When Adam Dunn’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth put DC up 2-1, it looked like the Nationals might finally reach 30 wins. John Lannan had been lifted for a pinch hitter after 8.0 IP, so DC closer Mike MacDougal made his way to the mound. Top of the ninth, 2-1 Washington, and the Nationals' closer on to end it. MacDougal got Chase Headley, uh, chasing a sinking two-strike fastball inside at 97 mph. Kevin Kouzmanoff popped out No. 2 up over second, and MacDougal just had to get the hulking, .188 hitting, infielder Kyle Blanks. Blanks gets a first pitch fastball at 97 mph and demolishes it...oh no...deeep to left and GONE!! Tie game. 2-2 Unbelievable...(only if you’ve just joined the Nationals’ ‘09 Season In Progress...)
Even More Improbable...
When Dunn's winner didn't win it, and the Nationals went down in order in the ninth, it didn't look good for DC. Mike MacDougal, who came back for the tenth, gave up a one-out single to Eliezer Alfonzo, and was lifted for left-hander Joe Beimel. Beimel got back to back flyouts from Drew Macias and Everth Cabrera, and the Nationals got their second chance to walk off with a winner. Padres' righty Greg Burke took over on the hill and gave up a bunt single to "Everyone's Favorite" Nyjer Morgan. A sac bunt by Willie Harris moved Morgan to second. Burke walked Nick Johnson to face Zimmerman and the Padres' pitcher popped up the Face of The Nationals' Franchise to bring up the slumping, defeated, popless Austin "Blue Grass" Kearns. Burke throws outside for ball one, and then tries to come inside, Kearns turns it inside out, lining to right center and into the gap, Morgan rounds third, and scores easily!!! AUSTIN KEARNS WITH THE WALK-OFF WINNER!!! Austin Kearns who has hitting .196 going into the game...Austin Kearns who hasn't had an RBI since June 27th. That Austin Kearns, who has never quit or complained. That Austin Kearns wins it.
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• "Cool Hand" Lannan Deserved The "W"
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The JUMP...
Nationals now 30-68.
• "Cool Hand" Lannan Deserved The "W"
DC lefty and yes, "Ace" John "Cool Hand" Lannan allowed just one run on five hits in eight innings pitched this afternoon, and when he was lifted after 81 pitches, 59 of which were strikes, and Adam Dunn hit his RBI single in the bottom of the frame, it looked like Lannan was in line for his 8th win of '09. Mike MacDougal blew it, of course, but that shouldn't lessen Lannan's effort. 11 groundouts, 10 flyouts, 2 K's and just 1 walk issued. After a 19-pitch first inning, Lannan needs just 30 pitches to get the Nationals through the top of the fifth. Lannan gave up two doubles in the sixth, and the second one by Kevin Kouzmanoff scored Will Venable, who'd hit the first two-bagger, for a 1-0 Padres' lead. Lannan got a fly ball from Kyle Blanks for the final out of the sixth, and returned for the seventh and eighth, holding the Padres to one run long enough for DC to catch up and take the lead.
Everth Cabrera’s on with an infield single when a grounder bounces off Nick Johnson’s gloved hand. John "Cool Hand" Lannan gets a fly ball to deep right center from Will Venable. Cabrera moves himself up, stealing second with Chase Headley at bat. Headley flies out to Adam Dunn in left. Willie Harris makes a hop-step as he catches Kevin Kouzmanoff’s liner, and Lannan’s through the first...Willie Harris works the count full against Chad Gaudin and takes a 10-pitch walk. Nick "Two-Spot" Johnson's at bat when Willie Harris is thrown out at second. Johnson grounds out to Oscar Salazar at first. Ryan Zimmerman takes strike three low and inside, but the Ump likes it.
Kyle Blanks flies out to Josh Willingham in right. Oscar Salazar gets a fastball up high for a swinging K. Luis Rodriguez singles on a line drive to right, and Eliezer Alfonzo gets a grounder through John Lannan and up the middle. But Lannan gets a groundout from the pitcher to complete his second scoreless...Adam Dunn grounds into the percentages. Josh Willingham pops out foul of first. Josh Bard lines a two-out single to center. Gaudin gets Alberto "The General" Gonzalez to chase junk out of the zone.
