Too many balls right down the chute, and too many 0-fers, allowed Washington to ease to an 8-2 victory at Nationals Park on the strength of four home runs.
Summary: Call Joe Blanton's quality start the best start of the season by a Phillies pitcher, but what does that tell you? It says things aren't going so well with the pitching staff. Adam Dunn received the kind of gift pitch from Blanton in the first inning he may never see again this season and unloaded for a three-run missile to right. Blanton held Washington there for the next five frames, allowing the Phillies' offense to pull to within one. But lousy relief from Chad Durbin (1ER, 1HR, 2BB) and an even worse effort by Jack Taschner (4ER, 2HR, 2BB, 4H) allowed Washington to run away with it.
Offensively, the Phils suffered from just too many 0-fers to get anything started, including Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz. Rollins is hitting .111 on the young season, Victorino is at .219. There were a couple killer at bats mixed in, too, including a one-pitch groundout by Feliz to end an inning with the Phillies threatening, and Victorino getting ahead to lead off the eighth, but popping out on ball four. Positives included a 2-for-4 and an RBI by Raul Ibanez, and a nice 2-for-3 game by Lou Marson.
The Phillies, who've allowed 20 home runs already this season, fall to 4-4. They open a four-game series tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park against the surprising Padres.