Tonight's Top 5:
5. You asked for it, impatient Dunn-haters! Meet "Impatient Dunn" who swings at everything. Adam Dunn starts the Nats' second with an opposite field line drive single off Tim Hudson on a 1-1 fastball outside, a night after some questioned his willingness to take pitches out of the zone. In his second AB, however, with two on and one out, Dunn was swinging again and this time he rolled one right into an inning-ending DP...How ya like walks now? Well Dunn, uh, gets it done in the seventh, connecting on Tim Hudson's full-count fastball inside and driving it deeeep to right and GONE! Solo HR, 2-0 Nats in the seventh.
4. Pudge Rodriguez. With the game scoreless through the top of the fifth, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez scored the Nationals' first run when he lifted one to left and over the wall into the visitor's bullpen to put the Nats up on ATL right-hander Tim Hudson, who'd historically dominated the Nats before these Nats. The 38-year-old catcher's hitting .403 after going 1 for 3, with a .429 OBP, .545 SLG, 8 doubles, 1 HR and 12 RBI's in 22 games. Pudge also had Nats' lefty Scott Olsen pitching with a chip on his shoulder (as Olsen described himself in a post game interview), on a night that almost made history...
3. Ian Desmond is legit. Not much with the bat tonight from the Nats' 24-year-old shortstop, who was 0 for 3, but a sharp play on a pop behind second and a few slick fielding plays on sharp grounders that might have been hits if "someone else" was at short, and a desperate dive on a hit by David Ross which ruined what would've been a great No.1...
2. THE KIDS CALL HIM FORGIVEN!!! (After The JUMP!)
2. THE KIDS CALL HIM FORGIVEN!!!
Two great stabs and two bad throws to second from third were all but forgotten when Ryan Zimmerman doubled off his old friend Peter Moylan with the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, but this one doesn't go out of Nationals Park for a walk-off winner, it's a double off the wall in right that moves Adam Kennedy from first to third after Braves' reliever Eric O'Flaherty'd walked him and started the game-winning rally in the home-half of the inning. Pinch hitter Cristian Guzman gets the intentionals to load the bases for Willie Harris, who singles through second to win it. Zimmerman, the '09 Gold Glover, had twice tried to force double plays that weren't there and twice made throwing errors, once in the eighth, when he threw away a DP throw to second on sharp grounder by Melky Cabrera leading to the game-tying runs, and once in the ninth, on a Troy Glaus' grounder that put runners on first and third with one out. A walk to load the bases and a DP grounder followed, keeping it tied after nine and setting Zim up for redemption...
1. Scott Olsen was five outs away from the Washington Nationals' first no-hitter and the first in franchise history since Montreal Expos' legend "El Presidente" Dennis Martinez's perfect game against the LA Dodgers on July 28th 1991, and the first by a DC-based starter since left-hander Bobby Burke threw a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox...for the Washington Senators on August 8th 1931. Scott Olsen, with Pudge again behind the plate, holds the Atlanta Braves hitless through seven and gets one out in the eighth before allowing a line drive single to left by the Braves' back-up backstop David Ross. Olsen ends up with 8 K's after 7.1 hitless IP, over which he threw 97 pitches, 65 for strikes and got 9 groundouts and 5 flyouts from the 26 batters he faced. Olsen came into the game with a streak of 13.0 scoreless innings, and the left-hander stretched it to 20.0 before he finally allowed a run. More stunning possibly, was how quickly it all fell apart. After the first hit, and Ryan Zimmerman's throwing error on a grounder to third with Ross on, Olsen gives up a second hit to Nate McLouth, loading the bases and ending his night. Tyler Clippard gave up the single that scored the two runners Olsen put on, then got a DP grounder to end the a long eighth with it tied at 2-2...
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
• Final Score: 3-2 Nats.
• Game Three Comment Battle Royal: Talking Chop: 928, Federal Baseball: 590 (That's Ugly!)
• Three Game Series: Nationals 2, Braves 1. (Word.)
Nationals now 15-13.
FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - Nats' lefty Scott Olsen gets help from two slick plays from Ryan Zimmerman at third to get the first two outs of the game off Omar Infante and Martin Prado's bats. Chipper Jones flies out to center to the man who'll lead off the Nationals' first, Nyjer Morgan...ATL right-hander Tim Hudson gets a weak grounder and the first out from Morgan. Hudson shatters Adam Kennedy's bat and gets a slow roller to second. Ryan Zimmerman goes the other way, but Melky Cabrera gets there. 0-0 after one.
