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9/24/07 Slowhand vs The Mouthpiece...

     "Slowhand" Matt Chico vs "The Mouthpiece" Mike Pelfrey for the first of three between Washington and New York in Flushing, Queens' Shea Stadium. The Mets rookie righty Pelfrey gets a pop out from Nationals leadoff hitter D'Angelo Jimenez for the first out, and then gets Ronnie Belliard looking at a fastball on the outside edge for the second out, before getting the third out with help from David Wright, who dives to knock down Ryan Zimmerman's line drive then recovers to throw out his childhood friend by a half step to end the top of the first.

     Matt Chico walks Jose Reyes, who gets caught stealing second by Brian Schneider with Luis Castillo at bat. Castillo grounds out.  David Wright lines a two-out single in front of Carlos Beltran. Chico goes to a full count and walks Beltran. Moises Alou grounds out to third and Zimmerman takes the force at second to end the first. No score.

     Ryan Church hits his forty-first double of the season to the corner in left to start the second. David Wright throws out Austin Kearns after juggling Kearns' infield grounder. Robert Fick swings over Mike Pelfrey's devastating inside slider. Justin Maxwell, who starts in center, pops to the catcher to end the top of the second.

     Carlos Delgado is off the DL and in the lineup after sitting out the series in DC last week. Delgado singles through the dramatic shift, and takes second when the sharp grounder finds a big hole in the defense. Paul LoDuca grounds out, moving Delgado to third, so that Carlos Gomez' sac fly to center manufactures a run. 1-0 Mets.

     Pelfrey hits Brian Schneider in the first at bat of the third. Matt Chico pops a bunt attempt up to the catcher. D'Angelo Jimenez pops up to first, and Ronnie Belliard lines out there. Three scoreless for Pelfrey. Luis Castillo singles through second, and takes a base on a wild pitch to get in scoring position for David Wright. Wright lines out to short. Carlos Beltran pops out to second. Moises Alou sends Austin Kearns scurrying back, but Kearns catches up at the warning track and closes his glove on the third.

     David Wright snags a chopper down the line on his backhand and fires short of first allowing Ryan Zimmerman to reach safely to start the fourth. Ryan Church flies out weakly to left center. Zimmerman's running as Pelfrey shoots a 3-1 fastball down the pipe and Austin Kearns lines it to center. Zimmerman to third. Robert Fick finds the left center gap, Zimmerman scores, Alou misplays the ball, Kearns scores, Fick safe at second. 2-1 Nationals take the lead.

     Carlos Delgado lines a single in front of a charging Ryan Church in left to lead off the bottom of the fourth, but Matt Chico retires the next three Mets to hold the Nationals lead through four. Ryan Zimmerman comes up with two down in the bottom of the fifth. Pelfrey walks Zimmerman and then Church, so Austin Kearns' HOME RUN to left center really hurts, Kearns lines a hanging slider off the metal railing in front of the bleachers for a three run blast and a 5-1 Nationals lead.

     Matt Chico gets Reyes and Castillo to ground and line out for the first two outs of the Mets fifth. David Wright blasts a fastball to right and off the wall over a leaping Austin Kearns. Carlos Beltran flies out to center. Chico's through five. 5-1 DC.

     Mike Pelfrey issues a leadoff walk to Justin Maxwell in the sixth. Pelfrey then records two outs before walking D'Angelo Jimenez to bring up Ronnie Belliard. Pelfrey's done. Joe Smith comes on to face Bellliard. Belliard lines one off the wall and out of Moises Alou's reach for a two-run double to left. Washington takes a 7-1 lead.

     Moises Alou doubles to start the bottom of the sixth and extend his 28 game hitting streak. Delgado grounds out to second to move Alou to third. Lo Duca singles to center, Alou trots home. 7-2 Nationals. Carlos Gomez singles through short. Chico's done. Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera will come out after Manny Acta, Nationals Manager's slow walk to the mound. Rivera will face Shawn Green. Rivera walks the bases loaded. Jose Reyes... grounds to short, D'Angelo Jimenez takes the out at first. One run scores. 7-3 Nationals. Luis Castillo battles to a full count, but then grounds to second to end the sixth.

     Pedro Feliciano issues a one-out walk to Austin Kearns after getting Ryan Church swinging to start the seventh. Robert Fick goes down looking. Justin Maxwell flies out to center. Stand up and stretch...Saul Rivera's back for the bottom of the seventh. Carlos Beltran hits a one-out single to left. Moises Alou flies out to center. Carlos Delgado goes down swinging to end the seventh.

     Feliciano walks Brian Schneider to start the eigth. Guillermo Mota takes over on the mound. Pinch hitter Felipe Lopez grounds into a force at second, but beats out the throw to first. D'Angelo Jimenez is up when Lopez steals second. Jimenez lines to center, Lopez tries to score, but gets thrown out at the plate by Beltran. (Lopez was safe!!) Ronnie Belliard doubles off the wall in right center. Jimenez scores. 8-3 Nationals. Mota walks Zimmerman. Church lines double number forty-two to center. Two runs score. 10-3 Nationals after seven and a half.

     Luis Ayala pitches to Paul Lo Duca to start the Mets eigth. Lo Duca reaches safely on a throwing error from Felipe Lopez. Carlos Gomez chases ball four. Pinch hitter Ruben Gotay pops out to short right. Jose Reyes grounds out to first to end the eigth. Mets lefty Dave Williams lets two on, and gives up a two-out three-run home run to right for Ryan Langerhans to make the score 13-3 DC in the ninth...

     Jesus "Everyday" Colome reaches on a chopper up the middle. David Wright lines a single to center. Luis Castillo makes it to third when no one cuts the throw at second. Two on, no outs. Carlos Beltran flies out to right. Castillo tags and scores. 13-4 Nationals lead. Moises Alou pops out to first. Carlos Delgado flies out to left. Nationals win. 13-4 final.

Nationals now 70-87.