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QUICK GAME RECAP:
Justin Maxwell was halfway there. The Nationals' 25-year-old center fielder was just 2 for 12 since being called back up the to the big leagues on August 31st, but with his leadoff single in the ninth tonight he was 3 for 5 with a run scored, and when he stole second to put the tying run in scoring position, it looked like he would cap off his best night as a National by scoring the game-tying run in a tight 6-5 game against the Phillies. Philadelphia reliever (they're still not "saying" closer) Ryan Madson got Cristian Guzman looking with a 2-2 fastball for the first out of the frame, and Adam Dunn stepped to the plate with one out and a runner on second. Madson started Dunn with a fastball and a slider both in on the hands for a ball and a called strike, then he went outside with a fastball down in the zone that Dunn fouled off the far corner of the plate. Madson's 1-2 heater came in right down the middle and Dunn lined it...right to Chase Utley, who stepped on second to double up Maxwell. Ballgame. Phillies win two straight in DC.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching.
• More On The Game.
• E: 120.
• What's That 'Duk?
• For The Completists, Full Game Report After The JUMP...
Nationals now 47-92.
More On The Game.
Adam Dunn's bat woke up a little at least, as the Nationals' slugger knocked in the first run of the game with an RBI single after Cristian Guzman had doubled with one out in the first. DC right-hander Garrett Mock gave up 3 runs in the second, surrendering a walk and 4 hits (1 double, 3 singles) before recording an out. Mock allowed only one other run, which came in the fifth when he issued a two-out walk to Ryan Howard in front of Raul Ibanez, who hit an RBI double on a full-count change. Mock's done after the fifth having allowed 4 runs and 6 hits.
The Nationals add two in the home-half of the fifth when Alberto Gonzalez (who doubled to start the frame) and Justin Maxwell (who singled with one out) both score to make it 4-3 Philly, and Gonzalez scores the tying run as well, singling to start the seventh on scoring on a Cristian Guzman groundout that could have been an inning-ending DP if Chase Utley had dropped the ball after the force. 4-4 game in the eighth...but not for long...
DC right-hander Tyler Clippard gives up back to back HR's to start the eighth to Jayson Werth and then Pedro Feliz, and after having battled all the way back, the Nationals are again down by two. The no-quit Nationals score one in their eighth, but even though they start the frame with the bases loaded, Washington scores just one run on a one-out sac fly by Pete Orr, failing to tie it, and when Justin Maxwell's doubled-up off second to end the ninth, the Nationals are 47-92.
E: 120 - The Phillies' center fielder Shane Victorino started the top of the ninth with a swinging bunt that died in front of the plate, and Wil Nieves, (who came on as a pinch hitter and grounded out with two on and two down in a one-run game in the eighth), threw the ball right by Adam Dunn at first, giving the speedy Philly an extra base. OUTCOME: Victorino's stranded at third three outs later. No Harm. Nationals now lead Error Race by 7. Wil Nieves' 5th is Washington's 120th Error of 2009.
What's That 'Duk?
Did you happen to read 'Duk's article at Yahoo!Sports.com's Big League Stew entitled, "Walk Toward The Light: Your 2009 Washington Nationals"? It's Kevin Kaduk's (or 'Duk's) look back on the year that was for Washington's Nationals, and in the article he lists the "Stew's" Top 5 Nationals-related stories of the year, which are, in his opinion:
- Julian Tavarez says Nats are no J.Lo.
- Mutant Statues Unveiled.
- Elijah Dukes fined for Little League visit.
- Stan Kasten invites all of Philadephia down to Nats Park.
Now, I'll give 'Duk one thing, he does explain while discussing #1 on the list, that it was Majestic Athletic who made the mistake on the Nationals' jerseys, which is a fact that's rarely if ever mentioned in the media, and I know we here at Federal Baseball.com got months of mileage out of Julian Tavarez "Scotch Goggles" jokes, but I kind of like the "Matrix" statues, (What?), and I think Dukes' fine was just part of the growing process that has led him to be the hard-hitting right fielder we all cheer for today...But there's nothing funny about Mr. Kasten inviting Philly fans to Nationals Park. Nothing. Seriously. I'd take a hundred Natinals jokes before I laughed about that. (ed. note - "It's actually a funny article, check it out HERE or in the link above.") What are your Top 5 Nationals Stories of 2009? The serious and the ridiculous? What will you remember most about the '09 campaign?
Philadelphia Phillies At Washington Nationals. Game 139 Of 162.
JImmy Rollins grounds out to second and Alberto "The General" Gonzalez throws to "The Big Opposite Field" Adam Dunn for the first out of the game. Shane Victorino doubles into the right field corner, stopping at second with respect for "Super Dukes’" arm. Chase Utley flies out to Justin Maxwell. Ryan Howard gets nothin’ but junk from Garrett Mock, but one of them bounces on Josh Bard, allowing Victorino to take third. Mock throws a 2-2 fastball to Ryan Howard and gets a grounder through his own legs and out to second for The General, who fields and throws to first...Justin Maxwell lifts his arms like the two-strike Cliff Lee fastball’s inside but he’s punched out by the ump for the first out of the frame. The Guzzzzz, Cristian Guzman doubles off the out-of-town scoreboard in right and shoots a DY Wave to the dugout when he reaches second. Adam Dunn reaches down for a low bender and lifts it over second for an RBI single, Guzman scores. 1-0 DC. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to the track in left. The Hammer grounds into a force at second.
