QUICK RECAP: It took Washington Nationals' left-hander John Lannan 34 pitches to get through the first, as the Colorado Rockies collected 2 runs on two outs with Lannan allowing back-to-back hits by Carlos Gonzalez, who singled, and Dexter Fowler, who doubled, followed by a sac fly from Jason Giambi and an RBI groundout by Troy Tulotwitzki to put the Rockies up 2-0 after a half-inning of play. Lannan leaves a full-count curve up and over the plate for Brad Hawpe, whose HR to right-center and over the out-of-town scoreboard in the third gives the Rockies a 3-0 lead. But that's quickly erased by the Nationals in the bottom of the frame, when Adam Dunn doubles in Nyjer Morgan and Ryan Zimmerman, whose leadoff bunt and one-out single set the Nats' clean-up hitter up with an opportunity to get hot after his slow start to the season. 3-2 Rockies, and 3-3 when Josh Willingham singles Dunn in from second in the next AB, steals second one out later and scores the go-ahead run on a fielding error by Rockies' second baseman Clint Barmes on a grounder by Adam Kennedy which should've ended the third for Colorado right-hander Jason Hammel, but ends up putting the visiting team down 4-3 after three instead...(cont)...
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
• Quick Game Report (cont.)
• Zimmerman Injured.
• Jason Marquis To DL. Really?
• Full Game Report.
• QUICK RECAP (cont)...
The Rockies, of course, come back to tie it in the top of the fourth, with a leadoff single by Barmes, a sac bunt by the pitcher and an RBI line drive by Carlos Gonzalez negating the Nats' hard work in the previous frame. John Lannan's done after 6.0 IP, 11 hits, 4 R, 1 HR and 1 walk allowed, having thrown 107 pitches, 71 for strikes, with 9 groundouts, 7 flyouts and 1 K from the 29 batters he faces. Hammels manages to get through the seventh, holding Washington to 8 hits and 4 runs, 3 of them earned, but Rockies' reliever Rafael Betancourt surrenders the lead almost immediately upon taking over in the bottom of the eighth.
Nats' backstop Wil Nieves follows up on a single by Josh Willingham, sac bunt by Willie Harris and an intentional walk to Adam Kennedy with an RBI double to center that scores the Hammer and moves Kennedy to third so that Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez's sac fly can score him and give DC closer Matt Capps two runs to work with in the top of the ninth. Capps needs just 22 pitches to strike out the side, after making it interesting, of course, as is the DC Closer Tradition, by giving up a two-out single to Tulowitzki and a two-out walk to Brad Hawpe before throwing a 94 mph fastball by pinch hitter Ian Stewart for a called strike three, his league-leading seventh save and the Washington Nationals' 8th win of the season.
• Final Score: Nationals 6, Rockies 4.
• Zimmerman Injured.
Ryan Zimmerman's second hamstring injury of the season isn't as bad as the first, at least according to what Zimmerman told Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore after the game, as quoted in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Ryan Zimmerman leaves game", which was updated after the win with the news that Zimmerman "did not rule out" playing the series' finale this afternoon at 4:35 pm EST. The Nats' third baseman doubled in the seventh last night but was lifted for a pinch runner when he pulled up around second instead of heading for third on what could have (potentially) been a triple. The clear grimace (or maybe look of disgust/frustration) on Zimmerman's face as he slowed had all of NatsTown holding their breath. We'll see what happens when today's starters are announced...
• Jason Marquis To DL. Really?
Shortly after the Nats' win over the Rockies last night, MLB.com's Bill Ladson (@washingnats) tweeted that, "RHP Jason Marquis has been placed on the 15-day DL because of elbow soreness," several days after everyone who watched his last start knew he was injured, but also after Marquis and the Nats assured everyone that Marquis' arm was 100%. In an article following up on the injury entitled, "Marquis placed on 15-day disabled list", MLB.com's Mr. Ladson reports that Marquis apparently has bone chips in his elbow, with DC GM Mike Rizzo (under)stating that, "'It's hard to pitch with [bone chips] in the elbow,'":
"'He was probably trying to gut it out...In my opinion, [the injury] probably has something to do with his poor performance.'"
Speculation as to which Syracuse Chiefs' starter would replace Marquis in the rotation center on Luis Atilano as of last night, exactly how long the right-handed Marquis (who signed for 2-years/$15M this winter) will be sidelined, no one is saying yet. How/when he managed to injure his elbow in Spring Training or his first few starts, no one is saying...
• FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - DC lefty John Lannan allows a leadoff single on a hanging curve to Rockies' left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who takes third on the double from Dexter Fowler that falls in fair down the line in right. Jason Giambi lines to left, Josh Willingham hustles over to make the catch, but has no chance on the throw as both runners advance. 1-0 Rockies on the sac fly. Troy Tulowitzki's groundout to short scores Fowler from third for a 2-0 lead, and Brad Hawpe lines a one-hopper off Lannan's lower leg and beats the pitcher down the line for an infield single. Melvin Mora goes with a fastball outside and lines it to right for the second-straight hit. Lannan walks Chris Iannetta to load the bases with two down...Nyjer Morgan skies a 2-2 pitch from Rockies' righty Jason Hammel to center for Dexter Fowler to get under. Cristian Guzman stares a full-count fastball all the way in. Ryan Zimmerman walks with two down and Adam Dunn beats out an infield hit that bounces off Giambi's wrist at first. Josh Willingham hits a one-hopper to short, Tulo to second.
