video thumbnail

WSH@SF: Strasburg dominates over seven strong innings

The Nationals' offense has struggled so much this season that manager Davey Johnson has taken matters into his own hands.

He's growing out his facial hair -- much to the dismay of his wife -- until the bats get going. After a 5-2 win Friday, the players said he should keep it.

"My wife said I could keep it one more day," Johnson said. "I was ready for a breakout again [Saturday] after 10 hits and five runs, but the players said I should keep it. They think it makes me look better."

Washington's offense didn't muster much against Jonathan Pettibone and Phillies relievers on Saturday in a 5-3 loss, as Pettibone's starts have meant success for the Phils this season. When Cole Hamels takes the ball for Philadelphia, however, it's the opposite. The Phillies have lost all four games Hamels has started in May and nine of 10 this season. He has a 4.45 ERA on the year.

Hamels didn't address the media following his loss on May 20, when he gave up two runs in six innings with 10 strikeouts in a 5-1 Phillies defeat to the Marlins.

"That's the competitor in him, that's the part that was upset," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Tuesday. "Probably thought it was best that he didn't talk to you."

Hamels will take on Stephen Strasburg on Sunday, who is just 2-5 on the season despite throwing seven quality starts. Strasburg enters the series finale with a 2.66 ERA and a 2.95 K/BB ratio.

Nationals try to get bench involved
Johnson has been trying to get some of his bench players, most notably Steve Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore, in games more consistently.

"I'm trying to get them feeling good about how they're seeing the ball and how they're feeling," Johnson said. "A lot of times, the second year, if you've had a good year your first year ... everybody starts making adjustments to how they pitch to you. And as a young hitter, to become aware of that real quickly, sometimes it takes longer."

• When the Nationals have scored three or more runs in a game, they're 21-4, an indication of their ailing offense. When they score two or less, they're 4-20.

Phillies get bullpen help
Setup man Mike Adams will be activated Sunday after throwing a bullpen session Friday, and the Phillies will make a corresponding roster move. He has been on the disabled list with a strained back since May 11.

"While he was a little rusty after not having thrown in several days, he physically felt fine," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement.

Worth noting
• Hamels is 13-5 with a 2.57 ERA in his career against Washington. He's 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA at Nationals Park.

• Phillies players currently on the roster are hitting a combined .200 in 25 at-bats against Strasburg.

• The Phillies and Nationals both rank below the National League average in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Comments