John Lannan snags grounder back to the mound from Everth Cabrera and a fly ball to right from Will Venable. Ryan Zimmerman throws high to first, but close enough to get Chase Headley...Luis Rodriguez does a Jeter-jump throw to get Anderson "Elvis" Hernandez at first. John Lannan hits a bloop single to left. Willie Harris walks to put two on for "Two-Spot" Johnson. Nick Johnson flies out to the track in left. Ryan Zimmerman K’s looking, this time Gaudin goes outside with the two-strike heater.
Ryan Zimmerman throws to first to get Kevin Kouzmanoff for the first out of the fourth. Kyle Blanks pops out behind second. John Lannan fields a grounder to the mound from Oscar Salazar and throws to first to end a quick frame...Adam Dunn flies out to left for the first out of the frame. Josh Willingham K’s swinging over a 2-1 slider. Josh Bard pops out to the catcher.
John Lannan gets a weak grounder to third from Luis Rodriguez that Zimmerman handles. Alberto Gonzalez throws out Eliezer Alfonzo and Lannan gets a grounder to second from the pitcher...Alberto Gonzalez sends a spinner to first, Chad Gaudin fields and makes the tag. Anderson Hernandez gets jammed and grounds out to second. John Lannan lines a two-out single to right, but Willie Harris’ fly ball to center ends the fifth.
Everth Cabrera grounds out to Alberto Gonzalez at short. Will Venable doubles off the left center wall with one down. Chase Headley grounds to left for Adam Dunn who makes the catch, spins and throws back in. Kevin Kouzmanoff flies to right center, Josh Willingham dives but misses, Willie Harris retrieves it, but Venable scores, 1-0 Padres. Kyle Blanks flies out to right and it’s 1-0 in the sixth...Nick Johnson flies out to Will Venable in center. Ryan Zimmerman pops out to Luis Rodriguez behind second. Adam Dunn grounds to first, Oscar Salazar’s throw to Gaudin covering is on the mark.
Oscar Salazar pops the first pitch of the seventh straight up. Luis Rodriguez grounds out to second. Alberto Gonzalez throws a strike to first to get Eliezer Alfonso for the final out of the frame...Josh Willingham takes Chad Gaudin’s hanging curve to left and just over the wall for a solo shot and a 1-1 game. Josh Bard flies out to center. Alberto Gonzalez drops a hanging curve in short right for a one-out single. Adrian Gonzalez steps on first and throws to second, Everth Cabrera makes the tag cause he has to, double play.
Tony Gwynn, Jr. flies out to Dunn in left center. John Lannan issues a one-out walk to Everth Cabrera. Will Venable up, and Lannan picks Cabrera off first!!! Picked!! Will Venable K’s chasing a two-strike bender...Luke Gregorson vs Nyjer Morgan. Morgan flies out weakly to center. TAWH lines a single to right in front of the "Two-Spot". Nick Johnson grounds to short, Cabrera tosses to Luis Rodriguez, who drops it, both runners safe and Zimmerman up with two on. Ryan Zimmerman K’s looking at a fastball outside, or so he thinks. Adam Dunn gets down low to get a sinking fastball that he rips for an RBI single, 2-1 DC!! Josh Willingham pops out to the infield to end the eighth.
Chase Headley goes down swinging for the first out of the ninth. Mike MacDougal gets a fly ball from Kevin Kouzmanoff out to Anderson Hernandez for the second out and Kyle Blanks is up next. First pitch GONE!! HR TO LEFT and it’s tied at 2-2. Unbelievable...only if you’ve just joined the Nationals’ ‘09 Season In Progress...Adrian Gonzalez grounds out to end the Padres’ ninth...Josh Bard grounds out to second. Alberto Gonzalez grounds weakly to second. Anderson "Elvis" Hernandez K’s hacking to end the ninth.
Luis Rodriguez lines out for the first out of the tenth. Mike MacDougal gives up a one-out single to Eliezer Alfonzo who lines to left. MacDougal’s done. Joe Beimel’s on to face Drew Macias. Macias flies out harmlessly to left. Everth Cabrera pops out to short center and it’s 2-2 middle of the tenth...Nyjer Morgan drops a perfect bunt and beats the throw to first. Willie Harris against Padres’ reliever Greg Burke. Willie Harris gets a successful sac bunt down. Nick Johnson gets the intentionals when Burke falls behind and Ryan Zimmerman’s up with two on and one out. Zimmerman flies out to center. Austin Kearns rips a line drive to the right center gap and it falls in!! Nationals win when Morgan scores!!! 3-2 final on Kearns’ walk-off win!!! KEARNS? KEARNS??
Nationals win, 3-2 final.