An encouraging outing for Roy Oswalt turned sour in the eighth inning, and the Phillies' bats remained in hibernation in a 6-1 loss to the Nationals, the Phils' sixth straight defeat.
The pitching: For most of the night, Oswalt had life on his fastball and good movement on his off-speed stuff. He dominated the first seven innings before things fell apart. In all, the righty gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings. He ended up throwing 110 pitches in his next-to-last start of the regular season. Joe Savery worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning in his second major league appearance.
The defense: The first two runs Oswalt allowed came in the third inning, and both were a product of a shallow fly ball into right field that the stunningly awful John Bowker didn't take charge of. Roger Bernadina added an RBI double in the eighth to make it 3-0 before Mike Morse launched a three-run homer to end Oswalt's night. Morse was the dreaded "one more batter" following a brief mound visit from Charlie Manuel.
The hitting: Well, Carlos Ruiz had three hits and John Mayberry Jr. had one. And that was it. The four-hitter concluded the Phillies' home slate in disappointing fashion. The team went 52-29 at home this season, a great record but one that includes six straight defeats - including a four-game sweep at the hands of the Nationals - to end the year.
Next up: The Phils open a three-game set at Citi Field on Friday. Cole Hamels gets the nod against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Maybe the Phillies can mix in a victory before the season ends.