Washington Nationals Lose 1-0 To Atlanta On Bases-Loaded Walk In The Ninth...Braves 1 Nationals 0

John Lannan Deserved The Win...(So Did Jair Jurrjens)...

DC lefty John Lannan threw 7.0 scoreless innings against Atlanta tonight, opposing Braves' starter Jair Jurrjens, who was pulled from a still scoreless game with two out in the eighth. Braves' left-hander Mike Gonzalez got Adam Dunn to K looking for the final out of the frame, and DC righty Garrett Mock came back out for the ninth after retiring the Braves in order in the previous inning. Mock gave up a one-out single to Matt Diaz and a two-out walk to Jordan Schafer before he was replaced by Mike Hinckley, who walked the bases loaded and then walked in the eventual winning run. 1-0 Atlanta. Rafael Soriano blows the Nationals away in the ninth. The Braves avoid the sweep. The Nationals two-game winning streak ends...and now it's off to New York for the first trip to Citi Field...Bring on the Metsies.

Final score, 1-0 Atlanta.

Meet The New Bullpen, Same As The Old Bullpen?

John Lannan threw 95 pitches, 60 for strikes, walked 2 and allowed 5 hits, and he held the Braves off the scoreboard for seven innings. Recently recalled reliever Garrett Mock retired Yunel Escobar, Chipper Jones and Brian McCann in the eighth, and had two down in the ninth before he missed high and outside with a full count fastball to Jordan Schafer and was pulled in favor of the lefty, Mike Hinckley. DC Manager Manny Acta's move forced the Braves to burn pinch hitter Greg Norton for the better right-handed bat, Martin Prado. Hinckley had Prado and lost him, or at least refused to give him anything to hit with lefty Kelly Johnson in waiting. The walk to Prado loaded the bases, and Hinckley missed with two curves and then a fastball up high to Johnson, before a 3-1 fastball found the zone for a called strike, and then a full-count fastball missed, inside, ball four, with the bases loaded... 1-0 Atlanta.

Missed Opportunities...

  1. 4th Inning - Ryan Zimmerman leads off with a double, takes third on a weak groundout from Adam Dunn, and gets stranded there when Elijah Dukes and Josh Willingham line and ground out, respectively. 
  2. 5th Inning - Ronnie Belliard singles and after Jesus Flores flies out, John Lannan's sac bunt is bobbled by Jair Jurrjens, putting two on with one for Alex Cintron...who promptly grounds into a double play. 
  3. 7th Inning -  Josh Willingham doubles to start the seventh, Ronnie Belliard bunts him over to third. Jesus Flores grounds out to third, Austin Kearns pops out to the infield. 
Overall, It's The Best Series Yet...

The Nationals didn't get the sweep, but at least they took two out of three from Atlanta before they left DC for a six game road trip to New York and Philadelphia. And not to, as the old saying goes, beat a horse, that if not dead is close to expiring, if Washington had won the three games last weekend against the Marlins, the two wins against the Braves would have left the Nationals 6-9 after the homestand. Instead, Washington is 3-11 with 6 games on the road against the Mets and Phillies before they come home to play St. Louis on the last day of April. 

DC's "Acting GM" Mike Rizzo Goes Beyond Sabermetrics, Examine Player's Auras...

MLB.com's Bill Ladson saved this one for his blog, where he wrote, in a post entitled, "Rizzo not impressed with Steven Shell", that the Nationals' "Acting" GM Mike Rizzo "wasn't impressed" with the Nationals' 26-year-old right-handed reliever, because, as Mr. Rizzo explained to Mr. Ladson:
"I didn't like his mindset on the mound and his preparation for the game. I didn't like his whole aura on the mound,' Rizzo said. "We talked to him all through Spring."
Shell's "Yellow" had dulled slightly, showing some level of frustration, and in the light of day, his "Red" was more reddish-brown on the Red/Brown Index, meaning Shell had been somewhat deceptive this Spring in convincing the Nationals to give him a roster spot...and as MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes, some in the organization, "...felt Shell didn't have the fastball to get hitters out consistently."

(ed. note - "I'm sorry, you know I like Rizzo...he never would have traded Bonifacio.")

For The Completists, Full Game Report (currently unedited) After The Jump...

 

Nationals now 3-11.

 

Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals. Game 13 of 162. 

 

Kelly Johnson finds a hole in the right side of the infield and singles to leadoff the top of the first. Yunel Escobar grounds to Anderson Hernandez for the first out of the evening. Chipper Jones takes strike three, Lannan hits the outside corner with a fastball. Brian McCann rolls one out to second, Hernandez to Nick Johnson...Alex Cintron skies the second pitch to right. Nick Johnson with another trademark single over short. Casey Kotchman catches a pop fly of Ryan Zimmerman’s bat. Adam Dunn rolls over a fastball and grounds out to first. 

