WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals is forced out at second base by Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on July 31, 2012 in Washington, DC. Philadelphia won the game 8-0. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
This week's three-game series between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies was meant to establish the former's new-found dominance and the latter's fall from grace. There are still two games left, but Tuesday's opener did not go as planned for the first-place Nats.
Let's count the ways, shall we?
It all started in the top of the second inning, when Stephen Strasburg served up a two-run home run to Kevin Frandsen, which gave Philadelphia an early 2-0 lead. You may be asking yourself, "Who is Kevin Frandsen?" That's a good question. I have no idea. Called up last week, Frandsen's home run was his first in almost four years.
Later, Juan Pierre scored to make it a 3-0 game when he stole second and third on consecutive pitches and came home after Jesus Flores' pick-off attempt ended up in left field.
Not to be outdone, Cliff Lee -- yes, the pitcher -- had a RBI single in the fourth inning. Lee then decided to steal second for good measure.
If that wasn't bad enough, then you can watch Jimmy Rollins' inside-the-park home run/Bryce Harper's introduction to the right field wall.
Strasburg's day was done after four innings after he allowed six runs (a season high) on eight hits on 65 pitches (a season low).
Things didn't get much better. In 1.1 innings of relief, Henry Rodriguez walked John Mayberry, Jr., with a ball four that...wasn't very close...
At least some of the fans behind the plate had steely resolve, though I can't blame others for flinching when a 95 mph fastball is coming right at you.
Long story short, Tuesday at Nationals Park is not a game you'll save your ticket stub for. Unless you're Frandsen's mother.
Let's try again Wednesday.
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