"Kelly Johnson K'd on three pitches," Scout says recapping the first at bat of game two of three in the last series of the year between Johnson's Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals. Jason Bergmann is on the hill for the Nationals. Edgar Renteria drops a one-out single into center, and takes second on a ball in the dirt with Chipper Jones at bat. C.Jones walks. Mark Texeira pops out. Jeff Francouer can't hold up on a 2-2 fastball upstairs and he strands two when he swings through.
Kelly Johnson can't pick up a Nook Logan grounder and the moments' delay in making the play allows Logan to reach first safely. Logan's running with D'Angelo Jimenez at bat, but it doesn't matter...D'Angelo Jimenez just went yard on an arching line drive to right and GONE!! 2-0 Nationals. Braves starter Lance Cormier walks two but works his way out of the first.
Andruw Jones singles to start the second. Bergmann catches A.Jones napping and picks him off first. Matt Diaz flies out to right, Corky Miller flies out to left. "Who the heck is Corky Miller?" I ask my brother. "Backup catcher..." No scoring in the second.
Jason Bergmann issues a one-out walk to Kelly Johnson in the third. Renteria singles under Ronnie Belliard's glove at second. Chipper Jones clears the bases and the wall in right for a three-run blast and a 3-2 Braves lead. Mark Teixeira grounds to first and a bad hop jumps up and catches Dmitri Young flush on the temple. DY goes down in a heap, and looks hurt, but he's staying in, "C'mon it's DY!" I tell my brother. Belliard drops a weak pop fly in short right, but gets Teixeira on the force at second, when big Teix is caught watching instead of taking a few steps off the bag, "Three steps or so," Scout says, "He should takes three steps off the bag, Teix was just standing at first watching." Bergmann walks A.Jones but gets Matt Diaz to fly out to right to end the third.
D'Angelo Jimenez gets his second hit of the night, right down the first base line, and off the bag into right field, Jimenez tries to take second, Jeff Francouer comes up firing, and the throw to second soars and ends up getting by the back-up and going all the way to the wall behind third, allowing Jimenez to take another base, "Double, E-9," Scout calls it correctly. Robert Fick is up to bat for DY in the third after Ryan Zimmerman walks. Robert Fick takes a full-count-fastball deeep to right and GONE GoodBYE!! on an inside fastball. 5-3 Nationals lead. Cormier's out...
Buddy Carlyle comes on in relief and ends the third. The Braves score in the fourth on a leadoff home run from Corky "What's My Name" Miller. 5-4 Atlanta. Carlyle strikes out in the fourth, and Kelly Johnson and Edgar Renteria ground out to end the inning. Brian Schneider singles to start the Nationals half. Bergmann pops up a bunt. Logan grounds into a DP. In the Braves fifth, Chipper leads off with a single, Teixeira flies out, and Francouer hits into the inning-ending DP.
D'Angelo Jimenez singles again in the fifth, "That should get him over the Mendoza Line," Scout observes. Jimenez runs with Zimmerman at bat, Zimmerman K's, Braves catcher Corky Miller throws out Jimenez for the old strike`em out throw`em out. Fick goes down swinging to end the fifth.
Jason Bergmann retires the side in the sixth. Braves reliever Peter Moylan gets three groundouts for his own scoreless sixth. Still 5-4 Nationals. Bergmann gives up a two-out single in the seventh. Begmann's out. Arnie Munoz turns Chipper around to bat from the right side. C.Jones grounds the first pitch to short. Stand up and stretch...
"We need runs...Yeah like Diarrhea, or Montezuma's Revenge," the drunken fans behind me are yelling. They find it funny. Several rows ahead some fans have started drinking beer out of another fans' prosthetic leg. "Chug Chug Chug," the crowd screams as everyone reverts to college life. Ron Mahay is on in relief for the Braves. Brian Schneider flies out. The Professional Pinch Hitter Tony Batista grounds to third. Logan down swinging.
The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History, Jon Rauch gets a groundout from Teixiera. Francouer singles on a grounder through short. A.Jones pops to short for the second out. Matt Diaz flies to right. 5-4 Nationals after seven and a half.
Felipe Lopez flies out. Ryan Zimmerman lines to right center for a double. Fick goes down swinging. "How does Kearns only have 60 RBI's," I ask reading his numbers on the scoreboard. Austin Kearns doubles in Zimmerman. "Make that 61," Scout jokes. 6-4 Nationals. Wily Mo Pena gets the intentionals. Mahay is done. Royce Ring is on in relief. "This move makes no sense," Scout observes. "Replace a lefty with a lefty to face a righty?" I ask. Scout just rolls his eyes. Ronnie Belliard lines a single to right, Kearns tries to score, Francouer comes up throwing, there's gonna be a play at the plate...Corky Miller catches Francouer's throw a little up the line, Kearns crushes Miller and the Ump makes the call, "SAFE!! SAFE!!" 7-4 Nationals. Wait for it...
Chad Cordero comes on in the ninth wearing the sharp home whites, red Nationals cap pulled down low over the brow casting his eyes into the shadow of a brim as flat as Kearns just leveled Corky Miller! Pinch hitter Yunel Escobar lines a full count fastball to center. Brian McCann hits a single by Fick at first. Two on, no outs. Kelly Johnson flies out to left for the first out. Edgar Renteria walks to load the bases for Chipper Jones. Chipper grounds to short, Lopez to Belliard at second, to Fick at first, DOUBLE PLAY to end it. 1,2,3 Nationals win. Cordero pumps his first, pounds his chest and celebrates a 7-4 Nationals win.
Nationals now 66-82.