Citi Field Top 5:
5. Be Like Livan, Minus The Pitch Count. A 31-pitch first inning in which Nats' right-hander Luis Atilano loads the bases with two outs and then strikes out David Wright and Ike Davis to escape with a scoreless frame is Livan-esque for sure, but not the good parts of Livan's game. The rookie starter recovers from the rough start to retire thirteen of the next fifteen batters he faces as the Nats get out to a 2-0 lead and Atilano holds it through 5.1 IP, when he surrenders back to back singles and is lifted for the Nats' new lefty Doug Slaten, who quickly gets the Nats out of the inning (see. no.3) and preserves Atilano's lead. Atilano's Line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K's, 102 pitches, 59 strikes, 5 groundouts, 6 flyouts, and if the Nats could hold it his third win in four starts.
4. Back To Back, Annnnd Belly To Belly!! Sorry, Wrong NY Team!! Top of the third. After Adam Kennedy works his way back from being down 0-2 to a full count, John Maine leaves a fastball inside and up and Kennedy destroys it, solo HR to right, 1-0 Nationals until two pitches later when Ryan Zimmerm---THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Ryan Zimmerman crushes the second-straight HR to left, into the wind and over the wall!!! Back-to-back dingers and it's 2-0 Nats after two and a half. Kennedy's 2nd, Zimmerman's 6th. 2-0 Nationals after six.
3. Doug Slaten!! Not One Of Us? Called up in the sixth after Luis Atilano gives up two one-out singles to Jason Bay and David Wright and gets lifted, the Nationals' debuting left-hander gets Ike Davis to line weakly toward third on the first pitch he sees and Ryan Zimmerman charges, makes the catch, and fires to first to double up David Wright and avoid the first-appearance HR jinx that has plagued Nats' relievers like Sean Burnett and Drew Storen, both of whom gave up HR's to the first batters they faced after joining the Nats.
No.'s 2 and 1 after the JUMP...
2. New Number New Tyler Walker And The B-Bullpen!!! In a tweet earlier this afternoon, Nats' right-hander Tyler Walker informed fans through Washington Post reporter Adam Kilgore's (@AdamKilgoreWP) twitter that he'd changed his jersey number in an attempt to change his luck:
"Tyler Walker changed his uniform number from 25 to 39. Said the old wasn't working and his wife (said) anything w/ 3 is good luck. #Nats"
Walker's called upon after in the seventh after Doug Slaten gives up a two-out RBI single to Angel Pagan that makes it 2-1 Nats, and he strikes Jose Reyes out looking to end the inning and strand both runners Slaten let on. The Nationals score a run in the eighth to go up 3-1, and Sean Burnett's called upon to face lefty Ike Davis after Walker surrenders a one-out single to David Wright in the Mets' eighth and Burnett gives up the second straight single to Davis to put two on in front of Jeff Francoeur. Brian Bruney replaces Burnett, no Tyler Clippard or Matt Capps tonight. Bruney gets Frenchy swinging and then pops up Rod Barajas to end the eighth. Miguel Batista "handles" the ninth, surrendering a solo HR to Angel Pagan and a two-out single to Alex Cora before finally shutting the door. 3-2 Nats final.
1. PUDGE!!!!! Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez ends the night hitting .393 after going 4 for 4, guides Luis Atilano to his third win in 4 starts and drives in what eventually ends up being the winning run with the third straight hit to start the Nats' eighth off Mets' left-hander Pedro Feliciano. Pudge starts the second inning off with his 9th double of 2010, but gets stranded at second. In the sixth, Pudge singles and gets thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on a two-out hit by Atilano, and in the eighth the 38-year-old veteran follows up on hits by Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham with a run-scoring hit that brings Dunn's pinch runner in to make it 3-1 so the solo shot Miguel Batista allows in the ninth just makes it close.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
• Comment Battle Royal: Federal Baseball: 1198!!! Amazin' Avenue: 1,465. (Boo!)
FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - Nyjer Morgan's immediately down 0-2, but he fights his way back to a full count and singles to center to start the first of three in Citi Field. Mets' right-hander John Maine gets behind Adam Kennedy and eventually walks him to put two on in front of Ryan Zimmerman, who lines out to right and Jeff Francoeur almost doubles Nyjer Morgan up at second. Double steal with Adam Dunn at the plate. Second and third with one out. Dunn K's swinging for the second out. Josh Willingham K's swinging at a 2-2 fastball and the Nationals strand two...Nats' right-hander Luis Atilano gives up a leadoff single to Angel Pagan. Pagan steals second and Atilano walks Luis Castillo in front of Ryan Zimmerman, I mean Jose Reyes, who K's swinging ahead of a two-strike change. Jason Bay walks to load the bases. Atilano throws a fastball by David Wright and gets a swinging K. Ike Davis meet Atilano's change, swinging K, three stranded, no score after one.
2 - Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez lines a leadoff double to right and slides in ahead of Jeff Francoeur's throw. Roger Bernadina flies out to Pagan in center. Ian Desmond K's looking at a fastball outside. Two down. Luis Atilano fouls off a few and works the count full but pops out to short right to end the Nats' second...Francoeur K's looking. Rod Barajas flies out to right, Bernadina has it, and the pitcher K's swinging, no score after two.
