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9/18/07 "PULL THE STRING!! PULL THE STRING!!!" -Bela Lugosi

     Walking Jose Reyes is never a good idea. The New York Mets leadoff hitter takes four of the first five pitches that Washington starter Joel Hanrahan offers for balls. Hanrahan gets a groundball to first from Luis Castillo and a force at second to send Reyes back to the bench, but David Wright doubles to straightaway center and Castillo scores to give the Mets the early lead. 1-0 NY. Carlos Beltran singles in David Wright with a ground ball up the middle. 2-0 Mets. NY is making Hanrahan throw strikes. Moises Alou brings out the Nationals pitching coach with a single to left for the third straight hit off of Hanrahan. Shawn Green takes four straight balls. Paul LoDuca hits a sac fly to left. Beltran tags and scores. 3-0 Mets for the second straight night. Endy Chavez slaps a single to center. 4-0 Mets after one long half.

     Ryan Zimmerman doubles over Endy Chavez's head in right for a ground rule double with two outs in the Nationals half of the first, but Mets starter John Maine gets Wily Mo Pena to ground out to short to end the inning.

     Hanrahan gives up a single but is otherwise untouched in a scoreless second inning of work. Austin Kearns gets the Nationals offense jump-started with a line-drive home run to left on a 2-1 fastball low and inside. 4-1 Nationals. Ronnie Belliard lines a single to right. Maine gets the first out from Robert Fick who chases a high fastball out of the zone. Maine picks Belliard off first, and gets Brian Schneider swinging to end the second.

     Shawn Green hits one to the same spot in center he visited last night for a solo shot with one down in the third. 5-1 Mets. Endy "Cover Your Heart" Chavez beats out a ground ball to first one step ahead of the covering pitcher. Hanrahan strikes John Maine out swinging to end the top of the third.

     Nook Logan is standing at third base by the time Endy Chavez throws back the triple Logan launched to right with one out in the bottom of the third. Felipe Lopez flies out to left. Logan tags and scores. 5-2 Mets lead after three. "Hollywood" Mike Bacsik gives up a two-out double to David Wright, but gets the Nationals through the top of the fourth within striking distance.

     Ronnie Belliard lines a two-out single up the middle off Maine, and Robert Fick works a walk in front of Brian Schneider. Schneider smacks a grounder through second for an RBI single that scores Belliard to make it 5-3 Mets. Justin "J-Max" Maxwell will pinch hit for Bacsik, and he test the limits of RFK but only reaches the warning track in left. Alou makes the catch. 5-3 Mets after four.

     Moises Alou reaches on an infield single to start the fifth, and moves to second on Shawn Green's groundout. Moises Alou then leaves the game with an injury... Lastings Milledge is on to replace him. Nationals reliever Winston Abreu gives up a double to LoDuca that scores Milledge from second. 6-3 Mets. Endy Chavez singles in LoDuca to give the Mets back a four-run lead. 7-3 NY.

     John Maine gives up a leadoff single to Nook Logan in the Nationals fifth and then walks Felipe Lopez to bring Zimmerman up with two on. Maine gets strike three on the outside corner to retire Zimmerman. Wily Mo Pena scores Logan from second with a single to center. 7-4 Mets. Austin Kearns lines a single to right to score Lopez. 7-5 Mets. Ronnie Belli-YARD!!! Ronnie Belliard goes deeeep to left and GONE!!! Three-run blast. 8-7 Nationals. Robert Fick takes everyone by surprise with a bunt. Maine is out...

     ...The No-Quit-Nationals will face lefty Scott Schoeneweis, who gets the last two outs of the fifth. Jesus "Everyday" Colome comes on for the sixth and retires the Mets in order. D'Angelo Jimenez hits for Colome in the bottom of the sixth. That's D'Angelo "Red Hot" Jimenez to you, Jimenez drives one to left and over the wall for a solo shot. 9-7 Nationals after six. Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera gives up a single to Shawn Green with one out in the seventh. LoDuca flies out to right field. Manny Acta, Nationals Manager walks out to the mound to bring on lefty Arnie Munoz, who will face pinch hitter Jeff Conine. Conine lines a single to left. Manny Acta, Nationals Manager, goes to the pen again for Chris Schroder. Marlon Anderson will pinch hit. Schroder gets Anderson chasing a high heater. Stand up and stretch...

     Aaron Heilman retires the Nationals in order to end the seventh. The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History Jon Rauch takes the mound for the top of the eigth. Rauch issues a one-out walk to Luis Castillo in front of David Wright. Wright grounds to Belliard to Lopez to Fick at first. Double play. 9-7 Nationals in the eigth. Jose Feliciano throws a scoreless eigth for New York. Wait for it...

     Chad Cordero enters the game in the ninth wearing the sharp home white uniforms, red Nationals cap with the white cursive "W" stitched above a brim as flat as the spirits of Mets fans all over Queens. Carlos Beltran swings through a full count fastball. Lastings Milledge lines out to left. Shawn Green lines a two-out single to center. Paul LoDuca drops a two-strike single into short center. Carlos Gomez comes on to run. Jeff Conine singles through short. Green scores. 9-8 Nationals. Ruben Gotay goes to a full count...the DC Faithful are bouncing...Gotay fouls off two...STRIKE THREE SWINGING!! CORDERO BLOWS HIM AWAY!!! NATIONALS WIN!! NATIONALS WIN!!!! 9-8 final.

Nationals now 68-83.