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9/29/07 Mets Fans Assure Me, They've Always Liked Chico.

Scout, My Brother, Braves fan, and Source for All Things Baseball covers the game until I get home from work...(Thanks Scout!)...

    ...Washington shortstop Felipe Lopez pops out to Pat Burrell, Ronnie Belliard singles up the middle, and Ryan Zimmer-...THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Ryan Zimmerman pulls a fastball for a double over third base, Belliard scores when Burrell bobbles it. Philadelphia's starter Adam Eaton gets Dmitri Young and Austin Kearns to ground out. 1-0 Washington after one.

     Jimmy Rollins pops up a 2-2 fastball from Nationals lefty Matt Chico, Zimmerman calls off catcher Brian Schneider and squeezes it for the first out. Chase Utley grounds into the hole, DY fields it and tries to lead the covering pitcher to the bag, but the throw is low and Chico dives, catches and drops the ball as the base knocks it loose from his glove. Utley leaps over Chico, and misses the bag, Utley gets back to the bag before Chico can recover. Infield hit for Utley. Burrell K's on a 2-2 change. Howard pops out to end the first. 1-0 Nationals.

     Ryan Church lines out, Wily Mo Pena grounds out, Brian Schneider takes a two-out walk. Matt Chico loops a 2-2 fastball over short and it drops in for a hit. Lopez grounds up the middle, Utley fields, his throw to second carries wide of Rollins, everyone's safe. Bases loaded for Ronnie Belliard. Full count, Belliard pops a slider wide of third. Wes Helms grabs it for the third out of the top of two.

     Aaron Rowand rips one to Zimmerman's backhand, Zimmerman stabs it, his throws is high, but DY stretches for it. Jayson Werth rips one between Zimmerman and third, and into the corner for a stand-up double. Helms flies out short of the track in right. Chico pitches around Ruiz to face Eaton with two on. Chico overmatches Eaton with a slider towards his feet, Chico's using all off his pitches effectively so far.

     Eaton's 3-2 fastball is high, and Ryan Zimmerman walks to start the third. DY lines the first pitch to left, Burrell's charging, and makes the catch. (Burrell, unathletic but effective, nice catch). Austin Kearns singles through the right side hole. Zimmerman to second. Eaton in trouble again. Uncle Charlie Manuel, Phils manager to the mound. That's it for Eaton...

     ...Geoff Geary inherits two men. Geary's second pitch to DY, ripped to Utley, Utley pivots, throws to Rollins, Rollins to Howard, double play ends the threat.

     Jimmy Rollins rips a one-hopper through Lopez for an infield hit. Chase Utley pops to short center. Can of corn, and Church is under it for the first out...

    *...(insert e chigliak in the lineup)...*

Even In Philadelphia, THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!!

   Jimmy Rollins is at first with one out in the third, and he's leaning, Chico throws over and has Rollins by a mile. Two down. Pat Burrell grounds to third, Zimmerman charges, glove low and yanks it up to meet the ball, fires to first, in time. 1-0 Nationals after three.

     DY's back in the lineup, after a long stretch recovering from a bad bounce to the temple. Adam Eaton's already out of the lineup. Geoff Geary's on in relief. Wily Mo Pena rips a grounder through short to start the fourth. Brian Schneider singles to left. Matt Chico lays down a poor attempt at a sac bunt, but hustles to first after the Phils take a force at second. Pena to third. Geoff Geary's out. Jose "Table" Mesa gets a fly ball to left from Felipe Lopez and Pat Burrell's throw in is way off. Pena scores. 2-0 Nationals.

     Washington shortstop Felipe Lopez steals a single from Ryan Howard jumping at second, where he's positioned in the shift and grabbing the line drive out of the air. Matt Chico drops a curve across the plate, outside to in against Aaron Rowand who swings a good foot over where the ball actually falls. Jayson Werth takes a two-out walk. Wes Helms swings over the same curve as Rowand to end the top of the fourth. 2-0 DC.

     Ryan Zimmerman knocks one off the cleats of Kyle Lohse on the mound. Lohse recovers and throws short to first. Howard can't handle it. Zimmerman safe. DY pops out to third. Austin Kearns flies to center. Lohse blows a high fastball by Ryan Church to end the top of the fifth. Carlos Ruiz grounds out to short. Matt Chico walks the opposing pitcher on four straight. Jimmy Rollins grounds the first pitch to Lopez at short, to Belliard, to DY, double play to end the fifth. 2-0 Nationals.

 Kyle Lohse retires Pena, Brian Schneider and Chico in order in the top of the sixth. Matt Chico gets Utley and Burrell to fly out to bring up Ryan Howard in the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Howard pops out to short, and in the dramatic shift, that's Zimmerman's ball. