night. Philadelphia will counter with ace Roy Halladay.
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