• Stephen Strasburg was in Nationals Park tonight watching the Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals launch the kind of long fly balls that get hit off every pitcher in Major League Baseball. To paraphrase an old baseball axiom (since I can't find the source), a major league hitter could time a jet if he had three swings, (or something similarly witty). Prince Fielder must have timed J.D. Martin's fastball from the on-deck circle when Martin threw two to Ryan Braun, (who singled in front of the Brewers' first baseman) because the big lefty stepped in and sent a first pitch fastball screaming out to center for a two-out, two-run, HR in the first, and though the Nationals responded with two of their own off Milwaukee's Met-reject Braden Looper in the bottom of the frame (on an RBI groundout by Ryan Zimmerman and HR #32 by DC's Big Bopper Adam Dunn), the Nationals were held scoreless until Zimmerman's bottom of the ninth home run scored DC's third run and made it 7-3, before three straight outs end it.
• Trevor Hoffman gives up the solo shot in the ninth to Ryan Zimmerm--THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!, who hits his 25th HR of '09, for the highest season total he's collected in his four years and change in the majors. Adam Dunn hit his 32nd HR of the year tonight, but last year he had his 32nd by the end of July and 2 and then 6 in each of the last two months to reach "his" official HR total. In 2007, Dunn had hit 27 before August 1st and he hit 13 in August and September to arrive at that magic number. In 2006 Dunn had 38 at the end of August, so it took just 2 in 28 September games to hit the mark, and it took 5 HR's in 30 September games for him to reach it in '05...(In '04 he was done by the end of August, so he decided to add to his then-and-still career total by adding another six), and now Dunn has exactly 40 games to hit 8 or he'll fail to reach his trademark 40 home run total for the first time in 6 seasons.
• J.D. Martin, the Nationals' 26-year-old right-hander allows two in the first on Fielder's HR, one in the fourth when Casey McGehee gets a hold of another first-pitch fastball (that's so right down the middle and laser-straight it warrants a quick viewing on MLB.com's Gameday), and one more run in the seventh when he gives up back to back one-out singles to Catalonotto and Kendall, and a two-out single to Felipe Lopez which ends Martin's night two-thirds of the way through the frame. Jorge Sosa gives up 4 hits and 3 runs in the top of the ninth after Ron Villone finishes the seventh and Tyler Clippard pitches a scoreless eighth.
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Nationals now 43-79. (Countdown To 100 Losses Now Stands At...21).
Milwaukee Brewers At Washington Nationals. Game 122 Of 162.
DC right-hander J.D. Martin starts the game against Felipe Lopez, who hears some scattered boos from the DC Faithful. Felipe Lopez grounds back to the mound. Craig Counsell stares a two-strike fastball all the way in for a called strike three. Ryan Braun reaches on a swinging bunt that stays fair as J.D. Martin tries to will it into foul territory. Prince Fielder takes a first-pitch fastball to dead center and GONE!! Screaming liner, 2-0 lead. Casey McGehee grounds back to the mound to end the first...Nyjer Morgan slices a leadoff double to left to start the Nationals' first. Cristian Guzman pulls a bunt toward first moving Morgan to third. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to second to score Morgan and make it 2-1, and Adam Dunn takes a fastball to the second deck for a solo shot that ties it. Josh Willingham K's swinging over a sinker and it's tied at 2-2 after one.
Mike Cameron singles to center start the second. Frank Catalanotto flies out to Nyjer Morgan. Willie Harris gets to the left center gap in time to catch Jason Kendall’s line drive. Braden Looper grounds to third, Ryan Zimmerman to Ronnie Belliard at second for the inning-ending force...Casey McGehee charges in on a bunt by Willie Harris and makes a barehand play and throw to first. Ronnie Belliard rolls a 1-0 pitch to short for out No. 2. Two-strike slider outside and Wil Nieves K’s throwing his bat at it.
