Tonight's Top 5:
5. Where Your Pitchers Are Going: In case you missed the reports and the reports on the reports, Stephen Strasburg threw a quick bullpen session Tuesday, and if all goes as planned, and no complications arise, the Nats' 22-year-old right hander should return from his mild shoulder inflammation next Tuesday night in Nationals Park...which also happens to be the night the Nats are honoring recent Hall of Fame inductee Andre Dawson (and special guest Gary Carter!!!), as they finally acknowledge the history of the franchise that moved to the nation's capital in 2005...Also, The Nats sent out an Official Press release this afternoon announcing that Yunesky Maya had been optioned to the Nationals Gulf Coast League affiliate where he'd begin working his way to the Majors. On to the game...
4. THE CALL HIM ZIM!!: D-Backs' lefty Joe Saunders gets back-to-back grounders from the first two batters he faces but then Ryan Zimmerman steps to the plate. Saunder leaves up 1-1 fastball up and inside and Zim drives it to center and off the wall for what initially seems like a double but ends up being called a HR by the ump who waves the Nats' third baseman around for the two-out solo HR. It was the last run Saunders would allow...
3. DON'T RUN ON HAMMER!!!: After Michael Morse and Nyjer Morgan misplay a line drive to right by Adam LaRoche, allowing the relatively slow-footed first baseman to take third on what should be a double, Miguel Montero flies out to left for what looks too shallow to be a sac fly. LaRoche runs anyway and a one-hop strike from Josh Willingham in left beats LaRoche to the plate. Pudge Rodriguez makes the tag. 7-2 DP!!!
2. Olsen, Whatever You Do!! No Two-Out WAL...Too Late: Michael Morse leaps at the track to catch a hard hit fly ball to right off Kelly Johnson's bat, and Nats' lefty Scott Olsen gets a ground ball to third from Justin Upton to Upton's childhood friend Ryan Zimmerman who throws out his fellow Virginian for the second out of the D-Backs' fourth. Two out. 1-1 game in the fourth after Olsen had surrendered a solo shot by Stephen Drew in the third. Adam LaRoche hits a two-out single and Olsen issues a two-out walk to Miguel Montero in front of Mark Reynolds, who makes it 4-1 with one swing at a low 1-1 fastball from the Nats' left-hander. D-Backs' lefty Joe Saunders throws a complete game, allowing just 5 hits, 1 ER and 2 walks while recording 5 K's and throwing 116 pitches, 73 for strikes in a 6-1 win.
1. Leave Bally Alone: Rob Dibble reportedly trashed him on MASN. Mark Grace hinted not-so-subtly how things would have been "taken care of" back in the day and practically encouraged retaliation on the D-Backs' feed. Tweets arrived left and right wondering why Collin Balester was still in the majors and still in the game after he hit D-Backs' third baseman Mark Reynolds in the head with a 96mph fastball that suddenly jumped up and inside as it approached the plate far too quickly for Reynolds to even react. Reynolds fell to the ground, Nats' catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez immediately came to his aid. The D-Backs' trainer and Skipper Kirk Gibson ran to home to check on Reynolds. Collin Balester approached the plate but was waved off by an angry Gibson. All I could think, after hoping Reynolds was okay, but especially after Balester struck Stephen Drew out in the next at bat, was not, "Why is Collin Balester still in the Majors?" but "Why hasn't anyone been able to fix whatever's wrong with him so that the 96mph rising heater he throws goes where he wants it to?"
After losing the fastball inside to Reynolds, (he wasn't headhunting, sorry), Balester hit the low outside corner with a 95mph heater for a called strike on Stephen Drew, followed up with another mid-90's fastball an inch farther outside that the D-Backs' shortstop bought as a strike and fouled off, which set up an 0-2 bender that broke in from the outside corner and dropped 11.5 inches across the zone from outside on the same plane as the fastballs to get Drew swinging way in front of strike three. If the Nats could get this Balester all the time, they'd have something.*
I'm pulling for Bally to get it together. You do what you want...
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
|Num||Name - Comments:|
|1||Doghouse - 110|
|2||souldrummer - 105|
|3||grizzy - 99|
|4||Mevans12 - 74|
|5||plebescite - 46|
|6||RobBobS - 38|
|7||ajk9hy - 36|
|8||Nationalpastime - 34|
|9||lynxtheone - 29|
|10||DC3 - 24|
• Final Score: D-Backs 6, Nats 1.
Nationals now 47-60.
FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - New D-Backs' lefty Joe Saunders gets two fly ball outs to center from Nyjer Morgan and Ian Desmond, but the one Ryan Zimmerman hits keeps sailing and is ruled a HR by the Ump after Chris Young pretends it's a double off the wall and slows Zim down at second. 1-0 Nats. Adam Dunn grounds into the shift to end the Nats' first...Nats' left-hander Scott Olsen gets a groundout to first from Chris Young and a grounder to second from Kelly Johnson before popping up Justin Upton to end the top of the first in Arizona.
2 - Josh Willingham beats out a grounder to short for a leadoff single in the second. Michael Morse flies out to Justin Upton in center. Pudge Rodriguez grounds to second, Kelly Johnson to Stephen Drew to Adam LaRoche, double play...Adam LaRoche hits a line drive to right that Michael Morse and Nyjer Morgan butcher. Miguel Montero flies out to left and Josh Willingham catches it coming in before firing home on one hop for Pudge to tag out LaRoche, double play. Mark Reynolds takes a curve outside and high for a called strike three.
3 - Alberto Gonzalez hits the second-straight inning-opening triple. Joe Saunders strikes out Scott Olsen then hits Nyjer Morgan. First and third, Ian Desmond grounds to Drew at short, Johnson at second and LaRoche, double play...Stephen Drew hits a leadoff HR to right off Olsen, who hangs a 1-0 fastball. 1-1 game. Rusty Ryal just misses the second-straight HR. First Joe Saunders and then Chris Young follow with groundouts to third, 1-1 after three.
4 - Ryan Zimmerman goes the other way with a pitch outside and lines a leadoff single to right. Adam Dunn flies out to Chris Young in center. Hammer walks, two on for Morse. Fly ball to center, two down. Pudge Rodriguez grounds to Kelly Johnson at second to end the Nats' fourth...Michael Morse puts a shoulder into the right field fence after catching a fly off Kelly Johnson's bat. Justin Upton grounds to Zimmerman at third for out no.2. Adam LaRoche drives a grounder through second that Alberto Gonzalez dives for but misses. Two-out walk to Miguel Montero. Mark Reynolds hits a 3-run HR to center for a 4-1 D-Backs' lead. Stephen Drew K's looking to end the D-Backs' fourth.
5 - Alberto Gonzalez grounds to Stephen Drew at short. Joe Saunders gets Scott Olsen swinging. Nyjer Morgan's groundout ends a quick 1-2-3 frame for Saunders...Ryan Ryal grounds out to short to start the D-Backs' fifth. Olsen gets Saunders swinging. Chris Young flies to deep center but not deep enough to get away from Nyjer Morgan.
6 - Ian Desmond flies to center in front of Ryan Zimmerman who swings over a two-strike curve. Two down for a rolling Joe Saunders. Adam Dunn grounds into the shift to end the Nats' sixth...Kelly Johnson rips a sharp grounder by Dunn for a leadoff single. Justin Upton's up when Johnson's caught stealing by Pudge. Justin Upton follows with a single through second. Upton goes first to third on Adam LaRoche's single and scores on a sac fly to center by Miguel Montero. 5-1 Arizona. Collin Balester comes on and hits Mark Reynolds in the head with a 95mph fastball. Stephen Drew K's swinging on a nasty two-strike bender.
7 - Josh Willingham reaches on an error by Stephen Drew at short. Stephen Drew throws to second, Kelly Johnson to first, double play on a grounder by Michael Morse. Pudge Rodriguez grounds out to second...Balester walks Ryan Ryal and gives up a sac bunt by Joe Saunders. Chris Young walks, Riggleman pulls Balester. Kelly Johnson singles to center off Doug Slaten to score Ryal from second. 6-1 D-Backs. Justin Upton grounds into a force at second. Two down. Adam LaRoche pops out to third.
8 - Alberto Gonzalez goes down swinging. Justin Maxwell takes a one-out walk from Joe Saunders. Nyjer Morgan grounds out. Ian Desmond pops out to Miguel Montero...Miguel Montero rips a single back up the middle off Doug Slaten. Augie Ojeda pops out for the first out of the D-Backs' eighth. Stephen Drew K's looking, and Slaten get Ryal swinging to end the eighth.
9 - Joe Saunders is back for the ninth. Ryan Zimmerman K's looking. Adam Dunn pops out to Augie Ojeda behind second in the shift. Josh Willingham hits a two-out single to center and takes second on a passed ball. Adam Kennedy flies out to center to end the game. D-Backs win, 6-1 final.