Ryan Howard's Grand Slam Or The 3 Errors? Which Cost The Nationals Their 35th Loss?

(ed. note - "I'm having a hard time deciding whether it was Ryan Howard's 475ft Grand Slam into the first row of the third deck of the outfield stands in right at Citizens Bank Park or the three errors the Washington Nationals committed to raise their league-leading total to 48 on the season that cost the Nationals their 35th loss, but either way, it ended with the Phillies up 9-6 and the nation's capital's favorite baseball team dropping their fifth straight and 12th of the last 14.")

HEADLINES...

Howard's Grand Slam Makes Dunn Jealous.

The Washington Nationals' 22-year-old righty Shairon Martis (L, 5-1) is no longer unblemished in '09, and he's going to have nightmares of Ryan Howard hitting Grand Slams off of him after this one...475 ft in distance, and into the third deck in right field in Citizens Bank, right into the first row...no replay necessary;)...

With the score 3-1 DC in the third, Martis issues a leadoff walk, a one-out RBI single, to make it 3-2, another walk and another single and the bases are loaded when Ryan Howard steps to the plate, having already hit one home run off of Shairon Martis an inning earlier, and having hit a grand slam off Martis already this season, back on April 27th in this very park...

Martis starts Howard with a change in the dirt. The second pitch hangs up belt high and over the middle and...Oh...my...god...It won't come down...475 ft later the Philadelphia Phillies have taken a 6-3 lead over DC in the third, and some fan up in the nosebleeds, who had no right to expect it, has been given his 15 minutes or possibly less of fame for having caught Howard's monumental shot...They might paint a white seat up there some day...

Shairon Martis' line:

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3 Errors Hurt Nationals' Chances, My Eyes.

Philly shortstop Jimmy Rollins committed an error on the first ground ball of the game, bobbling a playable ball when he rushed knowing Anderson Hernandez was running, but Rollins' third fielding error of the season didn't cost Philadelphia any runs...Adam Dunn's 6th and 7th errors? Raul Ibanez reached base in the fifth when a line drive at Dunn in left bounced off the top of his glove and bounced over his head, (he actually ducked), but no runs scored, and the Nationals added two runs in the top of the sixth to pull within two runs at 7-6 Philadelphia. 

Jason Bergmann, who had replaced Martis and pitched a scoreless fifth, was followed by Collin Bales...Mike MacDougal in the sixth, and after a one-out walk and a two-out double, MacDougal was lifted for Mr. Perfect, Ron Vill0.00ne, who walked Chase Utley to bring Ryan Howard up again with the bases loaded. Vill0.00ne pounded Howard with sliders low and away and got the ground ball he was looking for, into the shift, where Anderson Hernandez picked it uh...picked...it, uh...Hernandez bobbles it, everyone's safe, two runs score, 9-6 Philly.

Verdict: Anderson Hernandez = BLAME

Error #3. Shane Victorino lines to right, Adam Dunn comes uh chargin', glove out to his side and reaching, and it shoots underneath, and rolls right by Dunn. Victorino's in at second, but DC righty Jesus "Everyday" Colome hits Chase Utley and then strikes out three straight!! COLOME!!!

Verdict: Dunn's errors result in 0 RUNS!!! DUNN's Not Guilty!!!!! (And he was 1 for 4 with a single and 2 K's.) 

Washington Post writer Chico Harlan asked DC Manager Manny Acta about all the errors in a post game article at the Nationals Journal entitled, "A Long Homer, Another Loss", and Mr. Acta says, to paraphrase, Adam Dunn comes as advertised, lots of pop, lots of errors, and to quote Mr. Acta directly, as he expressed sympathy for Dunn's struggles to Mr. Harlan:

"...you know the defensive side of it. He tries hard. He plays wherever we ask him to play. But I don't think anybody didn't know that he's a power threat, an offensive player." 

(ed. note - "Any chance the Nationals could just stop asking Dunn to play right?")

The error by Anderson Hernandez? Which gave the Phillies two runs with two outs in what was then a 7-6 game? Not his fault. It was just the way:

"...the ball kind of snaked a little bit because of the way the grass is cut. It's a weird play when you're playing in the grass with Howard [because of the infield shift] and he just booted the ball."

Which is true enough, but he should've made the play. Ron Vill0.00ne hit the spot he wanted, got the ground ball he wanted, into the shift as planned, and Hernandez "just booted" it...The Nationals were out of the inning, and would've been down just one run, which they never scored anyway, but after the Hernandez error they were playing for three...so who knows...?

Phillies win, 9-6 final. 

Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...

For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump.

Nationals now 13-35.

Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies. Game 48 or 49 of 162.

Anderson Hernandez sends a slow roller to short, and Jimmy Rollins rushes and bobbles it, failing to even get a throw off. Nick “Two-Spot” Johnson hits one to the track in right. Ryan Zimmerman pops a 1-1 pitch up behind second. The Big Donkey likes the first pitch he sees from Philly lefty Cole Hamels, but just flies out to left...Adam Dunn sprints and extends to get a glove on Jimmy Rollins’ line drive. DC right Shairon Martis gets a fly ball to center from Shane Victorino, Austin Kearns makes the catch. Chase Utley pops out to left. Quick scoreless frame.

