What Problems With The Bullpen?
After the Washington Nationals' 22-year-old right hander Shairon Martis threw 6.0 innings against Atlanta in which he allowed 6 hits and 3 ER, DC Manager Manny Acta went to Mike Hinckley for 1.2 IP to get by lefties Brian McCann and Casey Kotchman, then turned to Julian Tavarez who got a ground ball out of Frenchy, and "Wild" Joel Hanrahan who continued the DC Closer Tradition of, "Making It Interesting" by giving up a walk and a double to put runners on second and third before recording an out and then retiring three straight batters without allowing a run. 1,2,3...Nationals win. (ed. note - "Oh trust me, I'm calm now, but half of the DC Faithful had Hanrahan headed for Syracuse after he let the first two runners on in the ninth...What? Not me!! I knew Hanrahan was just continuing the Tradition!")
Shairon Martis - (W, 2-0), 3 GS, 4.11 ERA, 4 K's, 7 BB, 1 HR, 7 ER, 8 R, 16 H, 15.1 IP, 1.45 WHIP, 0.57 K/BB, 4.11 BB/9, 2.35 K/9.
SHAKE N BAKE!!! SHAKE N BAKE!!
Adam Dunn's solo HR to straight center off Kenshin Kawakami brought Washington within one at 3-2 Atlanta in the sixth inning last night, and after Elijah Dukes bruised Chipper Jones' ribs with a hotshot to third and scored from first on Austin Kearns' triple, Kearns himself scores two outs later when Josh Willingham's clutch pinch hit puts the Nationals ahead for good at 4-3 DC.
Dunn's now hitting .310 after 13 G and 42 at bats in which he's collected, 3 doubles, 4 HR's, 12 RBI's and 17, count'em, 17 walks which accounts for his sick .508 OBP. Nick Johnson was 1 for 4 last night, currently hitting .370 in 12 G's, 46 AB's. Ryan Zimmerman's up to .271 with 5 doubles, 2 HR's and 10 RBI's. Elijah Dukes, after going 1 for 3 with a run scored and a walk, is hitting .341 with a .413 OBP, 4 doubles, 2 HR's and 8 RBI's...
(ed. note - "And Speaking Of Elijah Dukes...")
Guess Who Wants To Pay Dukes' Fine?
Washington Post writers Dave Sheinin and Dan Steinberg have the definitive account of Elijah Dukes' visit with the Great Falls Little Leaguers this past Saturday and the controversy it's caused, in an article entitled, "Now It's the Community Giving Back to Dukes", which describes Dukes' interaction with the kids and their parents that morning and the punishment (benched/$500 fine) that resulted when the 24-year-old outfielder arrived at Nationals Park five minutes late for an afternoon game against Florida. The twist today was that the President of the Great Falls Little League, Jim Mraz, announced that the parents of the children in the league had gotten together and collected the money to pay Dukes' fine. All the money is going to go to charity, so all ends well, and hopefully everyone can move on to talking about Dukes' bat or his exceptional outfield play thus far...
For The Completists, Full Game Report...After The Jump...
Nationals now 3-10.
Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals. Game 13 of 162.
Shairon Martis comes down off the mound to field Kelly Johnson’s weak grounder for the first out of the game. Yunel Escobar pushes Austin Kearns back to the out-of-town scoreboard in right. Martis issues a two-out walk to Chipper Jones, and a second walk to Brian McCann in front of Casey Kotchman proves costly when Kotchman lines an RBI double to right for a 1-0 lead. Alberto Gonzalez fields Jeff Francoeur’s grounder deep in the hole at short, but his throw to first pulls Nick Johnson off first, allowing McCann and Kotchman to score, 3-0. Martis gets righty Matt Diaz chasing after a two-strike slider in the left hand batter’s box...Anderson Hernandez slices a line drive to Matt Diaz in left. Nick Johnson grounds to Kotchman at first. Ryan Zimmerman unloads on a slider for a two-out double, but Adam Dunn rips a one-hopper to second to end the first.
Jordan Schafer flies out to Austin Kearns deep in right center. Kenshin Kawakami grounds out to short. Kelly Johnson gets one on the barrell of the but just flies out to center...Elijah Dukes is running at the crack of the bat on a line drive to center and he slides in safe at second in front of Jordan Schafer’s throw in with a hussle double. (Though he was out!) Dukes gets nailed stealing third, instead. Austin Kearns walks after taking a low two-strike fastball that was close. Jesus Flores goes deeep to left and...off the wall, Kearns scores, Flores safe at second! 3-1 ATL. Alberto Gonzalez hits a slow grounder to second that Kelly Johnson can’t come up with. Shairon Martis fouls off a two-strike bunt attempt. Anderson Hernandez grounds right back to the mound, 3-1 Braves after two.
