HEADLINE: Where Were You When Adam Dunn Hit One Out Of Miller Park?
Nyjer Morgan hit the second pitch of the game to right for a solo HR, his 3rd of '09, and an early 1-0 Washington Nationals' lead. Milwaukee Brewers' right fielder Corey Hart doubled and scored to tie it at 1-1 in the home-half of the second, and for a moment it looked as if the unlikeliest pitcher's duel of all time was about break out between DC right-hander Collin Balester and Brewers' reliever/starter Carlos Villanueva. Then Adam Dunn stepped to the plate in the fourth...
...Villanueva started the Big Donkey with a fastball waaay inside, and then went outside with a 1-0 heater to Adam Dunn that was generously called a strike, but Villanueva's third fastball was just right and it...got...launched...Dunn hit one so far it actually left Miller Park, through the open windows and down the walkway beyond centerfield. It was measured at 445ft, but that has to be where it first bounced. Adam Dunn's 26th HR of '09 puts Washington up 2-1, and three singles and three fourth-inning runs later the Nationals are up 5-1 over the Brewers. Cristian Guzman puts any hope of a comeback out of reach with a 3-run blast in the top of the eight, and DC right-hander Collin Balester earns his first win since August 26, 2008.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
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• Mixed Signals About Mike Rizzo...DC GM Rumors Continue, My 2 Cents.
• 4th Straight For The Second Time
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The JUMP...
Nationals now 32-68.
• Mixed Signals About Mike Rizzo...DC GM Rumors Continue...
I wrote the other day about, Baseball Prospectus' writer Will Carroll's, tweet regarding the Washington Nationals' GM job, where Mr. Carroll wrote:
"Hearing that Nats offered GM job to someone and got turned down. Rizzo should have that job already, but if true, sets up weird winter."
The only mention of Washington's continued search for a full-time GM that I could find at the time was in MLB.com's Bill Ladson's 7/23/09 interview with Nationals' "principal owner" Mark Lerner entitled, "Q&A with Nationals owner Mark Lerner", where Mr. Lerner was quoted stating:
"We have a responsibility to conduct a proper search for both positions, (Manager and GM) and that may entail going beyond our own gates. We will not be rushed or pressured into a decision that so significantly affects our future. In the end, whoever is appointed manager and general manager, they will be the best."
Now, according to SI.com's Tom Verducci's the search is narrowing, as Mr. Verducci writes, in the "Quick Notes" section of an article entitled, "Halladay will be traded, and Philly's a perfect fit now", that an anonymous source tells him:
"Arizona director of scouting and player personnel Jerry DiPoto has emerged as a frontrunner for the Washington Nationals general manager job..."
Wow, that's pretty specific? Mr. DiPoto's name, of course, comes up in any discussion of an open GM position, along with Tony LaCava's and Kim Ng's, so this isn't too much of a surprise, but the timing, considering the franchise should be focused on two important approaching deadlines is certainly odd...Will Mike Rizzo be able to make any deals before Friday? Will the Nationals actually name a new GM mid-season? If not, why are these rumors surfacing now?
And why can't DC just keep Mike Rizzo?
• 4th Straight For The Second Time
The Washington Nationals' win last night over Milwaukee gave DC's favorite baseball team their fourth straight victory, and their sixth win in the last eight games. The four wins ties the Nationals' longest win-streak of '09, of course, which you all know was set from June 17th-20th when Washington beat New York twice in Toronto twice in four consecutive games. The Nationals have now won 6 of their last 8, and they're arguably playing the best baseball they have this season, with the exception, perhaps, of their 6-1 run in early May, when they took two at home from Houston and three of the next four in LA and Arizona. A win tomorrow, and DC's got the longest win streak of '09. Mock vs Parra, 8:05 pm EST.
Washington Nationals At Milwaukee Brewers. Game 100 Of 162.
Nyjer Morgan takes a fastball from Brewers’ righty Carlos Villanueva deep to right, down the line, and it...stays fair, HR!! Leadoff HR by Nyjer Morgan and it’s 1-0 Nationals. Cristian Guzman grounds out to second. Ryan Zimmerman grounds to third, Milwaukee third baseman Casey McGehee throws to first, but too late. Infield single. Adam Dunn grounds to first, Prince Fielder fields and throws to second, J.J. Hardy and back to first double play...Felipe Lopez K’s on three pitches, taking an 0-2 curve from DC right-hander Collin Balester that surprises everyone. Mike Cameron gets a 2-2 bender inside and he watches it break in for strike three. Ryan Braun grounds out to short, and it’s one scoreless in the books.
