Nationals Win Overshadowed By Strasburg Talk...
• So...did, uh...Strasburg sign yet? In case you were caught up in the first comments from the Washington Nationals about the negotiations with their '09 1st Round draft pick Stephen Strasburg and his agent Scott Boras, and didn't notice, the Nationals took a 10-6 decision from the Cincinnati Reds Saturday, after putting together a six-run third with four-straight hits to start the inning by J.D. Martin, Nyjer Morgan, Ronnie Belliard and Ryan Zimmerman, a one-out RBI single by Josh Willingham and a two-out bases-loaded-double by Alberto Gonzalez which gave the Nationals a 7-1 lead and chased Reds' starter Johnny Cueto from the game. The Nationals added 3 runs in the fourth on a 3-run triple by Elijah Dukes, providing enough of a lull in the action for everyone to shout out their own opinion on the Strasburg situation, including everyone following along in last night's GameThread and even MASN announcers Rob Dibble and Bob Carpenter, whose argument in distilled form was posted earlier tonight on Mr. Dibble's blog.
• DC's J.D. Martin (2-2, 4.61 ERA) earned his second win with 6.2 innings on the mound over which he allowed 6 hits and just 1 unearned run on an RBI single by Joey Votto in the third which turned into perhaps the best defensive play of the year by the Nationals when Elijah Dukes' throw in from right on Votto's hit was on target and cut by Adam Dunn on the infield grass so he could cut down Votto at first after he'd taken too big a turn and failed to notice that DC second baseman Ronnie Belliard had snuck in behind him...Was that the Nationals? It was, but they played a little like the old Nationals as well, with three errors, #'s 101-103, on a wild throw by first by Martin, a pickoff throw to an first empty first base, again by Martin and a defensive miscue in right center that resulted in Elijah Dukes missing a fly ball by Willy Taveras that resulted in Reds' sixth run crossing.
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• Strasburg, Strasburg, Strasburg!! RIZZO!!!
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The JUMP...
Nationals now 42-75. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At...25.)
Washington Nationals At Cincinnati Reds. Game 117 Of 162.
Nyjer Morgan chops one straight down that Reds’ starter Johnny Cueto handles with ease. Ronnie Belliard sends a broken bat groundout to Paul Janish at short. Ryan Zimmerman pops out to right where Chris Dickerson makes the catch while straddling the line...Cincinnati’s leadoff man, Chris Dickerson doubles over Josh Willingham’s head in left. Willy Taveras chops one straight down and then runs into it on the bounce and is called out. Cue argument. DC righty J.D. Martin walks Joey Votto with one down to bring up Brandon Phillips with two on. Phillips takes a 2-2 pitch from Martin to the warning track in left where Willingham makes the grab. Laynce Nix flies out to end the first.
SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!! Adam Dunn goes all the way the other way with a HR to left, just over the wall on a towering shot. 1-0 DC. Josh Willingham lines out to short. Elijah Dukes single to right on a curve from Cueto. Josh Bard pops out to Chris Dickerson in right. Alberto Gonzalez grounds into a force at second to end the top of the frame...Adam Dunn tosses to J.D. Martin covering on Adam Rosales' groundball to first. Ryan Hanigan grounds to Belliard at second. Paul Janish tries to bunt his way on, but runs into it as he heads to first, and is called out by the umpire. Again?
J.D. Martin drops a broken bat single into short center to start the third. Nyjer Morgan doubles off the wall in right for a single that moves Martin to third. Ronnie Belliard, Belli, Belli, Belli lines to left and over Laynce Nix’s head to the wall, Martin scores, Morgan to third, 2-0 DC on the RBI double by Belliard. Ryan Zimmerman rips an RBI single through short to score Morgan and move Belliard up, 3-0 DC. And Adam Dunn’s up. Zim takes second on a wild pitch. Dunn grounds back the mound so hard it knock Cueto’s glove off his hand, but he makes the play. One out. Josh Willingham grounds back to the mound, Cueto fields it and tries to catch Belliard at home, but the Reds’ pitcher drops the ball, Belliard safe, 4-0. Josh Bard swings through a high two-strike fastball. Alberto Gonzalez waits on a curve and drives it to left, Zimmerman, Willingham and Dukes score, 7-0 Nationals. Cueto’s done. Kip Wells on in relief for the Reds. J.D. Martin K’s to end a long top of the third...Kip Wells starts the Reds’ third with a line drive single to left. Chris Dickerson flies out to Nyjer Morgan in center. Willy Taveras drops a bunt toward third, and J.D. Martin throws it right by Adam Dunn at first. Joey Votto lines an RBI single to right, Wells scores, 7-1 DC, but Adam Dunn cuts Dukes' throw in and fires to first to get Votto too far off the bag. Brandon Phillips grounds to short to end the third.
