PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The fastball sailed near David Bell's chin,
knocking him down and bringing a gasp from the crowd. With the
bases loaded and the game on the line, the last thing Bell needed
was extra motivation.
"I already had enough adrenaline going. I didn't need any
more," Bell said.
The pressure and the brushback hardly bothered Bell as his
sacrifice fly off Hector Carrasco in the ninth inning snapped a
rare pitcher's duel at Citizens Bank Park and lifted the
Philadelphia Phillies to a 1-0 win over the Washington Nationals on
Bell hit a long fly to left and Matt Cepicky never attempted a
Billy Wagner (2-1) earned the win, striking out two in a
scoreless ninth and the Phillies won their first 1-0 game in the
second year of their home park.
"A lot of times a 1-0 game can give you a bigger lift than a
blowout," Bell said.
The Phillies (44-44) moved back to .500 and gained a game on the
NL East-leading Nationals. They won for only the sixth time in
their last 20 games and hope a series win can give them some sort
of momentum heading into the All-Star break.
"If we take them two out of three, that should help us,"
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
The Nationals wasted a strong effort from John Patterson, who
saw one of his finest efforts of the season turn into his 10th
no-decision this year. They had only six hits and Carlos Baerga had
three of them.
"You can't expect to win if you don't score runs," Washington
manager Frank Robinson said. "We just couldn't get anything
Patterson came in with a groundball (68) to flyball (118) ratio
of 0.6, but even with that lopsided number, he amazingly didn't get
an out on the ground. First baseman Baerga didn't have his first
putout until he caught a popup in the seventh.
Patterson struck out Philadelphia's 3-4-5 hitters in the fourth,
then whiffed Howard to start the fifth. When Patterson got Burrell
to strike out swinging in the sixth, it was the right-hander's
season-high eighth and final strikeout.
"I could go out there and win the next 10 in a row. Ten
no-decisions is what I have," Patterson said. "If I keep throwing
the ball the way I have been, anything could happen."
Cory Lidle, who won his last two starts, was sharp, also. He
struck out seven, walked one and gave up five hits in eight
innings, his longest effort since he tossed a complete game at
Baltimore on May 22.
"Even in the bullpen, I knew I was going to be hitting my
spots," Lidle said.
Lidle was the beneficiary of some nifty defense, also. In the
seventh, second baseman Utley made a diving stop to his right and
erased Baerga on a force at second. After reaching on the fielders'
choice, Cepicky was caught stealing by Mike Lieberthal to end the
"Patterson threw a great game. I kept thinking we were going to
have a big inning," Lidle said.
The Nationals are still guaranteed of going into the All-Star
break in first place in the NL East. Last year, the Phillies led
the division, then finished 10 games behind Atlanta in the final
RHP Geoff Geary will miss the rest of the series after he
was struck in the right eye with a foul ball while batting Friday
night. "My eyeball was in shock," Geary said. "My doctor
stressed I don't want to get hit in the eye again." ... Here's one
reason why the Nationals are in first and the Phillies in last:
Washington leads the majors with 24 one-run wins, while the
Phillies are just 10-11 in one-run games. ... One well-intentioned
adult gave a foul ball to a little boy who then threw it down into
the box seats. ... Washington INF Junior Spivey broke his wrist
before the game and should miss eight to 12 weeks. "The ball
bounced back off the T and I didn't think anything about it," he
said. "I kept swinging, then I felt it pop."