Nationals Drop Opener To Marlins, 12-6 Final. Adam Dunn As Advertised...

(ed. note - "New post scheduled for 9:30 am EST - 4/7/09...")

Shake 'N Bake...

Adam Dunn did not disappoint in his first regular season appearance with the Washington Nationals. Dunn ended his DC debut 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBI's on a double and a HR the likes of which hasn't been seen by DC baseball fans since...Well...But, Adam Dunn was also as advertised on the defensive end, misjudging a fly ball off of Florida catcher John Baker's bat in the first for what was kindly ruled a double by the Marlins' scorekeeper, but the bad first step Dunn took allowed the Marlins' first run to cross and Baker himself scored two outs later...

The HR by Dunn will overshadow all that, however, and with good reason...well over 400ft, the 3-run blast Dunn hit off Florida starter Ricky Nolasco had fans 20 rows up in right ducking for cover...

Unfortunately, it was a former National who outdid the new one...

The Marlins' Electric Third Baseman Emilio Bonifacio, acquired by the Nationals from Arizona for Jon Rauch last season and then flipped to Florida (with prospects) for Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen this winter, ends the day 4 for 5 against his former team-for-a-minute with 4 runs, 2 RBI's and an inside the park 2-run HR, scoring Cameron Maybin from third when a line drive sails over a pulled-in Lastings Milledge's head in center...Bonifacio was around the bases and sliding into home before the throw in passed the pitcher's mound, and Bonifacio's effort got what's considered a large crowd in Florida off of its feet...

Hanley Ramirez's Grand Slam in the 6th off of Steven Shell put an end to any thoughts of a Nationals' comeback. Ramirez ends the day 2 for 3 with a double, a HR and 5 RBI's. Jorge Cantu puts one into the empty orange seats above the scoreboard in left. The Marlins score 12 runs on 12 hits. 

DC lefty John Lannan allows 6 runs on 6 hits, 2 HR's in 3.0 IP...Marlins win, 12-6 final.

John Lannan might want to just pretend his '09 debut never happened. Just pick up where he left off last season as the Nationals' unflappable left hander, because he looked nervous out there for the first time I've seen, and his trademark control was nowhere to be found...58 pitches, 30 for strikes, when he got outs he was getting the groundouts he wanted, with 7 ground balls, 1 fly out and 1 K in 3.0 innings, but he gave up 2 HR's, 2 doubles and 6 runs on 6 hits. 

DC reliever Julian Tavarez replaced Lannan in the fourth and gave up 2 runs on 2 hits including a HR though it's hard to blame Tavarez for Bonifacio's inside the park homer...Nationals' lefty Wil Ledezma gave up 2 hits, 3 runs, 2 ER and 2 walks, but an error by Ryan Zimmerman, and a missed attempt at fielding a Bonifacio bunt by the Nationals' third baseman led to a lot of Ledezma's issues...Enter Steven Shell...who serves up a hanging supposed-to-be-a-slider to Hanley Ramirez that clears the scoreboard in left for Ramirez's first Grand Slam...at that point it was over...

Marlins' right-hander Ricky Nolasco throws 6.0 innings, allows 6 hits and K's 6 in the win...Nolasco allows 5 runs, 4 earned, and gives up the HR to Dunn and doubles to Dunn and Kearns. Kiko Calero and Dan Meyer each threw scoreless frames. Florida righty Logan Kensing gives up a run on 2 hits when Nick Johnson singles and scores on a Jesus Flores' hit in the ninth to draw the Nationals within 6...that's as close as they'd get...12-6 Marlins win.

FIRSTS...

First Nationals' Hit of '09: Jesus Flores' line-drive single in the 3rd.

First Nationals' Run Scored of '09: Cristian Guzman on an Adam Dunn RBI double in the 4th.

First Nationals' HR of '09: Adam Dunn - 3-run HR in 6th off Ricky Nolasco.

First Nationals' Error of '09: Ronnie Belliard on grounder from Cameron Maybin in 2nd.

First Nationals' K of '09: Cristian Guzman in 1st.

?'s For The DC Faithful...

Did you still enjoy watching the first game of the season even though the Nationals got hammered?

Was Adam Dunn's HR power all you hoped it would be?

Did anyone else cover their eyes when that Emilio Bonifacio fly ball got over Lastings Milledge's head?

A healthy Jesus Flores...Nice, right?

Are you worried about John Lannan at all? Or was that just Opening Day issues?

Are the Marlins for real?

Will you be back tomorrow?

Nationals now 0-1.

For the Completists, or Anyone Who Missed The Opener...Full Game Report After The Jump...

Opening Day...Washington Nationals at Florida Marlins: Game 1 of 162...

Lastings Milledge grounds the first pitch of the season weakly to Dan Uggla at second. Cristian Guzman swings a foot over a cutter outside and falling fast from Florida righty Ricky Nolasco. Ryan Zimmerman takes a big cut at a fastball outside but comes up empty, swinging strike three to end the first...Emilio Bonifacio reaches out for a fastball and pushes it over second for a leadoff single. Bonifacio is running and safe. Florida catcher John Baker flies out to left, and Adam Dunn completely misjudges it...Bonifacio scores, Baker in at second, 1-0 Fish. Hanley Ramirez bunts Baker over to third. Jorge Cantu drives in a run with a groundout. 2-0 Fish. Cristian Guzman backhands a grounder from Dan Uggla and fires to first, in time. 

