WASHINGTON (AP)—Both bullpens blew late leads, so the Phillies and Nationals kept shuttling pitchers in and out as their game dragged on and on Friday night.
Eventually, Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel decided to give up on his relief corps and turn to a pitcher who was scheduled to start during Saturday’s day-night doubleheader.
“Once we got there in the game, and I looked at their team and our team, and compared what players were left, what pitchers,” Manuel explained, “I said … ‘We’re going for it.”’
So J.A. Happ(notes) came on for the 11th to throw two scoreless innings, and Raul Ibanez(notes) delivered a two-run single after Kip Wells(notes), Washington’s eighth pitcher, walked the bases loaded in the 12th. That broke a tie and sent the Phillies to a 10-6 victory.
“No excuses. No explanations,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “We just basically walked ourselves into death.”
It was a long day for most of the Phillies, who visited the White House in the morning. Ibanez skipped that trip, and wound up with four hits.
“These guys are probably more tired than I am,” Ibanez said about his teammates. “They had to get up early.”
Wells (0-1), Washington’s last available reliever, allowed four run in two innings.
Happ (2-0), Philadelphia’s seventh pitcher, ended the game at 11:37 p.m., 4 1/2 hours after the first pitch, by getting pinch-hitter Josh Bard(notes)—Washington’s last bench player, the 21st man used by Acta—to fly out.
After Friday’s 11th inning, a little past 11 p.m., the Nationals told the crowd that the planned postgame fireworks display would not take place because of the late hour. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
Much earlier, before Friday’s first pitch, Manuel bemoaned what he called his players’ lack of focus.
“For about a week now,” he said, “we haven’t played good baseball.”
The Phillies had lost six of their previous eight games to fall to .500 for the season, and they trailed 4-1 Friday. But Feliz and Carlos Ruiz(notes) hit RBI singles in the sixth, and Ryan Howard(notes) hit his seventh homer of the season, a three-run shot, in the next inning off Joe Beimel(notes) to make it 6-4.
The last-place Nationals have blown 11 of 17 save opportunities, and Beimel acknowledged: “We can’t get any worse.”
“It’s been, for me, a rough sequence recently of not throwing my best,” Lidge said.
Saturday could be rough for both teams.
Asked how tough the turnaround would be, Dunn said with a smirk: “I’ll tell you tomorrow.”
After pausing for effect, he added: “When I’m in the fetal position somewhere.”
Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman(notes), whose 30-game hitting streak ended in Washington’s prior game, was greeted by a partial standing ovation before his first at-bat. He had three hits. … Nationals CF Elijah Dukes(notes) left in the seventh with a strained left hamstring and was replaced by Harris. Acta said he might be able to play Saturday. … To make roster room for Carpenter, Philadelphia designated INF Miguel Cairo(notes) for assignment. … Philadelphia 2B Chase Utley(notes) was hit by pitches twice. … Philadelphia’s White House trip originally was scheduled for April 14, but was postponed because of announcer Harry Kalas’ death.