We've learned two things about Elijah Dukes this year:
1) You don't run on Dukes.
2) Elijah Dukes will run through walls.
If David Wright didn't know that second one already he found out as he came around first and watched Elijah Dukes run full speed into the out-of-town scoreboard in right to rob Wright of a potentially game-tying extra base hit with two out in the top of the ninth tonight in DC's 4-3 win over New York. Dukes' catch gave Mike MacDougal his 18th save in 19 opportunities a half-inning after Washington took the lead with the help of two errors from NY's middle infielders. The Nationals take their second straight over the Mets and set themselves up for the sweep in the last home game of 2009 tomorrow afternoon. (ed. note - "And I'm telling you right now...Teddy Roosevelt will win tomorrow, buy your tickets so you can say you were there...") (ed. note - "The previous opinion is in no way based on facts, just gut feelings, like Riggleman!!")
• Martin v Pelfrey.• Elijah SSSSSUPER DUKESSSSS!!!! F.O.D.&D. Rejoice! Desmond Does It Too!!!
• Adam Dunn Gets The Beyond The Box Score Treatment.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
• Check Out the SB Nation's NY Mets Blog: Amazin' Avenue OpenThread.
Nationals now 54-103. (Countdown To 100 Losses, Over For Days Now).
• Martin v Pelfrey. J.D. Martin gets himself in trouble early, giving up a leadoff double to Angel Pagan and letting Luis Castillo reach base on a sac bunt attempt. David Wright walks to loaded the bases and Carlos Beltran walks too to force in the first run. 1-0 NY. Martin gets a line drive to short, a fly ball to short center and an out at second to escape further damage, but he gets right back in trouble in the second. Wilson Valdez doubles to start the frame, moves to second on a sac bunt by the Mets' starter and scores on an Angel Pagan single for a 2-0 lead. David Wright doubles Pagan in, 3-0 Mets.
• Mike Pelfrey retires the first eight batters he faces before allowing a bloop single to the opposing pitcher in the bottom of the third. The Mets' right-hander throws four scoreless for NY, holding DC to just a walk and a single, but the fifth starts with "Pinch Hittin'" Pete Orr singling on an 0-2 fastball up and out over the plate. Ian Desmond's up next and the Nationals' rookie shortstop gets a 1-2 fastball from Pelfrey that doesn't quite make it inside, Desmond explodes on it, launches it to left and GONE!! Two-run HR, 3-2 NY. Two outs later, still in the fifth, Willie Harris and Elijah Dukes hit back-to-back singles and Mr. Gold Glove Himself, the one and only Ryan Zimmerman gets two straight and I mean "straight" fastballs inside, the second of which is lined to left for Zim's 103rd RBI and the 3-3 tie.
• J.D. Martin ends up throwing four scoreless after the rough start, and leaves after 6.0 IP, having given up 7 hits, 3 ER and 2 walks, but the win ends up going to DC reliever Tyler Clippard who throws 2.0 scoreless, the second of which I still can't believe he escaped. Clippard gave up back to back singles to Carlos Beltran and Daniel Murphy, then walked Jeff Francoeur to load the bases with no outs and the score tied at 3-3 tie in the eighth. Former Nationals' catcher Brian Schneider (Call us, Brian?) does Washington a solid by popping out unproductively and pinch hitter Jeremy Reed lines to second, Alberto Gonzalez catches it, throws to first, Francoeur's out, (where was he going?) DOUBLE PLAY!! Clippard's one lucky reliever...
• Mike "Danger" Morse walks with one down in the Nationals' eighth, Justin Maxwell takes over on the basepaths, and pinch hitter Cristian Guzman follows with what should be a double play, but Anderson Hernandez fields at short and tosses one low to Luis Castillo, and right by second, both runners safe. Ian Desmond follows with another DP grounder, Anderson Hernandez gets to it behind second, tosses to Castillo, Castillo fires wide of first and out of Daniel Murphy's reach, Desmond's safe. Maxwell scores from second, 4-3 DC!!
• Top Of Ninth...Mike MacDougal comes on to close it. Cory Sullivan K's swinging. Angel Pagan...singles, (3 for 5), but MacDougal paints the outside corner to get Luis Castillo looking with Pagan still at first. David Wright, works the count full and destroys a 96 mph MacDougal heater. Wright drives it to right, Elijah Dukes sprints toward the wall, and runs into the out-of-town scoreboard as he makes the grab, Dukes bounces of the wall, falls back and rolls to his feet, then jumps up pounding his chest!!! SSSSSUPER DUKESSSS Runs through walls! Nationals win, 4-3 final.
• Adam Dunn Gets The Beyond The Box Score Treatment.
Walter Fulbright has an article up at Beyond The Boxscore, the SB Nation's "Saber-Slanted" blog, entitled, "The Two Sides Of Adam Dunn: Graph Of The Day", in which Mr. Fullbright determines that Adam Dunn is, "...still a superstar, just playing out of position because he no longer has one," and recommends that fans, "...start a letter writing campaign to see if we can find the Nationals an American League trading partner." Dunn ranks dead last on Mr. Fulbright's league-wide UZR chart and the BtB writer's description of the nation's capital's favorite first baseman is at odds with most of what I've heard from the DC Faithful:
"Adam Dunn can't hide his failings at the cold corner. Whatever advantage he has for reaching to balls above his head (a pretty low percentage play anyway) are absolutely obliterated by his inability to scoop balls in the dirt, either from throws or from ground balls. He's so completely top heavy that he has an inherent disadvantage to those born with the virtue of just being closer to the ground. This is a pretty definite trend, he has roughly the same power off the bat as when he was 23, only with 60-70 more pounds packed on, his defense has gone from pretty bad to awful to absolutely unacceptable."