Adam Dunn takes a low 1-2 bender and get called out on strikes. Nick Johnson takes a 2-2 curve for a full count, but flies out to right on the payoff pitch. Ricky Nolasco dials it up with three straight strikes, the last a 94 mph heater upstairs to get Austin Kearns swinging...John Lannan comes back from 3-0 to a full count, and gets a grounder to first from Jeremy Hermida, Nick Johnson fields and steps on the bag. Guzman fields running toward second, spins and throws to first for out No. 2. Marlins’ CF Cameron Maybin grounds ou...Ronnie Belliard gets shorthopped and drops it, Maybin safe. Lannan wastes a few fastballs on the pitcher and gets a swinging K to end the second. 

 

Ronnie Belliard pushes a liner out to right fielder Cody Ross. Jesus Flores rips a line drive to left for a one-out single and the Nationals’ first hit of the season. Emilio Bonifacio’s charging as John Lannan pops up a bunt and a diving Bonifacio makes the grab. Lastings Milledge flies out to center to end the third...Emilio Bonifacio lines another single out to right. John Baker moves the runner over with a groundout. Bonifacio steals third. Hanley Ramirez slices a line drive right over Nick Johnson’s head at first to score the third run of the game. 3-0 Fish. Jorge Cantu’s swinging 3-0 and he got what he was looking for and put it in the empty orange seats high above left. 5-0 Marlins. 2-1 fastball to Hermida, and it leaves quicker than it came in, first row in right, 6-0 Marlins. Guzman fields and throws out Cody Ross to end a looong third.

 

Guzman starts the fourth with a single under a diving Dan Uggla at second. Ryan Zimmerman sends a 91mph fastball out to center for Maybin. Adam Dunn goes the other way with a fly ball off the big scoreboard in left for an RBI double and the Nationals first run of ‘09, 6-1 Fish. Nick Johnson slaps a slider to Cantu at first that moves Dunn to third. Austin Kearns lines a full count fastball over third and into the left field corner for an RBI double. 6-2 Marlins. Ronnie Belliard lines out to end the DC fourth...Julian Tavarez takes over on the mound for the Nationals. The first pitch from Tavarez is smoked by Cameron Maybin, who doubles off the wallboard in right. A sac bunt by Nolasco moves Maybin to third. Bonifacio lifts one...over...Lastings...Milledge’s...head in center and it’s to the wall, Bonifacio’s flying...and he beats the throw home...Inside the park, 2-run HR...8-2 Fish. John Baker grounds out to Guzman. Hanley Ramirez pops out to Dunn...8-2 Fish. 

 

Jesus Flores grounds to Bonifacio at third for the first out of the fifth. Josh Bard pinch hits for Tavarez and battles but eventually grounds out. Lastings Milledge goes down swinging. Nolasco’s through five....The first pitch from Wil Ledezma gets hammered to center by Jorge Cantu, who comes in standing up at second. Dan Uggla walks to put two on for Hermida. Hermida swings over a nasty 0-2 bender from Ledezman, strike three swinging. Cody Ross pushes Austin Kearns back to the track in right. Cameron Maybin goes down swining, and the Nationals head in for the sixth.

 

Leadoff Guzman gets a line drive by Jorge Cantu at first. Ryan ZImmerman bends a liner around Bonifacio at third, who loses it in the shadows, Guzman takes third. Adam Dunn UNLOADS on a fastball down the pipe and puts it 20 rows back in the right field stands, 3-run blast, 8-5 Marlins. Nick Johnson grounds back to the mound for out No. 1. Austin Kearns grounds out to Bonifacio at third. Nolasco gets Belliard swinging at a curve, and gets out of the sixth with the lead....Wil Ledezma’s back on the mound...Ryan Zimmerman eats up a grounder from Brett Carroll and throws it away...Carroll to second. Zimmerman charges on a Bonifacio bunt and comes up empty with the swipe of the glove...first and third for John Baker. Bonifacio steals second...Baker walks, bases loaded, 0 outs. Ledezma’s out in favor of Steven Shell. Hanley Ramirez gets a hanger, and de-stroys it...Grand Slam, 12-5 Marlins. Jorge Cantu lines one right at Adam Dunn in left for the first out. Dan Uggla takes a called strike three at the knees. Jeremy Hermida flies out to Milledge, who shields his eyes from the setting sun and runs in after catching it...

 

Jesus Flores grounds weakly to short. Willie Harris grounds out to Cantu at first. Lastings Milledge chases a two-strike slider off the plate, strike three, Stand Up and Stretch...Steven Shell’s back for the bottom of the seventh. Cody Ross swings through a high two-strike fastball. Brett Carroll spins one out to second and beats Willie Harris’ throw to first. Emilio Bonifacio grounds out to first to end the seventh....

 

Cristian Guzman faces Florida lefty Dan Meyer to start the eighth. Guzman skies one to the track in left, where Brett Carroll catches it. Ryan Zimmerman takes a fastball inside that is called strike three, and Zim doesn’t like it. Adam Dunn flies out to Maybin well short of the track...12-5 Marlins, middle of the eighth...Mike Hinckley takes the mound in the Marlins’ eighth. John Baker grounds weakly to Willie Harris at second. Hanley Ramirez accepts a one-out walk. Jorge Cantu walks. Two on for Dan Uggla. Uggla rips into a 3-1 pitch and pops out to center. Wes Helms gets a hold of one, Kearns back to the wall...makes the grab as he hits... 

 

Cameron Maybin dives for a liner off Nick Johnson’s bat, but comes up empty, single to start the ninth. Austin Kearns is up when a wild pitch moves Johnson to second. Kearns chops one to short, Hanley Ramirez guns him. Elijah Dukes gets fooled by a two-strike-Logan-Kensing-curve. Jesus Flores strokes an RBI single to left. Johnson scores. 12-6 Fish, Willie Harris grounds to second, Uggla to Cantu, it’s over. Marlins win. 12-6 final. 

 

Nationals now 0-1. 

 

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