Nyjer Morgan starts the fourth with a single over short. Ronnie Belliard rips a hanging bender to left for the second-straight single. Ryan Zimmerman tips a 2-2 fastball upstairs into the Reds’ catcher’s glove. Adam Dunn walks to load the bases. Josh Willingham pops out foul of first. Elijah Dukes drives a liner to right and scores three with a triple for a 10-1 DC lead. Kip Wells gets a weak grounder from Bard to end the fourth...J.D. Martin pops up Laynce Nix. Adam Rosales beats Ryan Zimmerman to the line at third with a one-out double. Ryan Hanigan K’s swinging through a two-strike fastball outside. Paul Janish pops out to the catcher.
Kip Wells is back for the fifth. Alberto Gonzalez grounds to first, J.D. Martin K’s looking and Nyjer Morgan grounds back to the mound to end the frame...Kip Wells rips a low liner into Ryan Zimmerman’s glove. Chris Dickerson strokes a single to right. Willy Taveras pops out to second to end the fifth.
Ronnie Belliard K’s swinging at a two-strike curve from Kip Wells. Ryan Zimmerman shatters his bat on a long fly ball to right. Adam Dunn pops out foul of third and Adam Rosales leans into the stands to make the grab with an assist from the fans who prevent him from falling...J.D. Martin hits Brandon Phillips on the hand. Laynce Nix flies out to Willie Harris in left. Adam Rosales grounds into a force out at second. Ryan Hanigan flies to center to end the sixth.
Paul Janish catches a pop fly off Willie Harris’ bat. Elijah Dukes K’s swinging through a two-strike fastball. Josh Bard works for a two-out walk. Alberto Gonzalez lifts a line drive single over short. J.D. Martin beats out an excuse-me single. Daniel Ray Herrera takes over on the mound for Wells, and gets Nyjer Morgan looking to end the frame...Logan Kensing gets a pop fly to short center from Paul Janish. Craig Tatum K’s swinging. Chris Dickerson takes a two-out walk from Kensing, and takes second on a pitch in the dirt. Willy Taveras singles to center to score Dickerson, 10-2 Nationals. Joey Votto doubles over Nyjer Morgan’s head in center to score Taveras. 10-3 Nationals. Drew Sutton takes Kensing deeeep to right and GONE!! 10-5 Nationals. Kensing out, and Tyler Clippard gets a groundout from Laynce Nix to end the seventh.
Ronnie Belliard vs Daniel Ray Herrera. Belliard K’s swinging. Ryan Zimmerman rips a single through short with one down. Adam Dunn walks to put two on for Willie Harris. Willie Harris grounds into a force at second, but beats the relay to first. Elijah Dukes is fooled by a change and he grounds out to short...Adam Rosales flies out to Nyjer Morgan in center. Kevin Barker K’s swinging through a high heater from Clippard. Paul Janish takes a two-out walk. Craig Tatum goes down swinging to end the eighth.
Reds’ right-hander Jared Burton pops Josh Bard up to start the ninth. Alberto Gonzalez flies out to right field. Tyler Clippard gets an AB, and K’s trying...Chris Dickerson grounds out to second. Clippard gets a fly ball to right from Willy Taveras, Dukes and Morgan converge and Dukes drops it when he flinches. Taveras takes third. Sean Burnett on to face Votto. Votto grounds to short, Alberto Gonzalez makes the play. Drew Sutton flies to right to end the game. 10-5 Nationals win.
Nationals now 42-75.