2 - John Lannan gets the opposing pitcher Jason Hammel looking with a two-strike curve. Carlos Gonzalez hits another single and steals second with Fowler at bat. Dexter Fowler flies out to right. Lannan throws a fastball up high that Giambi chases out of the zone...Willie Harris grounds out to second. Adam Kennedy follows with a fly ball out to left for Carlos Gonzalez. Wil Nieves reaches on a error by Troy Tulowitzki, John Lannan K's on a foul tip.
3 - Troy Tulowitzki pushes Nyjer Morgan back to the track in deep center. Brad Hawpe hammers a hanging fastball to right center and over the out-of-town scoreboard for a 3-0 lead. Melvin Mora and Chris Iannetta both ground out to end the Rockies' second...Nyjer Morgan lays a bunt down the third base line that dies in the dirt for a single. Cristian Guzman flies out unproductively to left. Ryan Zimmerman lines a single up the middle, Morgan to second. Two on for Dunn. Adam Dunn drives a grounder by Jason Giambi and scores two with a double to right. Josh Willingham ties it with a line drive to left, 3-3 game. Adam Kennedy grounds to second, Clint Barmes boots it, literally, kicking the ball across the infield, Hammer scores, 4-3 Nationals. John Lannan takes a curve on the outside corner for a called strike three.
4 - Lannan gives up a leadoff single to Clint Barmes. Jason Hammel gets the sac bunt down and moves Barmes up. Carlos Gonzalez lines to short, Guzman's holding Barmes on, so it sails by short and into left center and Josh Willingham's throw home is a second late, so it's tied at 4-4. Ryan Zimmerman fields and throws quickly to beat Dexter Fowler to first. Jason Giambi hits a two-out single deep in the hole at short, Guzman's odd throw doesn't make it in time, bouncing once or twice. Tulowitzki pops out to second...Nyjer Morgan bunts again, but gets called out for being in the basepath when he collides with Dunn's arm at first. Cristian Guzman grounds out to second, Ryan Zimmerman flies to center to end the inning.
5 - Hawpe grounds to second on a 2-2 curve, Mora grounds to short for out no.2. Iannetta flies to right and it's a quick scoreless fifth for Lannan...Adam Dunn hits a high fly to Fowler in center. Josh Willingham grounds out to third. Two down. Willie Harris K's swinging over a low sinking fastball that avoids his bat.
6 - John Lannan gets a fly ball out to left from Barmes to Willingham. Jason Hammel reaches when he bounces one off Lannan that dies behind the mound. Carlos Gonzalez singles on a grounder to right, but Ryan Zimmerman fields and throws to start the 5-4-3 inning-ending DP...Adam Kennedy chases a two-strike heater upstairs. Wil Nieves grounds a 2-2 pitch from Hammel to short. Justin Maxwell swings at a first-pitch curve and flies out to center.
7 - Tyler Clippard drops a two-strike change on the outside corner to get Jason Giambi looking. Troy Tulowitzki gets an 0-2 pitch that's too nice for that count and he drills it to center for a single. Hawpe pops out to Ryan Zimmerman foul of third. Willie Harris charges in on a foul ball by Mora and makes the grab for the final out....Nyjer Morgan battles Hammels and wins, singling through second. Cristian Guzman ground out to second and Morgan's caught and tagged in a rundown. Ryan Zimmerman doubles to right field, but pulls up lame at second and is pulled from the game. Adam Dunn flies out to end the seventh.
8 - Tyler Clippard pops Chris Iannetta up after a 10-pitch at bat. Clint Barmes realizes strike three is coming too late and throws his bat at it as it drops into the zone. Clippard walks Seth Smith with two down. Carlos Gonzalez K's swinging through fastballs outside...Josh Willingham is on to start the Nats' eighth after a liner off Mora's glove at third. A sac bunt by Willie Harris off Rockies' reliever Rafael Betancourt moves Hammer up. Adam Kennedy gets the intentionals. Wil Nieves drives a liner to left center and into the gap, Nieves knocks Willingham in, 5-4 Nats. Pudge Rodriguez lines to left, Fowler gets there, but no chance on the throw, Kennedy scores. 6-4 Nationals. Joe Beimel gets Nyjer Morgan to fly out to center.
9 - Capps vs Fowler. Strike three looking. Giambi down swinging. Troy Tulowitzki keeps hope alive for Colorado, singling up the middle with two down. Brad Hawpe walks to put two on for pinch hitter Ian Stewart. It takes Capps six pitches, but he FINALLY GETS STEWART LOOKING!! Strike three, ballgame. Nats win, 6-4 final.
Nats now 8-7.