Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman arrives at home after hitting a three-run HR against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. (photo by Doghouse).
• DC Skipper Jim Riggleman said he had to see Nationals' lefty Scott Olsen get batters out. In the first, Olsen might have gotten off to a good start if Adam Dunn hadn't bobbled what was called by the Braves' radio announcers like an easy grounder to first from Nate McLouth. Martin Prado earned his single in the next AB, ripping a grounder through the infield to move McLouth to third, and then it was Chipper Jones with a fly ball that only the wind holds in the park, so it ends up a sac fly for a 1-0 Braves' lead. Olsen gave up another single in the first before escaping the frame. In the second, the Nationals' 26-year-old left-hander threw a quick 1-2-3 against the bottom of the Braves' order. In the third, Nate McLouth singled, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on Chipper Jones' second sac fly. Olsen followed that up with a quick-scoreless fourth and after a two-out single by Chipper Jones, a scoreless fifth. Olsen got Omar Infante swinging for his 4th K of the day, after allowing a leadoff single by Brent Clevlen. Olsen's done. Scott Olsen's Line: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 85 pitches, 64 strikes acc. to @NatsTownNews. No speed readings at the park, so we'll have to wait on those, did Olsen earn a spot? Not likely, but what will Washington do with the lefty? Should know tonight or tomorrow morning....
• Highlights: Nyjer Morgan - 3 for 4, 3 runs scored. Ian Desmond - 2 for 3, 2 R, 2 RBI's. Ryan Zimmerman - 1 for 3, HR, 4 RBI's. Adam Dunn - 1 for 4, 3 RBI's, 2 K's. • Final score, 9-3 Nationals.
• Nats Game Notes.
• For The Completists, Full Game Report After The JUMP!!
• Nats Game Notes:
• It's safe to say third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's going to make the team. The Nationals' Face of the Franchise, the Gold Glove winning, Silver Slugger, hit his 6th HR of the Spring, tying Zimmerman with Tampa Bay infielder Sean Rodriguez and Pittsburgh outfielder Delwyn Young for the Grapefruit and Cactus League HR lead. Zimmerman's 3-run blast off Braves' right-hander Scott Proctor put Washington up 3-1 after one. After Olsen's 1-2-3 second, Ian Desmond and Adam Dunn hit RBI singles in the Nats' second with Desmond driving in one and Dunn two with their one and two-out hits. 6-1 Nationals. With the score 6-2 after Chipper Jones' second sac fly in the third, Willy Taveras,Nyjer Morgan and Ian Desmond hit three-straight singles to start the fourth, with Desmond's driving in the Nats' seventh run, 7-2. Ryan Zimmerman's ground out, scored Morgan for Zim's 4th RBI, 8-2 Nats. Adam Dunn's groundout scores Desmond, 9-2 Nationals...
• FULL GAME REPORT: Nationals 9, Braves 3.
1 - Argue all you want about the defensive stats used to judge Adam Dunn, but what we've all seen time and again is that he struggles to field, throw and catch the ball, as he did again this afternoon in the first at bat of the game when Nate McLouth rolled a two-hopper to first that the 30-year-old former outfielder and future DH couldn't handle and tossed late to the covering pitcher. Martin Prado followed with a single to move McLouth to third. DC lefty Scott Olsen, in a fight for a spot in the rotation, gave up a long fly ball to Chipper Jones, who flew out to Roger Bernadina in left for a sac fly RBI and a 1-0 lead. Matt Diaz followed with a single that moved Prado to second. Brent Clevlen lines out to right. Omar Infante grounds out to end the top of the first...Braves' right-hander Scott Proctor started in place of the scheduled starter Tommy Hanson, who got his work in a minor league game since rain was expected this afternoon. Nyjer Morgan singled up the middle and under a diving Martin Prado for a leadoff single. Ian Desmond, in his first AB after being named the starting shortstop, takes a patient walk to set up Ryan Zimmerman with two runners, and Zimmerm..THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! 3-run HR, 3-1 Nationals. Adam Dunn fouled strike three into the Braves' catcher's glove. Josh Willingham grounds out to Chipper, and Adam Kennedy follows with flyout to left to end the first.