Check out Mr. Fulbright's article HERE or in the title link above to see how he reached his conclusions. Let him know what you've seen from Dunn...
DC right-hander J.D. Martin takes a deep breath, stretching his jaw as he does, then he exhales and fires the first pitch home to Angel Pagan. Pagan ends up doubling to right off the out-of-town scoreboard to start the game with a runner on second. Luis Castillo bunts to third and J.D. Martin cuts Ryan Zimmerman off to field and not throw to first. First and third for David Wright. J.D. Martin walks the bases loaded and goes 3-0 to Carlos Beltran, hitting the outside corner for 3-1 and getting a foul for another full count. Then Martin walks Beltran and walks in a run, 1-0 New York. Daniel Murphy lines toward short, Ian Desmond catches and holds it. Jeff Francoeur flies out to short center, and Willie Harris catches it coming in to hold Castillo at third. Brian Schneider lines to Pete Orr to end the threat with just the walked in run scoring...Willie Harris pops out to left to start the bottom of the first. Mets’ righty Mike Pelfrey gets a weak grounder to third from Elijah Dukes. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to short.
Wilson Valdez doubles over short to start the second. Mike Pelfrey bunts to Adam Dunn, who can only throw to first. Angel Pagan singles to score Valdez and it’s 2-0 New York with one out in the second. Luis Castillo pops out to left. David Wright doubles off the base of the wall in left, Pagan scores from first, 3-0 Mets. Carlos Beltran grounds out to first, Adam Dunn fields it and hustles to first...Dunn leads off DC’s second with a swinging K on a bender off the plate. Mike Morse grounds out to Wilson Valdez at short. Pete Orr grounds to Castillo at second and it’s 3-0 NY after three.
Willie Harris has to run way into left to catch a line drive off Daniel Murphy’s bat. Francoeur flies out to Elijah Dukes in right. Brian Schneider grounds out to first and Dunn tosses to Martin to end the Mets’ third...Ian Desmond flies out to right field. Mike Pelfrey gets off the mound quickly to field a dribbler toward third and throws a strike to Daniel Murphy at first to get WIl Nieves. J.D. Martin sends a bloop single to center for the Nationals’ first hit. Willie Harris walks. Elijah Dukes rolls the third out to short.
Wilson Valdez grounds out to Pete Orr. Mike Pelfrey’s groundout rolls over the first base bag to Dunn. Angel Pagan sends Mike Morse sprinting back to make an overhead catch for the final out of the Mets’ fourth...Ryan Zimmerman grounds to short, Wilson Valdez double-pumps and throws to first. Adam Dunn flies out to deep center. Mike Morse grounds out to short, Pelfrey’s got four scoreless.
Willie Harris takes two steps back and catches a line drive off Luis Castillo’s bat. David Wright pulls a bender over third and into left for a one-out double. Carlos Beltran grounds weakly to second. Daniel Murphy flies out to Mike Morse and it’s 3-0 NY after four and a half...Pete Orr smacks a single through short. Ian Desmond goes deeeep to left on a high inside fastball and it’s GONE!!! Two-run HR, 3-2 NY. Wil Nieves grounds out to WIlson Valdez at short. J.D. Martin K’s swinging over a two-strike sinker. Willie Harris sneaks a grounder under a diving Luis Castillo at second. Elijah Dukes singles to center, but Willie Harris holds up at second. Ryan Zimmerman gets a fastball before it gets inside and singles to center to score Harris. 3-3. Adam Dunn grounds out to first, tied after five.
Jeff Francoeur lines to left, Morse misjudges it but hustles back to make a leaping catch. Brian Schneider throws his bat at a fastball and singles to center. Wilson Valdez sends a fluttering line drive out to Willie Harris. MIke Pelfrey flies out to right...Mike Morse grounds out to third. Pete Orr grounds to Daniel Murphy at first. Ian Desmond slides in safe at second on a one-hopper to third that gets by David Wright and rolls out to left. Wil Nieves lines out to right.
Tyler Clippard starts Angel Pagan with three balls and then blows Pagan away. Ian Desmond throws out Luis Castillo. Clippard gets Wright on a called strike three, 3-3 in the seventh...Alberto Gonzalez grounds to Murphy at first. Willie Harris flies out to center. Elijah Dukes grounds one through Pelfrey’s legs for a two-out single. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to right, 3-3 after seven.
Carlos Beltran singles to center to start NY's eighth. Daniel Murphy rips a grounder by Dunn at first, Beltran takes third. Jeff Francouer walks to load the bases for Schneider. Brian Schneider pops out foul of third. Pinch hitter Jeremy Reed hits a broken bat liner to second, Frenchy gets doubled up!!...Adam Dunn K’s and Pedro Feliciano’s out after one batter. Mike Morse vs Sean Green. Morse walks, Justin Maxwell on to run. Cristian Guzman will hit. Guzman grounds to second, Anderson Hernandez tosses it but Castillo at second, both runners safe. Ian Desmond grounds to second, Anderson Hernandez knocks it down, tosses to second, Castillo....throws it wide of first, Maxell scores, Desmond's safe. 4-3 NY. Francisco Rodriguez comes on. Desmond takes third without a throw. Angel Pagan makes an underhand catch on a line out by Alberto Gonzalez.
Mike MacDougal vs Cory Sullivan. Angel Pagan lines off Zimmerman’s glove and into left. Luis Castillo takes a called strike three for out No. 2!!! David Wright flies to deeeep right, Elijah Dukes tracks it and catches it as he hits the wall at full speeeeed. SSSSSUPER DUKESSSSSS!!!!!!!! Sets up the sweeeep!!!!
Nationals now 53-104.