Washington Nationals Take Two Of Three From Chicago With 2-1 Win Over White Sox.

• Sunday In Chicago Top 5: 

5. Two on, one out. Chicago first. A 1-0 curve from Livan Hernandez drops in outside for a 63 mph called strike three that completely fools Sox' slugger Paul Konerko. The next pitch from the Nats' starter is an 80 mph slider outside that has Konerko reaching and barely connecting on a weak groundout to first. Two down. Adam Dunn, who enters today's game with a .131/.242/.262 slash at home this season, fouls off a 2-2 fastball he's just a fraction of a second late on, and he takes a sinking fastball inside that swings back in under his arms for a called strike three that has the US Cellular Field crowd booing the former Washington Nationals' first baseman. Livan needs 21 pitches to get through the first. White Sox' starter Philip Humber needs 28 pitches to retire the first six batters he faces...

4. No-Humber: Philip Humber, a former 1st Round pick by the New York Mets who was taken 3rd overall in 2004 and traded to the Twins in the deal that brought Johan Santana to NY, was selected off waivers by the White Sox after bouncing around the Royals and A's organizations the last two seasons. The right-hander retires the first nine batters he faces this afternoon, extending Nationals' scoreless inning-streak this weekend to 12 innings since they last scored in the top of the 14th on Friday night on the way to a game-one-win. 

3. Just One Run: A one-out single by Omar Vizquel and a ground-rule double over a stumbling Roger Bernadina in center off Carlos Quentin's bat put two Sox on in front of Paul Konerko in the White Sox' third. Konerko connects this time, lining to right on a 2-1 fastball from Livan Hernandez to score Vizquel and give Chicago a 1-0 lead. Adam Dunn K's swinging for the 98th time this season and the second time today. Alex Rios pops out to end the third, and the Sox get just one run off Livan Hernandez out of a second and third with one out jam.

2. Shark Jeter'd It: Roger Bernadina's hit on the hand by a fastball inside and he reaches first to give the Nationals their first baserunner of the afternoon against Humber. The Sox' starter checks Bernadina twice to keep him at first, then throws three-straight fastballs by Jayson Werth, who watches each one in for called strikes one, two and three. Ryan Zimmerman grounds into a 6-4-3 DP, and Humber's faced the minimum through four, and done it on 51 pitches. Humber walks Danny Espinosa with one down in the fifth, and after letting only the second runner today reach base, he balks the Nats' second baseman into scoring position with Wilson Ramos at the plate. but the Nats' catcher pops out to the infield, and it's 1-0 Sox after four and a half. 

1. No No-No: Jerry Hairston's line drive single to center in the sixth is the Nats' first hit of the day off Sox' starter Philip Humber. Hairston's running and safe at second on a groundout to the right side of the infield by Alex Cora. Humber gets another groundout to second, Hairston takes third. Jayson Werth grounds weakly to third, and the Nats' scoreless inning stretch grows to 15.0 long innings since they last put a run on the board. Humber walks the second batter of the day with two down in the seventh, putting Michael Morse on in front of Danny Espinosa. The Nats' second baseman sends a first-pitch change all the way to...right...and...foul. Just foul. After taking a slider, Espinosa gets another change and gets it right this time! Deeeeeeeeeep to right field and over the wall!! Two-run HR! The Nats' second hit of the game gives them a 2-1 lead after six and a half. 

0. Mr. National: Livan Hernandez starts the bottom of the seventh at 111 pitches. After recording the first two outs, the second a swinging K for a season-high 9 strikeouts on the day*, the Nats' starter's reflexes are too quick as he closes his glove on a grounder back to the mound by Carlos Quentin before it's in the webbing. Infield single for Quentin. Livan's done for the day. 6.2 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K's, 123 pitches, 77 strikes, 3/4 GO/FO. Tyler Clippard's on in relief to face Paul Konerko. The Sox' slugger fouls off a 3-1 change, and takes a full-count fastball to left and GO--no!! The wind knocks it down like it hit a bird, and Jerry Hairston catches the third out at the wall. 2-1 Nats after seven. 

(ed. note - " * = @NationalsPR: Livan Hernandez recorded 9 strikeouts today, his highest single-game strikeout total in over 6 years (9 Ks - 9/26/04 vs. PHI)."

-1.STOREN WARNING!!: Sean Burnett comes on to face Adam Dunn in the White Sox' eighth. Dunn's 0 for 3 with 3 K's today, and one away from the century mark on the season already, and he's got just one hit in 52 at bats against left-handed pitchers for an .019/.177/.019 slash against lefties on the year. Burnett blows Dunn away and he's 1 for 53 with 100 K's when he walks back to the dugout to the sound of his home crowd's boos. Burnett retires the White Sox in order in the eighth, and the Nats' flat-brimmed closer Drew Storen retires them in order in the 9th. 1-2-3! The Nats take two of three on the road in Chicago and go two games over .500 with Davey Johnson's debut as the Nats' skipper set for tomorrow night in Anaheim.

• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...

Num Name - Comments
1 d_c_guy - 109
2 cat daddy3000 - 62
3 FanSince05 - 55
4 RobBobS - 52
5 hscer - 45
6 RepConsul - 43
7 Jeff T - 41
8 rachel216 - 33
9 MissB - 28
10 Elvin Unseld - 21

 

• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: "Game 78: Spinner! ROY?":

20110626_nationals_whitesox_0_20110626160709_lbig__medium

via www.fangraphs.com

  • Thanks for the run support! Livan Hernandez (+25.0%) makes the most of his 2 runs, striking out an impressive 9 (only 3 of which were Dunn), walking two and giving up only 1 ER in 6.2 IP.
  • Spinner is teh clutch! Danny Espinosa (+38.6%) comes through with a go-ahead, two-run bomb in the 7th (+37.7).
  • Steady jaunt: Sean Burnett (+14.8%) throws a scoreless inning in relief with a K.
  • Shutdown: Drew Storen (+21.4%) closes it out with a perfect 9th.
  • Having no value: Jayson Werth (-13.8%) is 0-4 with 2 Ks and 2 LOB.

What do these graphs mean?

Nationals now 40-38.

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