Raul Ibanez doubles to center on a grounder that finds the empty grass. Jayson Werth smacks a 3-1 fastball through short to bring Ibanez in. 1-1 ballgame. Pedro Feliz joins in the fun with a single. Paul Bako takes a walk to load the bases. Garrett Mock hits the outside corner with a sinking 2-1 fastball but it’s lifted to left by the opposing pitcher for an RBI single. 2-1 Phillies. Jimmy Rollins’ groundout to second scores a run, 3-1 Philly. Shane Victorino grounds out to second. Chase Utley pops out to left to end the frame...Elijah Dukes grounds softly to third for Pedro Feliz to handle. Josh Bard grounds out to short. Alberto Gonzalez goes the other way with a line drive double to right. Garrett Mock flies out to right center to end the second.
Ryan Howard grounds into the dramatic shift. Raul Ibanez grounds out to second, actually making an out. Mock issues a two-out walk to Jayson Werth. Pedro Feliz flies out to right to end the Phillies’ third...Justin Maxwell reaches on an error by Chase Utley on a grounder to second. (ed. note - "Ruled a hit.") Cliff Lee throws to first on a sac bunt by Cristian Guzman. Maxwell takes second. Adam Dunn can’t check his swing on a two-strike bender from Lee. Zim swings over a big curve for strike three to end the third.
Garrett Mock drops a sinking change off the outside edge to get Paul Bako chasing. Cliff Lee gets the same change outside. Mock drops a slow sinker inside on Jimmy Rollins for another swinging K...Josh Willingham grounds out to Pedro Feliz. Elijah Dukes takes one for a ride to center that Victorino catches. Raul Ibanez falls to his knees to catch Josh Bard’s liner at his chest.
Alberto Gonzalez throws to first to retire Victorino. Chase Utley pops out to the infield. Ryan Howard takes a two-out walk courtesy of Mock. Raul Ibanez gets hold of a fastball and lines it off the base of the out-of-town scoreboard for an RBI double and a 4-1 Philly lead. Mock dials up the fastballs and gets Jayson Werth swinging...Alberto Gonzalez doubles to the wall in left center. Jesus Flores grounds out to Pedro Feliz’s backhand. Justin Maxwell gets a single through short to move Gonzalez to third. Cristian Guzman brings Gonzalez in with a dribbler to first. 4-2 Phillies. Adam Dunn rips a line drive single to right to score Maxwell. 4-3 Philly. Ryan Zimmerman grounds to short to end the fifth.
Jason Bergmann issues a leadoff walk to Pedro Feliz. Bergmann busts Bako inside and gets a DP grounder. Cliff Lee flies out to center to end the Phillies’ sixth...Josh Willingham lines out Jayson Werth in right. Elijah Dukes hits a weak grounder to second. Josh Bard pops out to center where Werth and Victorino almost collide while catching it.
Jimmy Rollins lines a single over short to start the seventh. Shane Victorino flies out to Willingham in left. Bergmann’s done. Sean Burnett’s in against Chase Utley. Jimmy Rollins steals second. Adam Dunn fields a grounder from Utley and holds Rollins at third. Burnett gives Howard the intentionals. Raul Ibanez up, Ryan Howard steals second. Raul Ibanez swings at a full-count fastball and misses...Alberto Gonzalez rips a double to left to start the Nationals’ seventh. Jorge Padilla drops a bunt down the third base line and it rolls back into fair territory and stops on the inside of the line. J-Max K’s swinging to waste the RISP. Cristian Guzman grounds to Jimmy Rollins, who throws from a crouch, and Chase Utley drops it on the attempted transfer, 4-4 game when Gonzalez scores. Adam Dunn grounds out to short to end the seventh.
Tyler Clippard starts Jayson Werth with three balls, gets away with a 3-0 fastball Werth fouls and then gives up a leadoff solo shot to center to break the tie. 5-4 Philly. Pedro Feliz lines to left and GONE!! Good-bye. Back to back HR’s 6-4 Phillies. Clippard throws a high heater by Andy Tracy. Cliff Lee pops out to center. Jimmy Rollins pops out to short...Ryan Zimmerman grounds to short, Rollins throws to first, but Ryan Howard can’t handle it. Josh Willingham blasts a line drive to right for a double, Zim stops at third. Cliff Lee’s done. Elijah Dukes vs Chan Ho Park. Dukes walks to load the bases. Willie Harris hits for Bard. Harris lines out to short right and Zimmerman stays at third. Pete Orr flies out to left. Zim tags and scores. 6-5 Phillies. Wil Nieves grounds out to first to end the eighth.
Mike MacDougal will try to hold it close for some walk-off magic. Shane Victorino drops a swinging bunt in front of home and a throwing error by the new catcher moves Victorino up. Utley grounds to second, and Guzman has to chase Victorino down, but they get him. Utley safe at first. Ryan Howard singles to center off MacDougal. Raul Ibanez K’s swinging. Jayson Werth K’s watching strike three cross the plate...Ryan Madson vs Justin Maxwell in the ninth. J-Max singles to center. Cristian Guzman up. Maxwell steals second. Guzman K’s looking. Adam Dunn lines to second, Utley catches it and steps on second, double play to end the game. 6-5 Phillies.
Nationals now 47-92.