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Instant analysis: Phillies 4, Nats 2

Instant analysis: Phillies 4, Nats 2

Game in a nutshell: The Phillies don't have much left to play for except pride, but they showed plenty of that in the opener of this three-game series before a crowd of 42,096 that barely made a peep all night. Veterans Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins drove in three early runs off Edwin Jackson, putting the Nationals in a 3-0 hole. They couldn't make a dent into Kyle Kendrick for most of the evening until Tyler Moore came off the bench in the seventh to drill a two-run homer and knock the right-hander from the game. The Nationals had chances to push across the tying run against a smorgasbord of Philadelphia relievers but couldn't deliver the big hit when they needed it. Perhaps it would have been a different story had they not lost cleanup hitter Michael Morse to a right hand injury (he was struck by a Kendrick fastball in the top of the first) that looked serious but was initially diagnosed as only a contusion.

Hitting lowlight: Remember when Adam LaRoche couldn't be contained inside the ballpark? That was only two weeks ago, but it feels much longer. LaRoche is now hitting .164 with zero homers over his last 17 games. Worse, he's failing to deliver in clutch spots the way he had been earlier in the season. He went 0-for-4 tonight, each time failing to advance a runner that was in scoring position when he came up to bat. If Morse winds up having to miss any time with his hand injury, LaRoche is going to have to step up and produce the way he has through most of the year.

Pitching highlightlowlight: On one hand, Jackson really labored through his outing. He gave up seven hits and two walks, racking up 107 pitches in only six innings, and seemed to be trying to pitch his way out of trouble just about the entire night. On the other hand, the right-hander emerged having allowed only three runs. He was perhaps helped by a few well-struck balls that happened to be hit directly at his teammates. But he also made a few big pitches when he really needed to, especially when he struck out Ryan Howard and got Domonic Brown to ground into a double play to end a potentially disastrous first inning. Jackson expects more of himself, and the Nationals could have used more tonight, but give him credit for at least keeping this thing within reach and giving his teammates a chance.

Key stat: Jackson's ERA in the first inning this season is 7.50. His ERA in every other inning is 3.62.

Up next: The series continues tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. when Gio Gonzalez seeks his league-leading 17th win against two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay.

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All-Star Game Weather: Storms causing traffic havoc, could force delay, postponement

USA Today Sports

All-Star Game Weather: Storms causing traffic havoc, could force delay, postponement

There is inclement weather in the forecast for Tuesday evening both before and during the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.

The rain could, theoretically, force the game to be delayed or even postponed, but the forecast shows the skies clearing up as first pitch nears.

Bad weather and MLB All-Star Games share a history in Washington.

The last time Washington hosted the MLB All-Star Game, in 1969, a bad rainstorm forced the game to be postponed from Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon.

Even if the weather does let up and the game is able to start on time, there are sure to be problems with D.C.'s already-dense traffic. Roads are flooding and with more people on them than usual, getting to the game will surely be an issue.

All-Star Game Forecast

The worst of the weather seems to have already happened on Tuesday afternoon. The rest of the evening forecast calls for a slight chance of precipitation, with mostly cloudy skies and, naturally, a lot of humidity.

The issue, if there is any, would likely be with the All-Star Game getting started on time. That said, there's obviously still the chance for delays during the game.

Luckily, a full postponement seems unlikely at this point.

All-Star Game Traffic

There's hardly a worse place to drive in the United States during rush hour than in, around or through Washington. With the All-Star Game in town, there are already significantly more cars on the road than there usually are. Add rain and flooded roads into that equation and things get extra messy.

The George Washington Parkway, a main thoroughfare in the area, has already flooded.

One road in Alexandria, Virginia, is flooded and has cars scattered about.

Public transportation would seem to be the way to go, but even the Capitol South Metro Station in Southeast D.C. is flooding.

A brief history of weather and the All-Star Game

The first and only time the MLB All-Star Game was ever postponed because of rain was in 1969, the last time Washington was the host.

Three other times, the game has either been shortened or delayed because of rain, most recently in 1990 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. That game was delayed for over an hour but was still played.

All signs point to the game being played Tuesday night, but Nationals Park has definitely felt the wrath of this storm already.

On the bright side, if it's light enough when the game starts, there will probably be a rainbow somewhere in-view from the stadium, which should make for some pretty cool pictures for those in attendance.

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What to eat at the 2018 MLB All-Star FanFest

What to eat at the 2018 MLB All-Star FanFest

Before we begin, let's make one thing clear: if you're going to the MLB All-Star Game FanFest to eat, you're already doing something wrong.

There isn't really any good food there, but there are some interesting options. You can, of course, get a bunch of fried food and traditional ballpark fare. But you also have some more intriguing options, if you're feeling adventurous.

You could get what one concession stand claims to be an "Old City Style Philly Cheese Steak," some jerk chicken, various subs or even sushi, among other things.

But you're in D.C. for the day, and you only want to spend $40 on lunch for you and your date so you can still go out for what's sure to be an overpriced dinner.

The safest bet is to go to the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog stand and grab a pair of hot dogs for $7 each. There's a reason Joey Chestnut can eat 74 of these babies in 10 minutes. Having only spent $14 on your main course, you've still got money left over for drinks and a desert.

If you're over 21, there's a whole corner of the convention hall set up with a selection of adult beverages ranging between $6 and $7. If you're not, there's some fresh-squeezed lemonade at a nearby stand for only $5 — unless you want a large, that's $8.

Whatever you choose, it's time to head to the Dippin' Dots stand for dessert. They don't call it the ice cream of the future for nothing. This $6, five-ounce cup of ice cream pellets (it's better than it sounds) will soak up the rest of your lunch budget.

Riskier (and also more expensive) options include a $12 jerk, pineapple or curry chicken bowl or a variety of rice bowls from Hanaro Sushi for $15 apiece. Either of these choices will likely eliminate dessert from your meal, but who really wants dessert with lunch anyway?

When all is said and done, you're probably not getting a gourmet meal out of this experience, but you can at least enjoy a not-bad meal while you explore some of the interesting things about baseball.