3 - Morgan leads off the third with a bunt attempt that's unsuccessful. One out. Adam Kennedy goes down 0-2, but battles back and destroys a fastball inside and low, and out to right, 1-0 Nats. Ryan Zimmerman takes a change from Maine deeeeeeep to left and GONE!!! Over the high wall into the wind. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! Back-to-back HR's and a 2-0 Nats' lead. Adam Dunn walks, but Josh Willingham pops out to short. Two down. Pudge Rodriguez singles up the middle, Dunn to second. Roger Bernadina grounds out to first, 2-0 Nats...Angel Pagan grounds to second. Luis Castillo grounds to short. Two down. Jose Reyes singles up the middle on a weak bouncer. Josh Willingham pulls up short of the wall down the line in left and catches Jason Bay's flyout.
4 - Ian Desmond flies out to center for Angel Pagan. Luis Atilano grounds out to third. Two down. Nyjer Morgan K's swinging in a quick scoreless fourth...David Wright pops out behind second, Adam Kennedy makes the catch. Ike Davis flies out to right, Atilano's got two outs in the fourth. Frenchy flies out to Bernadina in right. 2-0 Nats after four.
5 - Adam Kennedy takes ball four for a leadoff walk from Maine. Ryan Zimmerman goes deeeeep to right and Frenchy gets there, Kennedy never thougth he would, and he gets doubled up at first while he's still running back around second. Adam Dunn flies out to Pagan in right, 2-0 Nats in the fifth...Rod Barajas starts the home-half of the frame with a double to the right-center gap. John Maine moves Barajas into scoring position with a sac bunt. Pagan grounds out to Atilano. Two down. Barajas to third. Luis Castillo flies to center, Morgan's on it. 2-0 Nats after five.
6 - Josh Willingham flies out to left for Jason Bay and there's one down in the sixth. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez singles by Wright at third on a sharp, sharp ground ball. Roger Bernadina K's on what looks like a hit-and-run gone awry, but Pudge somehow beats Barajas' throw to second. Ian Desmond gets the intentionals. Luis Atilano singles to center, Pudge tries to score from second and gets nailed at the plate on Pagan's throw in. 2-0 Nats in the sixth...Jose Reyes grounds out to Adam Kennedy at second to start the Nats' sixth. Jason Bay singles with one down to bring up David Wright. Wright gets backed off the plate with a fastball inside then lines a change to left, two on, one out. Atilano's done. Doug Slaten on to face left-hander Ike Davis. Davis pops toward third, Zimmerman makes the catch and fires to first to double up Wright, Double Play!!! 2-0 Nats after six.
7 - Hisanori Takahashi vs Nyjer Morgan in the seventh. Jose Reyes hustles over to catch a foul pop fly off Morgan's bat. Adam Kennedy pops out to Ike Davis at first. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to Angel Pagan in center and it's 2-0 Nats after six and a half...Jeff Francoeur grounds weakly to first, Dunn fields and tosses to first, too late. Francoeur's safe. Rod Barajas flies to shallow right field and it drops in front of Bernadina. Frenchy to third. Gary Matthews Jr. makes a pinch hit appearance, and K's swinging, one down. Angel Pagan grounds back to the mound, Slaten throws home and they get Frenchy in a rundown!! Two down. Luis Castillo lines to left and Barajas scores from second ahead of Willingham's throw. 2-1 Nats. Tyler Walker on against Jose Reyes. Strike three looking!! Stare at it Reyes!!!
8 - Adam Dunn rips a grounder off Pedro Feliciano and off Ike Davis and into right for a leadoff double. Willy Taveras on to run for Dunn. Josh Willingham lines to left, Taveras is careful and waits til it drops, taking third. Pudge Rodriguez lines to right and Taveras scores. Hammer to second, 3-1 Nats. Roger Bernadina K's after failing to get the bunt down. Jenrry Mejia on to face Desmond. Desmond grounds to second, Castillo to Cora to Davis, double play...Jason Bay K's looking at a two-strike slider. David Wright reaches safely when Ian Desmond fails to come up with a grounder up the middle. Sean Burnett replaces Walker, and gives up a single to Ike Davis to put two on with one out. Brian Bruney vs Francoeur. Frenchy K's swinging!!! Two down. Bruney throws a wild pitch over Pudge to move both runners up. Barajas pops up to the infield. 3-1 Nats.
9 - Willie Harris grounds out to second. One down for Mejia. Nyjer Morgan grounds back to the mound and off the pitcher's hand to short, Morgan beats the throw from Alex Cora. With Adam Kennedy up, Morgan swipes second on a delayed steal. Kennedy K's swinging through a changeup. Ryan Zimmerman gets the intentionals to bring up Willy Taveras. Taveras grounds up the middle, Alex Cora gets there and dives on it, tossing from his back to second for the force...Miguel Batista vs Frank Catalanotto. Grounder to second. ONE!!! Angel Pagan takes Batista deeeep to center and GONE! HR. 3-2 Nats. Luis Castillo takes strike three on a full-count fastball!!! Two down. Alex Cora singles to center to bring Jason Bay to the plate. Bay K's swinging!! NATS WIN!! 3-2 final.