2 - Eric Hinske ground out weakly to get Olsen off to a good start in the second, Olsen vs Clint Sammons, swinging K. Joe Thurston flies out to Roger Bernadina, 1-2-3 second for Olsen...Jesse Sanchez gives up a bunt single to Roger Bernadina who beat the pitcher's diving toss to first. Bernadina was out at second on a grounder by Wil Nieves, who beat the DP throw to first. Willy Taveras singled by Hinske at first, Nieves to second. Nyjer Morgan dropped a bloop hit into the outfield grass to load the bases for Ian Desmond. Desmond rolls one off the mound and up the middle that Martin Prado couldn't handle, run scores, everyone safe, 4-1 Nats. Ryan Zimmerman goes down looking, for Chavez's first K. Adam Dunn rips a two-run single through the infield to make it 6-1 DC. Josh Willingham fouls strike three into Sammons' glove.
3 - Nate McLouth leads off again in the third, and this time earns the single with a line drive base hit. Martin Prado up as McLouth steals second. A groundout moves McLouth to third, and he scores on another sac fly by Chipper, just beating the throw in to the plate. 6-2 Nationals. Matt Diaz singles, but Brent Clevlen lines out to end the Braves' third...Braves' left-hander Mariano Gomez walks Adam Kennedy in front of Roger Bernadina. Bernadina flies out to right, Kennedy stays put. Wil Nieves grounds into the inning-ending DP.
4 - Infante vs Olsen. Groundout to third. Olsen vs Hinske? Flies out to the luckiest outfielder in baseball Willy Taveras. Clint Sammons gives Taveras one more to catch, Olsen through a scoreless fourth...Mariano Gomez is back on the mound against Taveras, Morgan and Desmond. Willy Taveras lines one over Chipper's head at third for a leadoff single. Nyjer Morgan lines to center for a single, Taveras to second. Ian Desmond scores Taveras from there with a single that sneaks under the pitcher's glove and rolls into center. Double steal by Desmond and Morgan. Ryan Zimmerman scores Morgan from third with a groundout to short, 8-2 Nationals. Adam Dunn grounds out to first to score Desmond, 9-2 for the run-creatin' Nats. Josh Willingham lines by Chipper at third for another single. Adam Kennedy lines out to left to end the inning.
5 - Joe Thurston grounds out to start Olsen's fifth. Nate McLouth almost beats out a slow grounder to Dunn. Martin Prado laces a two-out single through the infield. Chipper Jones hits a two-out single back up the middle off Olsen, and leaves the game for a pinch runner. Matt Diaz K's swinging to end the inning. Olsen through 5.0 with the lead...Erik Cordier on for Atlanta. Roger Bernadina lines out to Brent Clevlen. Wil Nieves does the same. Willy Taveras grounds out to Brooks Conrad to end the fifth.
6 - Scott Olsen gives up a line drive single to Brent Clevlen, who leads off the sixth. After striking out Omar Infante with a fastball up high, Olsen's done. Sean Burnett takes over for Olsen. Eric Hinske flies out to Nyjer Morgan in center. Clint Sammons flies out to Bernadina, Burnett ends the Braves' sixth...Nyjer Morgan reaches first on a grounder to third that Juan Gonzalez can't handle. Braves' righty Cordier, gets the DP grounder out of Desmond. Eric Bruntlett pops out to end the sixth.
7 - Matt Capps vs Joe Thurston to start the seventh. Capps pops up the Braves' outfielder. ATL infielder Brandon Hicks K's swinging. Capps vs Prado. Brooks Conrad K's on three-straight pitches...Cordier vs Adam Dunn to start the Nats' seventh. Dunn K's again. Josh Willingham flies out to center, Matt Young's got it. Adam Kennedy hits a two-out single for the Nats' first hit off Cordier. Cristian Guzman gets a pinch hit chance, and grounds out to end the seventh.
8 - Luis Atilano starts the seventh on the hill against Brandon Hicks, who walks. Adam Milligan flies out to Willy Taveras in right. Brent Clevlen singles off Atilano. Juan Gonzalez flies out to left. Braves' 1B Freddie Freeman singles Hicks in from second to make it 9-3 Nationals. Clint Sammons grounds out to end the top o' the eighth. Devin Ivany vs Cordier. Brooks Conrad makes a running catch over his shoulder on a pop fly from Willy Taveras. Mike "Cristian Guzman" Daniel singles to get pinch hitter Alberto Gonzalez an AB, and Gonzalez K's to end the eighth. Cordier's unstoppable...
9 - Top o' the ninth...Luis Atilano vs Joe Thurston in the top of the frame. Thurston flies out to left. Matt Young K's swinging. Brooks Conrad singles on a 2-2 pitch from Atilano. Brandon Hicks grounds out to end it, 9-3 Nats final.