Thursday Finale Top 5:
5. Why Bernie In Left Again?: With Josh Willingham DL'd and headed for season-ending surgery, and Adam Dunn getting a break from his struggles at the plate and first base, the Nationals have Roger Bernadina starting in left for the first time since May 5th, and Willie Harris in right with Michael Morse in at first for Dunn in the series finale. Willie Harris misplays the first liner hit his way today, but it doesn't cost Nats' left-hander John Lannan who throws two scoreless as the Nats get out to a lead...
4. "Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me?" - souldrummer: Michael Morse was 15 for 41 in July, hitting .385 with a .415 OBP and .718 SLG in 16 games, 9 of them starts, but with Nyjer Morgan on the DL the last few weeks, and Morse starting in 14 games so far in August, the 28-year-old outfielder and backup first baseman's hit in just 8 of 52 AB's (.160/.192/.300) with 2 walks and 11 K's in 14 games. But Morse sent two hits out to right field last night for his first multi-hit game since August 4th, and in the the second this afternoon he took Derek Lowe deep to left, lifting a hanging curve over the wall to get the Nats out to an early 1-0 lead. Morse's 9th HR of 2010 is his first HR in 8 games.
3. Morgan's Back: Nyjer Morgan sends a two-out single screaming back up the middle, nearly removing Derek Lowe's cap, then the Nats' leadoff man and center fielder steals second to set himself up to score when Ian Desmond comes through with the second-straight two-out hit. 2-0 Nats. Morgan singles again to start the Nats' sixth, takes second on a wild pitch, third on a sac bunt by Ian Desmond and scores on an RBI double by Roger Bernadina to make it 3-0 Nats. 4-0 when Bernie scores on an RBI single by Ryan Zimmerman. Morgan ends the game 2 for 5 with two runs scored and his 30th stolen base. But Bernadina's not going to bat third every day, so who leads off now that Morgan's back?
2. Lannan's Got Grounders and K's: 8 groundouts, 1 flyout, 5 K's, 1 BB, 2 ER and 5 hits allowed in 5.1 IP. John Lannan let runners on in four of his first five innings on the hill without giving up a run, and came back out for the sixth with only 79 pitches thrown, only to implode. Lannan gives up back-to-back singles by Omar Infante and Jason Heyward and a one-out, two-run double to Matt Diaz that gets Atlanta on the board, 4-2 D.C., and Lannan walks Brian McCann before Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman decides he's had enough after 105 pitches, lifting the lefty for right-hander Joel Peralta with runners on first and second and Alex Gonzalez due up with one down. Gonzalez pops out foul of first, but Diaz was running on the pitch, 3-6 double play, fly ball to Morse off first and Diaz doubled up at second. Nats lead 4-2 after six and 6-2 after Adam Kennedy's leadoff walk and Willie Harris' two-run HR in the ninth...
1. Ramos Fever: The Twitterers were impressed with the Nats' catcher Wilson Ramos' first two at bats this afternoon, in which the 22-year-old catcher acquired in a deadline deal for Matt Capps took a total of 18 pitches, fouling off three two-strike pitches and taking two balls from Derek Lowe for a full-count in the first before he K'd looking and taking the Braves' right-hander nine pitches deep in his second AB before flying out to center to start the fifth. Lowe got the catcher swinging on four pitches in his third plate appearance as a Nat in the seventh, and then Ramos showed off his defensive skills (really Martin Prado dropped a horrible bunt down) when Ramos jumped up to cut down the lead runner at third on a sac bunt attempt by Martin Prado in the eighth, after Tyler Clippard'd issued back-to-back walks to start the Braves' half of the frame. Clippard gets a flyout from Matt Diaz and Sean Burnett gets a line drive to first from Brian McCann to end any threat...And The Nats' Flat-Brimmed Closer Drew Storen comes on in a non-save situation and records a quick scoreless ninth.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
|Num||Name - Comments:|
|1||Mevans12 - 176|
|2||souldrummer - 138|
|3||Jorgath - 105|
|4||Doghouse - 104|
|5||grizzy - 75|
|6||Doncosmic - 67|
|7||RoscoeNats - 56|
|8||Steck It Out - 53|
|9||MissB - 41|
|10||Dave from NNN - 38|
• Final Score: Nats 6, Braves 2.
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: "Game 121: Nice."
- Full Pull: John Lannan (+5.0%) goes 5.1 IP with 2ER, 5K and 1BB, but Joel Peralta (+13.5%) has to come in for one pitch to bail him out of a two-on jam with a foul-pop DP (+13.5%) to finish the 6th. Tyler Clippard (+3.4%) strikes out the side in the 7th, but gets into a jam in the 8th--Sean Burnett (+11.8%) gets the big out.
- All this, and Dunn-D? Michael Morse (+7.9%) goes yard in the 2nd for the early lead (+11.7%), and robs a game-tying two-run hit by snaring a liner in the 8th (+11.8%).
- Big Willie Style: Willie Harris (+1.0%) hits a two-run shot to rob Drew Storen (+1.4%) of a save chance, and makes a spectacular diving catch in LF.
- More hope for the future: Ian Desmond (+10.5%) is 1-2 with a walk, while Wilson Ramos (-4.7%) is 0-4 with some long ABs and a nice play throwing out the lead runner at 3rd on a sac bunt attempt (+11.0%).
- Nationals now 52-69.