 

Josh Willingham reaches down for a 2-2 change and lines it to left for a leadoff single. Cole Hamels throws a 92 mph, 2-2 heater up high by Austin Kearns. Alberto “The General” Gonzalez lines through the left side of the infield with Willingham halfway to second already. 1-2 fastball up high, and Wil Nieves sends a fly ball off the wall in left, two runs score, 2-0 DC. Shairon Martis grounds out to short. Anderson Hernandez lines to center, Shane Victorino comes up throwing, Nieves rounds third, the throw beats the Nationals’ catcher home, but he slaps the plate before the tag’s applied. 3-0 DC!!! 2-2 change to “Two-Spot”, who grounds out to second...2-1 change gets up in the zone and ends up in the second deck above right, Ryan Howard’s 13th of the season makes it 3-1 DC. Alberto Gonzalez hustles over to second to field Raul Ibanez’s grounder. Jayson Werth K’s swinging through a 1-2 heater. Pedro Feliz grounds out to third. 

 

Shane Victorino finally pulls Ryan Zimmerman’s fly down at the 409ft-sign in center. Adam Dunn swings over a 2-2 change inside. Chase Utley tosses to first on Willingham’s grounder, 3-1 DC in the third...Martis walks Carlos Ruiz on a full-count fastball upstairs. Cole Hamels’ bunt moves Ruiz up. Jimmy Rollins beats NIck Johnson to the line with a sharp grounder to first, Ruiz scores from second, 3-2 DC. Jimmy Rollins steals second on ball three upstairs to Shane Victorino, who walks on the next pitch. Chase Utley sends a dribbler to short that Alberto Gonzalez can’t handle. 1-0 bender to Howard and HOLY S---!!! 3rd Deck in right for a GRAND GRAND SLAM!!! 6-3 Philly. Raul Ibanez lines out to left...Jayson Werth flies out to left. 

 

Austin Kearns walks to start the fourth. Alberto Gonzalez’s liner hits the left center gap and rolls to the wall, Kearns comes around, Gonzalez slides in safe at third. 6-4 Philly. Nieves gets a two-strike change that sinks under his bat. Shairon Martis K’s swinging. Anderson Hernandez gets a 2-2 change, and he K’s too...Ryan Zimmerman throws out Pedro Feliz on a routine grounder. Carlos Ruiz  lines to left and it gets stuck under the wall along the line as Ruiz reaches second. Cole Hamels shoots a low liner by first and into foul territory, Ruiz scores from second, 7-4 Philly. Jimmy Rollins gets a single under Zimmerman at third, Hamels takes third. Victorino pops out unproductively to second. Chase Utley gets as far as the warning track in center, Kearns has it.

 

Nick Johnson hits a trademark single up the middle to start the fifth. NJ™. Ryan Zimmerman takes a two-strike heater outside for a backwards K. Adam Dunn swings through a full-count fastball upstairs. Josh Willingham’s grounder jumps up on Ruiz, but he stays with it and throws to first to end the Nationals’ fifth. Jason Bergmann takes over in the fifth...Alberto Gonzalez fields Ryan Howard’s grounder at second in the shift and throws Howard out. Raul Ibanez lines to right, and it hits Adam Dunn’s glove and pops over his head. Jayson Werth lines to Willingham in left. Pedro Feliz grounds to Alberto Gonzalez’s backhand, and he throws to first, in time. 

 

Austin Kearns sends a dribbler to third, Feliz sticks it in his pocket. Alberto Gonzalez gets hit in the arm. Wil Nieves grounds to Feliz at third, To Utley to Howard, double play. Ronnie Belliard gets a fastball up high, Belli-YARD!!! 2-run HR, 7-6 Phillies. Anderson Hernandez grounds out to end the DC sixth...Mike MacDougal replaces Bergmann. Alberto Gonzalez fires to first in front of Carlos Ruiz. Pinch hitter Greg Dobbs walks with one down. Jimmy Rollins pops up behind second. Shane Victorino lines to right center, Dobbs hustles to third. MacDougal out in favor of Vill0.00ne. Chase Utley walks to load the bases. Howard grounds to short right where Anderson Hernandez drops it...drops it, two runs score, 9-6 Philly. Austin Kearns dives in and makes the grab on a short fly to center from Raul Ibanez. 

 

Scott Eyre vs Nick Johnson to start the seventh. Johnson hits a trademark single to right. NJ™. Ryan Zimmerman flies to left on a fastball up high, Ibanez makes the catch. Adam Dunn works the count full and singles to center to chase Eyre. Clay Condrey on to face the Hammer. Full count, Willingham flies out to short left. Austin Kearns goes down swinging...Julian Tavarez gives up a leadoff double to Jayson Werth. Josh Willingham jumps to catch line drive from Pedro Feliz. Carlos Ruiz gets his in the lower leg area. Pinch hitter Matt Stairs K’s. Kip Wells on for Tavarez with Rollns up. Double steal, second and third, two outs. Rollins grounds out to second to end the seventh. 

 

Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to short. Ryan Madson gets Wil Nieves chasing a ball into the dirt. Willie Harris K’s swinging to end the Nationals’ eighth...Shane Victorino lines to right and right under Adam Dunn’s glove. Colome hits Chase Utley on the foot. Ryan Howard K’s swinging over a sinking fastball inside. Colome gets Raul Ibanez swinging. Werth K’s swinging.

 

Anderson Hernandez starts the ninth with a single over second. Nick Johnson grounds up the middle, Rollins fields, tosses to Utley, who barehands and fires to first, double play. Ryan Zimmerman K’s...Phillies win. 9-6 final. 

 

Nationals now 13-35. 

 

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