• I doubt you'll find many people out there who would've predicted 7.0 scoreless from Scott Olsen in the third game of three against the LA Dodgers in DC on Sunday afternoon, but the Nats' 26-year-old left-handed starter held the visitors scoreless in spite of early struggles which saw Olsen load the bases on three-straight one-out singles and throw a total of 21 pitches in the first before he escaped by striking out Casey Blake and popping up Ronnie Belliard to end the threat. An Adam Dunn RBI groundout in the home-half of the first put the Nationals up 1-0 after one. A one-out double by Casey Blake was the only other hit Olsen allowed through four. In the fifth, Olsen walked the opposing pitcher Chad Billingsley with one down, but stranded him at first, and he gave up a two-out single to Casey Blake in the sixth before Ronnie Belliard hit a fly ball out to left to end Olsen's sixth scoreless. A one-out single to Reed Johnson in the seventh brought Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman to the mound, but according to the manager, Olsen assured him he was good to go:
Jim Riggleman: "Before he went out there, (for the 7th), my plan was to have him face [Garret] Anderson and that was it, and then he pitched Anderson real tough and he faced [Reed] Johnson (who singled), and when they put [Andre] Ethier up there I just asked him if you got enough left to get this guy, cause if you don't we got Clip(pard) ready to go, and he said, 'No, I feel good. I'm going to throw him a bunch of sliders here and see what we can get,' so he just sucked it up and gave us everything he had on that last hitter."
Five pitches later...(cont.)
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Quick Recap: (cont)...
Five pitches later...(none of which were sliders acc. to MLB.com Gameday, odd?), Olsen got the double play grounder he needed from Ethier and completed his seventh scoreless frame with the Nationals still ahead 1-0. Tyler Clippard retired the Dodgers in order in the eighth with the help of a diving catch by Josh Willingham on a line drive to left by Rafael Furcal, and Matt Capps closed out Olsen's first win of the season with the help of a spectacular diving (and possibly game-saving) catch by Justin Maxwell on a line drive to right by Ronnie Belliard after James Loney had doubled to left off Capps to start the ninth...
• Olsen's Line: (W, 1-0), 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K's, 99 pitches, 77 for strikes.
• Clipplard's Line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 K.
• Capps' Line: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K.
-- First 1-0 Nats' Win since September 16, 2008 vs NY Mets.
-- After today, Tyler Clippard (3-0), 0.61 ERA in 9 G, 14.2 IP over which he's allowed 6 H, 1 ER with 5 BB, 19 K's.
-- Capps' 8 Saves lead Majors.
FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - Nats' left-hander Scott Olsen gets a high fly ball to left from Rafael Furcal that Josh Willingham gets under for the first out of the afternoon. LA backstop Russell Martin works the count full, fouls one off and rips a single to center for the first hit of the game. Matt Kemp lines to center to put two on with one out. James Loney does the same, single to center, bases loaded. One out. Olsen gets Casey Blake to chase an 0-2 slider out of the zone. Two outs. Ronnie Belliard flies out to Nyjer Morgan in center to end the Dodgers' first...Morgan leads off with a sliced single to left off LA right-hander Chad Billingsley. Four straight balls to Adam Kennedy and a sac bunt by Cristian Guzman put two in scoring position for Adam Dunn. Dunn rips a line drive to second to score a run, but Ronnie Belliard knocks it down to get Dunn at first. 1-0 Nats. Two down. Josh Willingham swings through a 2-2 fastball upstairs, 1-0 Nats after one.
2 - Fastball followed by two changeups and Scott Olsen gets Garret Anderson swinging to start the second. Reed Johnson has his bat broken as he flies out to left. It takes 9 pitches, but Olsen eventually gets the opposing pitcher looking at a fastball...Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez grounds over the mound to Belliard at second for the first out of the Nats' second. Ian Desmond sends a high fly soaring to center. Justin Maxwell takes a low 1-2 slider for a called strike three.
3 - Rafael Furcal bunts toward first, Adam Dunn fields and blocks the line. One down. Russell Martin and Matt Kemp follow with groundouts to short for a quick scoreless frame by Scott Olsen...Olsen's down swinging on three pitches to start the Nationals' third. Nyjer Morgan works the count full and lines a single to center off Billingsley. Adam Kennedy up, and Morgan's nailed trying to steal second. Kennedy flies to center, 1-0 Nats after three.
4 - James Loney K's looking at an 80 mph 1-2 change. Casey Blake lines a double off the wall in left. Ronnie Belliard flies out to Willingham in left, and Olsen gets Garret Anderson to take a weak swing at a change for the final out of the frame...Cristian Guzman rips a single through second to start the Nats' fourth. Billingsley gets Dunn swinging for the first out of the inning. Josh Willingham sends a fly ball to Garret Anderson in left for the second out. Billingsley throws a 93 mph 2-2 fastball by Pudge upstairs to end the fourth.
5 - Scott Olsen gets Reed Johnson swinging at an 81 mph 1-2 change, before walking the opposing pitcher. One on, one out. Olsen gets Rafael Furcal swinging at a 2-2 slider (acc to Gameday) upstairs. Russell Martin flies out to left field and that's 5.0 scoreless for Scott Olsen...Ian Desmond grounds out to second to start the bottom of the fifth. Justin Maxwell lines one into Furcal's glove at short. Scott Olsen grounds back to the mound, 1-0 Nats after five.
6 - Matt Kemp grounds sharply to third, Adam Kennedy scoops and throws to first, in time. James Loney lines out to center, Nyjer Morgan's there. Casey Blake works the count full and rips a single through short. Ronnie Belliard flies out to left to end Olsen's sixth scoreless...Nyjer Morgan almost beats out a routine grounder to short. Adam Kennedy grounds to second. The Guzzzzzzz!! Cristian Guzman flies to left center, and a diving Matt Kemp comes up empty. Double for the Guzzzz, and Dunn gets the intentionals. Josh Willingham grounds out to second to end the sixth. 1-0 Nationals.
7 - Olsen throws four-straight sliders to Garret Anderson for the swinging K to start the seventh, but gives up a one-out single to Reed Johnson on an 0-1 change. Andre Ethier grounds to short, Desmond to Guzman to Dunn, double play to end Olsen's seventh scoreless...Ivan Rodriguez grounds out to third. Ian Desmond K's swinging. Justin Maxwell vs Ramon Troncoso, who took over to start the inning. Justin Maxwell takes a two-out walk to get Ryan Zimmerman a pinch hit AB. Line drive to second, Belliard makes the play. 1-0 Nats after seven.
8 - Josh Willingham charges in and dives to rob Rafael Furcal of a leadoff single. Tyler Clippard throws a 92 mph fastball by Russell Martin for a swinging K. Matt Kemp flies to Willingham in left on a full-count change from Clippard for the final out of the Dodgers' eighth...Nyjer Morgan gets robbed by Furcal on a one-hop grounder to short. One down. Adam Kennedy flies out to Reed Johnson in right. Guzman K's swinging to end the eighth.
9 - Matt Capps on to close it. James Loney lines a 2-2 pitch to left, just over Adam Kennedy's glove. Casey Blake up with Jamey Carroll on to run for Loney. Blake grounds to second, Guzman checks the runner and throws to first. Ronnie Belliard flies to right it's droppi--JUSTIN MAXWELL MAKES A DIVING CATCH!!! Garret Anderson flies out to center. Ballgame.
Nationals now 10-9.