2 - Troy Glaus pops up foul of first and Adam Dunn gets over to the edge of the stands to make the grab. Olsen hits the low inside corner with an 0-2 fastball for a called strike three on Matt Diaz and gets the catcher David Ross swinging to end the top of the second...Adam Dunn leads off the Nats' second with a trademark line drive single over short. Josh Willingham K's swinging and Pudge Rodriguez grounds into an inning-ender.
3 - Scott Olsen walks Melky Cabrera to put the first Braves' runner on. Olsen gets Nate McLouth staring at a two-strike fastball up high. One down. Tim Hudson bunts Cabrera over to second. Olsen gets a swinging K out of Omar Infante and it's three scoreless in the books for Olsen...Ian Desmond grounds to short, Infante with the throw. Roger Bernadina grounds to second, Prado throws to first. Scott Olsen's slow roller ends the third right quick. 0-0.
4 - Martin Prado hits a weak grounder to second, one down. Chipper Jones grounds out to Zim at third. Two down. Troy Glaus pops up behind second and Ian Desmond sprints over to make the catch, three down...Nyjer Morgan grounds to first, Tim Hudson off the mound and over to cover. Adam Kennedy lines a weak fly over second for a one-out single off Hudson. Ryan Zimmerman with the swinging bunt toward third, Chipper Jones can't make the play. Two on, one out with Dunn up against Hudson. Grounder to second, Prado to Infante to Glaus, double play. 0-0.
5 - Matt Diaz is called out on strikes to start the fifth, and he doesn't like that one either. David Ross flies out to left. Melky Cabrera pops out to second, 1-2-3 fifth from Olsen...Josh Willingham grounds out to second, Prado throws to first, one down. Pudge Rodriguez rips one to left and into the visitor's bullpen! GONE!! 1-0 Nats on Pudge's first HR of the year. Ian Desmond grounds out to short, two down. Roger Bernadina K's chasing junk out of the zone. 1-0 Nats after five.
6 - Nate McLouth grounds out to first to start the sixth. Olsen drops an 0-2 curve on the outside corner to get Tim Hudson looking, and then throws a high heater by Omar Infante for a swinging K to end the Braves' sixth...Scott Olsen grounds out to third to start the Nats' half. Nyjer Morgan grounds to third and it eats up Chipper, Morgan on on the error. Adam Kennedy takes one in the shin. Two on for Zimmerman. Grounder to second, Prado to Infante to Glaus, double play.
7 - Martin Prado rips a grounder to short, and Desmond fields the high-hopper and throws to first, in time!! One down. Ian Desmond throws out Chipper on a weak grounder. Troy Glaus grounds to third, 1-2-3 seventh for Olsen...Adam Dunn leads off the Nats' seventh with a long fly ball to right and GONE!! SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!! 2-0 Nats on Dunn's sixth. Josh Willingham K's trying to hold up on a ball in the dirt. One down. Omar Infante makes a snowcone grab on a grounder by Pudge. Ian Desmond K's to end the Nats' seventh. 2-0 Nats.
8 - Olsen vs Matt Diaz in the eighth. Backwards K on a fastball inside that's called strike three. David Ross rips a line drive through short. Single. First hit of the game. The DC Faithful stand and applaud!!! Melky Cabrera grounds sharply to third, Zim backhands and fires, over second, both runners safe. Two on, one out. Nate McLouth grounds through second for another single. Bases loaded. Olsen's done. Tyler Clippard vs Jason Heyward with the bases loaded. Line drive to left, it falls in front of Bernadina, two runs score. 2-2 game. Clippard gets a grounder from Omar Infante to short, Desmond to Alberto Gonzalez to Adam Kennedy, double play to end the Braves' eighth...Eric O'Flaherty on for Atlanta. Roger Bernadina tries to bunt his way on, nope. Justin Maxwell K's swinging through a 90mph fastball. Nyjer Morgan flies out to center to end the Nats' eighth.
9 - Tyler Clippard vs Prado in the top of the ninth. Grounder to short, Ian Desmond's got it. One down. Clippard misses with a low 3-1 fastball and walks Chipper Jones. Troy Glaus grounds to third, Zim makes the play, but throws it away. First and third on the E. Matt Diaz takes a fastball up high to make it 3-1, ball four. Bases loaded. David Ross, who broke up the no-no in the eighth, grounds to short, Desmond to Gonzalez to Kennedy at first, double play...Adam Kennedy vs O'Flaherty. Leadoff walk. Peter Moylan replaces O'Flaherty. Ryan Zimmerman doubles off the right field wall, just missing the walk-off. Kennedy to third. Guzman takes the intentional walk in front of Willie Harris, who rips a single through second to score Kennedy!! BALLGAME!! 3-2 Nats.
Nationals now 15-13.