Sad Day To Be A New York Mets Fan: Washington Nationals 3-1 For Second Straight Over NY.

Let's be honest. The lowly streaking Washington Nationals should be beating the New York Mets that are on the field these days. Sure, the Mets have David Wright, Daniel Murphy, Brian Schneider and Luis Castillo in their lineup, but they're starting Angel Berroa at short, Angel Pagan in center and Cory Sullivan in right. The Nationals have Cristian Guzman, Nyjer Morgan and Josh Willingham in those same positions, with Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson and (a struggling) Ryan Zimmerman to boot, so they should be able to beat this ragtag Mets' roster, and they have now in two consecutive games, with the second strong pitching performance of the series coming from Craig Stammen, who holds New York to one run on four hits in 7.1 IP. Stammen (W, 3-5) gets offensive support for his third win of the season from the Hammer, Josh Willingham and the two-run HR to right he hits in the sixth, which breaks a 1-1 tie and holds up for Washington's second-straight win over NY, and DC's 28th win of '09. Willingham ends the night 4 for 4 with two doubles, two RBI's, the HR and a single, falling short of the cycle only because Nick Johnson's tired legs couldn't make it around third when the Hammer split the left-center gap for his second double of the game in the eighth. 

Nationals win, 3-1 final

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BACKPAGE:

• Stammen Follows The Leader...
• Hammer Showcase: Is Anyone Watching...?
• Bergmann To Beimel To MacDougal? I'll Take It...

• For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump.

Nationals now 28-66.

BACKPAGE: 

• Stammen Follows The Leader...

 

The Washington Nationals' 25-year-old right-hander, Craig Stammen, follows John Lannan's complete game shutout win with a strong outing of his own, in which he throws 95 pitches, 62 for strikes, and gives up just 4 hits, 2 walks and 1 earned run in 7.1 IP. Stammen holds NY hitless through four before David Wright's leadoff single in the fifth, and he retires the next five in order, finally surrendering another hit and the Mets' only run with two out in the sixth when Nyjer Morgan misjudges Angel Pagan's line drive to center, and has it fly right by and roll to the wall. Morgan throws in as Pagan nears third, but Guzman's relay is off the mark, over third, and into the dugout, Pagan scores on what should be two E's but is only one, Guzman's 13th and the Nationals' 89th...Stammen gets the lead right back in the home-half of the sixth, and Jason Bergmann and Mike MacDougal pitch the eighth and ninth to lock down Stammen's third major league win. 


• Hammer Showcase: Is Anyone Watching...?

 

Josh Willingham would have hit for the cycle if anyone other than Nick Johnson had been trying to go from first to home on the Hammer's line drive into the left-center gap in the eighth. DC third base coach Pat Listach knew who he had running, however, and he held Johnson up, forcing Willingham to throw on the brakes halfway to third and 3/4 of the way to the cycle. Willingham knocked Johnson from first to third with his first double of the night in the fourth, after which a sac fly from Ronnie Belliard scored Johnson for an early 1-0 DC lead. Willingham got the single in the second, in his first AB, the double in the fourth, the second time he came up, and the Hammer hits the HR in the sixth to put Washington up 3-1...The double in the eighth is Willingham's 18th, but it's not the triple he needs, and he has to settle for going 4 for 4 with a run scored, two RBI's and his 13th HR of '09.


• Bergmann To Beimel To MacDougal? I'll Take It...

 

Craig Stammen got Brian Schneider to ground out for the first out of the eighth, but after a double and a one-out walk he was lifted in favor of DC reliever Jason Bergmann, who popped up Fernando Tatis, and Joe Beimel, who took on the Mets' lefty Daniel Murphy, and got a line drive to strand two runners and preserve Washington's 3-1 lead. Mike MacDougal took over in the ninth and gets three straight groundouts for his 6th save of the season and the Nationals' 28th win.

 

GAME REPORT: 

 

New York Mets At Washington Nationals. Game 94 Of 162. 

 

Craig Stammen reaches up to field a high hopper off Angel Pagan’s bat for the first out. Luis Castillo grounds out to Cristian Guzman. Daniel Murphy does the same, and it’s another scoreless frame for a Nationals’ pitcher...Nyjer Morgan goes with a fastball outside and pushes it through short by Angel Berroa for a single. Former DC backstop Brian Schneider nails Nyjer Morgan going for second. Guzman grounds out to first, Mets’ righty Mike Pelfrey gets there in time to cover. Ryan Zimmerman takes a full-count fastball back up the middle for a single. Adam Dunn pops out to Cory Sullivan, who makes a sliding catch at the edge of the left field stands. 