 

Jeff Francoeur hits a one-hopper out of the infield at short. Matt Diaz lines one right into Adam Dunn’s glove. John Lannan walks Casey Kotchman on four straight pitches. Jordan Schafer sends Adam Dunn back to the out-of-town scoreboard, where he catches the second out. First and third for the pitcher, Jurrjens grounds to the Face of the Franchise©, and Zimmerman fires a little wide, but good enough to end the Atlanta second...Fastball on the outside, outside edge, and Elijah Dukes gets called out on a full count pitch. Josh Willingham takes another 3-2 pitch, this one’s a ball. Ronnie Belliard. Belliard grounds to first, Kotchman gets the force at second, but Yunel Escobar double clutches and sails the return throw. Jesus Flores skies one to center, and Schafer gets in under it. 

 

Elijah Dukes takes his time getting to a Kelly Johnson fly out in right center. Ronnie Belliard barehands a bad hop and fires to first to get Yunel Escobar. Chipper Jones hits one to the deepest part of center, and Dukes is there to catch it....John Lannan swings like a pitcher and grounds out to second. Alex Cintron flies to Schafer in center. Yunel Escobar has enough time to look at the ball in his hand before throwing out Nick Johnson to end the third. 

 

Brian McCann starts the fourth with a single to left. Zimmerman streaks across the infield to field Jeff Francoeur’s weak grounder, and tosses to second for a force, Jeff Francoeur reaches first safely on the fielder’s choice. Matt Diaz flies out to Adam Dunn in right...Casey Kotchman sneaks one inside the line at third, and into left for a two-out double. Jordan Schafer gets the intentionals to bring up Jurrjens with the bases juiced. John Lannan drops some cruel curves on Jurrjens....One hop and off the wall in left, Ryan Zimmerman hits a leadoff double. Dunn rolls one out to first, Zimmerman to third. Dukes gets rips one...into Escobar’s glove. Josh Willingham grounds out to short, 0-0 after four. 

 

Lannan bends a two-strike curve in on Kelly Johnson for the backwards K. Alex Cintron fields and throws to first to get Yunel Escobar. Cintron loads up and throws out Chipper Jones...Ronnie Belliard lines one back where it came from, single to center. Jair Jurrjens slips and drops the ball on John Lannan’s bunt. Alex Cintron grounds into a DP to end the fourth.

 

Brian McCann pushes Josh Willingham a few feet to his right to catch the first out. Francoeur drops a single in in front of Willingham. Ronnie Belliard catches a one-hopper from Diaz and tosses to second, but Cintron’s throw to first it too late for the DP. Lannan drops a curve across the zone to get Kotchman chasing, six scoreless fro the Nationals’ Cool-Hand starter...Nick “Two-Spot” Johnson hits a trademark single over second. Zimmerman K’s swinging at a 1-2 bender. Adam Dunn K’s swinging through a fastball inside. Elijah Dukes flies out to right to end the sixth. 

 

Jordan Schafer lines out to Willingham in left. Lannan gets a groundout from Jurrjens and a fly ball from Kelly Johnson and he’s through seven...Josh Willingham doubles to start the DC seventh and moves to third on a Ronnie Belliard sac bunt. Jesus Flores gets robbed by a drawn-in diving Chipper Jones, who throws out the DC catcher. AUstin Kearns pops out unproductively to second to end the seventh.

 

Garrett Mock gets a groundout to third from Yunel Escobar. Zim can pick it. Chipper grounds out to Johnson at first. Brian McCann tops off a curve, Mock covers first, scoreless frame for Mock....Alex Cintron gets blown away by Jair Jurrjens. Nick Johnson grounds out to first. Ryan Zimmerman walks with two down in front of Dunn. Jurrjens is lifted in favor of Mike Gonzalez, who gets Dunn looking at a full-count curve to end the eighth. 

 

Elijah Dukes waits with open glove for Jeff Francoeur’s fly ball to center. Mock hangs a curve, Diaz lines one over second for a single. Kotchman grounds to Mock, Mock throws to Cintron at second, to first, offline, and late, Kotchman safe. Jordan Schafer takes a two-out walk. Mike Hinckley comes up against Martin Prado, two on, two out, and works around him, walking him to bring up left-hander Kelly Johnson. Hinckley gets behind 3-0, gets a strike...and walks in a run. 1-0 Braves. Julian Tavarez gets a swinging K from Yunel Escobar to end the top of the inning...Rafael Soriano on to end it, Elijah Dukes K’s swinging through a two-strike fastball above his head. Josh Willingham flies out to left. Soriano blows an 0-2 fastball by Belliard to end it. Braves win, 1-0 final. 

 

Nationals now 3-11. 

 

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