J.D. Martin drops a 2-2 curve on Felipe Lopez to get a swinging K. Craig Counsell pops out to Adam Dunn in foul territory off first. Ryan Braun golfs a low liner right into Ryan Zimmerman’s glove...Braden Looper gets J.D. Martin swinging over a sinking fastball for a swinging K. Nyjer Morgan grounds to second. Cristian Guzman grounds out on a 1-0 pitch to end the third.
Prince Fielder rips into a 1-0 pitch from Martin and grounds out to first. Casey McGehee likes what he sees on the first pitch from Martin and he sends it soaring out to left and ten rows deep, 3-2 Brewers. Mike Cameron grounds to short and Cristian Guzman backhands and throws in one motion. Willie Harris backs up to the track to catch the final out of the Brewers’ fourth of Catalanotto's bat...Ryan Zimmerman flies out to Mike Cameron on the track in center. Adam Dunn walks with one down. Josh Willingham swings so hard K’ing he takes a knee. Willie Harris lines to center and it drops out of the air on Cameron, who makes the play.
Jason Kendall singles to center to start the fifth. Braden Looper tries to bunt and goes 0 for 3. Felipe Lopez grounds to short, Guzman to Belliard to Dunn, too late. Lopez safe at first. Craig Counsell pops up to center to end Milwaukee’s fifth...Ronnie Belliard pushes a leadoff single through second into right, and then gets picked off first by Looper. Wil Nieves singles back up the middle with one down. J.D. Martin bunts Nieves over, but Nyjer Morgan ends the fifth with a fly ball to center where Cameron catches it.
Ryan Braun grounds out to Cristian Guzman at short. Prince Fielder swings over a two-strike change. Casey McGehee grounds out to finish a quick sixth...Cristian Guzman rolls one out to second and reaches safely when Felipe Lopez bounces the throw from second. Ryan Zimmerman takes a HR swing but it dies in left. Adam Dunn takes a one-out walk. Josh Willingham grounds to third, Casey McGehee to Felipe Lopez to Prince Fielder, double play.
Adam Dunn catches a pop fly off Cameron’s bat. Frank Catalanotto singles though second off Adam Dunn’s glove. Jason Kendall rips a grounder to third that Ryan Zimmerman snags with a diving play, no throw. Hernan Iribarren flies out to center. Felipe Lopez grounds through second to score Catalanotto ahead of Hammer’s throw for a 4-2 lead. J.D. Martin’s out, Ron Villone gets Craig Counsell with a slider outside to end the seventh...Todd Coffey gets Willie Harris swinging through an 0-2 fastball upstairs. Ronnie Belliard pops up to the shortstop Craig Counsell foul of third. Wil Nieves K’s swinging and the seventh inning is history.
Tyler Clippard gives up a leadoff walk to Ryan Braun. Prince Fielder K’s swinging with Braun running and it’s a strike’em out throw’em out double play. Tyler Clippard blows Casey McGehee away with a two-strike heater...Mike Morse rips a line drive to first, but Fielder dives and catches it. Nyjer Morgan sends a screamer to third that McGehee handles, throw to first, two down. Cristian Guzman flies out to left to end the eighth.
Jorge Sosa gives up a leadoff single to Mike Cameron. Cameron goes first to third on Frank Catalanotto’s single to right. Jason Kendall hits the third straight single off Sosa, 5-2 Brew-has. Jody Gerut takes a walk from Sosa. Felipe Lopez drives in another run with a single to center, 6-2 Brewers. Craig Counsell flies to center, sac fly scores Kendall. 7-2 Milwaukee. Ryan Braun flies to center, Nyjer Morgan catches the second out. Fielder lines to center to end the top of the ninth...Ryan Zimmer--THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Ryan Zimmerman's 26th makes it 7-3 Brewers. Adam Dunn grounds back to the mound. Josh Willingham watches a two-strike change all the way in. Willie Harris pops out to Braun in left and it’s over. Brewers win 7-3.
Nationals now 43-78.