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8/26/07 Another Young Nationals Hurler Hits The Proverbial Wall...

     Washington shortstop Felipe Lopez leads off the day game against Colorado's Elmer Dessens with a pop out in foul territory that Troy Tulowitzki runs far to grab. Ronnie Belliard grounds out. Ryan Zimmerm- THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! 2-0 fastball down the pipe and Ryan Zimmerman sends it soaring through the Mile High air and ten rows back into the left field stands. 1-0 Nationals.

     Washington plays the series finale in a half-full Coors Field, in sunny Sunday Denver, Colorado. Joel Hanrahan takes the hill in the bottom of the first. Sinker, slider, change for the right-handed Hanrahan, who can dial it up in the mid-90's and has lots of jump even in the thin air. Kaz Matsui flies to right, Troy Tulowitzki thinks he sees something he likes only to have it drop out of sight avoiding his bat. Matt Holliday doubles to the wall in center on a low fastball. Todd Helton lines a 2-2 fastball by Zimmermann at third to score Holliday from second. 1-1 after one.

     Jesus "The Future" Flores has the only hit off Dessens in a scoreless top of the second. Joel Hanrahan walks the eight and nine batters with two outs in the bottom of the frame. Kaz Matsui takes the third straight walk to bring Troy Tulowitzki to the plate. Tulowitzki hits a hard grounder deep in the hole at short, and Felipe Lopez tries for the force, but is too late with the throw to second. One run scores. 2-1 Rockies. Matt Holliday takes a fastball upstairs as Hanrahan's fourth free pass walks in a run. 3-1 Rockies. Hanrahan goes to a full count with Helton, who fouls out when Ryan Zimmerman dives over the rolled-up tarp to steal a foul ball from the fans in the stands...THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!

     Elmer Dessens issues a two-out walk to Ryan Zimmerman in the top of the third, but gets a ground out from DY to end the Nationals half. Austin Kearns makes the catch of the year robbing Brad Hawpe of an extra-base hit as he leaps and crashes face first into the scoreboard above the wall in right, makes the play and crumbles to the ground....Ryan Spilborghs strokes a two-out single off Hanrahan and Chris Iannetta drives Spilborghs in with a double by Zimmerman at third. 4-1 Rockies. Hanrahan walks the pitcher. Hanrahan's thrown 83 pitches! Kaz Matsui hits pitch number 84 for a double to drive in Iannetta. 5-1 Colorado. Troy Tulowitzki singles to shallow center to make it 7-1 Rockies. Matt Holliday takes the next pitch out to left. 9-1 Rockies. Someone throw Hanrahan a life preserver...

     ...Saul Rivera has to get ready in a hurry. Todd Helton lines a single through Felipe Lopez at short. Garrett Atkins doubles to left moving Helton to third base. Rivera strikes out Brad Hawpe to finally end the third inning. 9-1 Rockies.

     Saul Rivera completes a scoreless fourth. Elmer Dessens preserves the eight run lead through five innings on the hill. Jesus "Everyday" Colome takes over on the mound for the Nationals in the bottom of the fifth. Matt Holliday and Todd Helton single in succession with one out in the inning. Colome gets Atkins and Hill to ground out and fly out to end the fifth.

     Elmer Dessens retires the Nationals in order for the third straight frame in the sixth. Jesus Colome blows through the bottom of the Rockies batting order. Still 9-1 after six. Former National Ramon Ortiz will pitch the top of the seventh for Colorado. Austin Kearns singles off Ortiz, and Ryan Ch-Ch-Ch-Church does his Sunday thing, driving a fastball from Ortiz over the wall in left to make it 9-3 Rockies.

     Kaz Matsui doubles over Church's outstretched glove to start the Rockies seventh. Ray King strands Matsui there, and pitches a scoreless seventh. Austin Kearns is up with two on and two outs in the Nationals eigth. Ramon Ortiz throws a full-count fastball that Kearns smokes into the gap in right center to bring home Felipe Lopez and DY and make it 9-5 Rockies after eight.

     Felipe Lopez dives to his left to rob Garrett Atkins of a single through the hole. Ryan Spilborghs hits a two-out double to right-center off Nationals righty Luis Ayala. Chris Iannetta singles in Spilsborghs. 10-5 Rockies. The Nationals have three more outs to get five runs off Rockies reliever Matt Herges. Wily Mo Pena swings through a change. Jesus Flores pops out to short. Nook Logan up next. Rockies fans are holding up brooms. Logan goes down swinging. Rockies complete the sweep. The Nationals head to LA.

*Poll Results* Seven of nine votes cast have chosen "Nationals Park" as the name of the new DC Stadium. Personally, I like "The Circle."
Nationals now 58-73.