 

Craig Stammen drops a two-strike sinker inside to get David Wright swinging in the second. Adam Dunn gracefully backpedals all the way to the track to catch Jeff Francoeur’s fly ball out. Cory Sullivan takes one for a ride, but Nyjer Morgan makes a catch as he jumps into the center field wall, and Stammen’s through two...Nick Johnson grounds out on the first pitch he sees from Pelfrey. Josh Willingham lifts the first pitch over the infield and has himself a one-out single. David Wright makes a stab on a grounder from Ronnie Belliard that rolls over third and Wright throws to second trying for the force. The Ump calls Hammer safe and Luis Castillo gets himself tossed arguing. First and second for Josh Bard. Bard flies out harmlessly to Angel Pagan in center. Craig Stammen grounds out to end the second. 

 

Cristian Guzman gets under an infield pop from Angel Berroa. Brian Schneider grounds to second, and Craig Stammen strikes out Pelfrey for his third scoreless frame...Nyjer Morgan tries to bunt his way on, but there’s someone named Wright at third for New York. Cristian Guzman grounds sharply to short. Ryan Zimmerman pops out foul of third to end the inning. 

 

Angel Pagan flies out to Adam Dunn in left for the first out of the fourth. Fernando Tatis stares a two-strike curve into Josh Bard’s mitt. Adam Dunn charges in to catch Daniel Murphy’s fly ball to left. Stammen’s through the fourth...The Big Donkey pops out in short left, David Wright has a long way to run from his shift position. Nick Johnson uses his Discerning Eye™ to draw a one-out walk. Nick Johnson goes first to third on a double over third by Josh Willingham. Ronnie Belliard flies to deep center and Angel Pagan throws in to third to hold Dunn at second. 1-0 DC as Nick Johnson tags and scores. Bard gets the intentionals, and Stammen gets sawed off, as Pelfrey gets out of trouble. 

 

David Wright singles for the Mets’ first hit of the game. Jeff Francoeur grounds to third, Ryan Zimmerman backhands, spins while crouched and throws to second to get a force, but Belliard’s DP throw to first is too late. Cory Sullivan grounds out to Belliard. Angel Berroa tests Zimmerman too, but the Nationals’ all-star is up to it...Nyjer Morgan grounds to second. Cristian Guzman does the same. Ryan ZImmerman grounds out to short, and it’s 1-0 DC after five. 

 

Craig Stammen gets another ground ball out, this one from Brian Schneider. Mike Pelfrey K's swinging. Angel Pagan gets a line drive by a charging Nyjer Morgan in center, Morgan hits Guzman with the cutoff throw, and Guzman’s throw gets by third and into the dugout, a triple and a throwing error and it’s 1-1 ballgame. Craig Stammen hangs a curve up for Fernando Tatis, who doubles to left. Stammen walks Daniel Murphy with two down. David Wright lines to right, Willingham has it...Adam Dunn lines to right, Jeff Francoeur charges and loses it in the lights, protecting himself as it flies by him and bounces to the wall. Nick Johnson grounds out unproductively to third. Josh Willingham gets hold of a slider that’s meant for smashing, and he sends it out to left and over the visitor’s bullpen. 3-1 Nationals. Angel Pagan slides in to rob Ronnie Belliard of a bloop single. Josh Bard stares strike three into Brian Schneider’s glove. 

 

Ronnie Belliard’s waiting on the grass for Jeff Francoeur’s groundout. Cory Sullivan grounds out to Belliard. Angel Berroa K’s swinging to end the Mets’ seventh...Craig Stammen K’s chasing. Mike Pelfrey gets a fly ball from Nyjer Morgan to Cory Sullivan in left. Cristian Guzman grounds out to second, and the seventh is over in a hurry.

 

Brian Schneider grounds out to Guzman to start the eighth. Jeremy Reed doubles over the Hammer’s head in right. Stammen walks Angel Pagan to put two on with one out. Jason Bergmann takes over against Fernando Tatis. Tatis pops out foul of first for Nick Johnson. Joe Beimel on for Bergmann, and he pops up Daniel Murphy to end the eighth, Adam Dunn charges and makes the grab as he hits the wall down the line in left...Ryan Zimmerman starts DC’s eighth against Bobby Parnell. Ground ball to short, and now Parnell’s out. Pedro Feliciano’s on to face Adam Dunn. Dunn K’s chasing a cut fastball across and off the plate. Nick Johnson hits a trademark single to center with two down. NJ™. Sean Green’s up to face Willingham. The Hammer doubles to left center and off the wall. Nick Johnson stops at third, and Hammer almost catches up. Ronnie Belliard K’s swinging over a two-strike bender from Green. 

 

Mike MacDougal’s on to end it. David Wright grounds out to short. Nick Johnson makes a slick play on a sharp grounder from Francoeur for out no. 2. Cory Sullivan grounds toward short, Zimmerman cuts it off and throws to first on the run, in time, out No.3. The Nationals win. 

 

Nationals win, 3-1 final. 

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