Josh Willingham grounds out to short, J.J. Hardy makes the play. Willie Harris works a one-out walk in front of Alberto "The General" Gonzalez. Gonzalez K’s swinging through a fastball. Wil Nieves K’s on a 1-2 curve fron Villanueva...Nyjer Morgan sprints over then waits for Prince Fielder’s line drive out. Collin Balester gets a grounder from Casey McGehee to third, Zimmerman stabs it and throws to Dunn at first. Balester hangs one to Corey Hart, who doubles to left with two down. J.J. Hardy gets a hanging curve from Balester, and he doubles to center, Hart scores to tie it. 1-1. Jason Kendall grounds to Zimmerman, Zim throws a little wild to second, but Alberto Gonzalez makes it work.
Collin Balester pops out to start the third. Nyjer Morgan almosts beats out a routine grounder to second, almost. Cristian Guzman singles through second with two down. Ryan Zimmerman chops one straight down, Villanueva fields and throws to first to end the Nationals’ third...Balester get the opposing pitcher to ground out. Felipe Lopez singles to center to start the Brewers’ third. Mike Cameron grounds to third, Ryan Zimmerman to Alberto Gonzalez to Dunn, double play.
Adam Dunn takes a low fastball deeeeeeep to center and OUT OF THE PARK!!! Seriously, it left the confines of Miller Park. SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!!! Adam Dunn’s solo shot makes it 2-1 DC. Josh Willingham and Willie Harris hit back to back singles. Alberto Gonzalez pops out behind second. Wil Nieves pops up to short right, Corey Hart sprints in and slides, but can’t make the catch. Willingham scores from third, 3-1 Nationals. Collin Balester gets a sac bunt down to move both runners into scoring position. Nyjer Morgan clears second with a line drive to right for a two-out, two-RBI double, 5-1 Nationals. Morgan steals second, but he’s stranded when Guzman grounds out...Ryan Braun backs Willie Harris up to the track, where he makes the grab. Prince Fielder lines to the right center, and into Nyjer Morgan’s glove. Casey McGehee flies out to Willingham in right.
Tim Dillard takes over on the mound for Milwaukee and gets a groundout from Ryan Zimmerman for the first out of the frame. Adam Dunn walks and takes second when Josh Willingham lines a single over short. Willie Harris takes four straight. Bases loaded one out for Alberto Gonzalez. Gonzalez grounds to third, McGehee to second, Felipe Lopez to first, double play...Balester gets a fly ball to right from Corey Hart. J.J. Hardy grounds to Cristian Guzman’s backhand, and the throw to first gets by Adam Dunn. E:95"? Nope, a hit. Jason Kendall flies out to Nyjer Morgan in center. Balester drops a cruel two-strike curve on the opposing relief pitcher, and Dillard K’s.
Nieves grounds out to start the sixth. Collin Balester hits a 10-hopper back up the middle for a one-out single. Nyjer Morgan sends a high-hopper to second, Felipe Lopez fields, steps on the bag and fires to Fielder, double play...Ryan Zimmerman has his glove low, and he snatches a grounder from Felipe Lopez and throws to first, in time. Mike Cameron pops up foul of first, Dunn makes the catch. Ryan Braun get hold of a 2-2 curve, and it’s 5-2 Nationals after Braun launches one to left center. Prince Fielder grounds out to Alberto Gonzalez on the outfield grass in right, The General throws to Dunn to end the sixth.
Dillard’s back for the seventh. Cristian Guzman draws a leadoff walk. Ryan Zimmerman’s groundout was productive at least. Adam Dunn gets the intentionals to bring up Josh Willingham, who lines out to center. Willie Harris grounds to first, Dillard takes Fielder’s toss and steps on first...Casey McGehee flies out to Willie Harris in left. Jason Bergmann gets a ground ball toward third from Corey Hart, Bergmann makes the play. J.J. Hardy rips a double over third that Zim can’t get to. Jason Bergmann gets Jason Kendall to K chasing a 93 mph heater.
Dillard again in the eighth and he gets a fly ball to left from Alberto Gonzalez for the first out of the frame. Wil Nieves walks with one down. Ronnie Belliard gets a pinch hit chance and single over short. Two on for Nyjer Morgan. Dillard gets a sinking fastball under Morgan’s bat for a swinging strike three. Cristian Guzman lifts a fastball to center and GONE!! Off the top of the wall for a three-run blast!! 8-2 Nationals...Logan Kensing walks the first batter he sees, Craig Counsell, but gets a fly ball out to center from Felipe Lopez. Mike Cameron grounds to third, Zimmerman to Belliard to Dunn, double play.
Trevor Hoffman walks Adam Dunn to start the ninth. Josh Willingham takes the second straight free pass. Willie Harris flies unproductively to right. Alberto Gonzalez flies out to center. Hoffman’s taken out, Mark DiFelice takes over against Wil Nieves. Nieves flies out to Corey Hart...Ron Villone comes on to close it out. Ryan Braun starts the frame with a triple off the wedge in the wall and by Austin Kearns. Prince Fielder slices one toward third, Braun scores as Zim throws Fielder out. Casey McGehee grounds out to short. Ron Villone gets Corey Hart swinging, and it’s over. Nationals win, 8-3 final.
Nationals now 32-68.