Martis makes a hard throw to first in time to get Yunel Escobar as he runs out a weak grounder. Chipper Jones slaps a single up the middle for a one-out single. Brian McCann grounds back to Martis, off Martis’ glove to Alberto Gonzalez, who steps on second and throws to first, double play!!!...Nick Johnson unloads on a low fastball but can’t get it out to right. Ryan Zimmerman lines out to Jordan Schafer in center. Adam Dunn pops one up to left and Matt Diaz catches it sliding in on his back to end the third inning.
Casey Kotchman starts the fourth with a line drive single to right. Jeff Francoeur grounds weakly enough to second to avoid the double play. Ryan Zimmerman gets down for a Diaz grounder and fires across the field, in time. Martis walks Jordan Schafer to get to Kawakami. Martis gets Kawakami staring to end the Braves’ fourth...Elijah Dukes grounds to short, Yunel Escobar’s throw beats Dukes to first. Austin Kearns works a one-out walk. Jesus Flores walks, and both runners advance on Alberto Gonzalez’s weak groundout. Martis goes fishing for a two-strike slider outside and K’s to end the fourth.
Kelly Johnson gives Anderson Hernandez something to do, with a ground ball to second. Yunel Escobar punches a single over second and rounds first like he’s going somewhere. Shairon Martis takes the out at second when Chipper Jones chops one into the infield grass. Martis walks McCann in front of Kotchman again, but this time he gets a groundout to second to end top of the fifth...Anderson Hernandez gets robbed of extra bases by a sprinting Jordan Schafer in center. Nick Johnson singles over short, but Ryan Zimmerman grounds into a double play to end the inning.
Jeff Francoeur sends a nice easy fly out to Austin Kearns in right. Ryan Zimmerman fields a grounder off Diaz’s bat and throws to Nick Johnson at first for the second out. Jordan Schafer’s sprinting around first and headed toward third before Elijah Dukes even gets to Schafer’s line drive to left center, but Schafer stops short when Dukes picks it up and Schafer gets doubled off second when Dukes fires in...Adam Dun..SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!! Straight-away center and onto the grass in the batter’s eye!! 3-2 Braves. Elijah Dukes rips the cover off a grounder that jumps up into and off of Chipper Jones’ chest, Dukes is safe. Austin Kearns lines it right at Diaz...who misses it, Diaz misses it and Dukes scores from first, Kearns to third, 3-3 ballgame!! Kawakami’s out. Jeff Bennett on in relief. Jesus Flores stares an 0-2 fastball right into McCann’s glove. Alberto Gonzalez tries to bunt, and drops it right in front of home, accomplishing nothing. Josh Willingham gets the pinch hit chance, and lines an RBI single over short, Kearns scores, 4-3 DC. Anderson Hernandez sneaks a single through short. Nick “Two-Spot” Johnson K’s looking at a two-seamer that bends back in for strike three.
Mike Hinckley takes over on the mound in the seventh. Ryan Zimmerman dives and can’t come up with a smoked single by Martin Prado. Kelly Johnson gets the sac bunt down in front of HInckley. Hinckley gets an eager Yunel Escobar swinging over a nasty two-strike bender. Martin Prado tries for third on a breaking ball in the dirt and Jesus Flores guns him down at third, Zimmerman with the tag...Peter Moylan starts the seventh against his arch nemesis, Ryan Zimmerman, Zimmerman flies out to center. Adam Dunn grounds back to Moylan. Elijah Dukes works a two-out walk, but Austin Kearns K’s chasing a slider across the plate, 4-3 DC after seven.
Mike Hinckley turns Chipper around, and Chipper goes the other way with a line drive single to right. Anderson Hernandez snags a line drive from McCann. Kotchman flies out to Dukes in right. Hinckley’s out. Julian Tavarez gets a groundball from Francoeur to end the top of the eighth...Mike Gonzalez pitches the eighth for Atlanta. Jesus Flores K’s swinging. Alberto Gonzalez walks with one down. Ronnie Belliard up, Gonzalez steals second, and takes third when the throw from home sails. Belliard grounds to short, Gonzalez breaks for home, and gets nailed at the plate. Anderson Hernandez K’s swinging over a slider inside...
“Wild” Joel Hanrahan starts the ninth against Matt Diaz, and issues a leadoff walk. Jordan Schafer rips a double over first, Diaz to third, second and third, no outs. Greg Norton grounds harmlessly back to the mound. Kelly Johnson pops to short center, no one’s running on Dukes! Escobar lines to second, Anderson Hernandez throws him out!! Nationals WIN!!!! 4-3 final.
Nationals now 3-10.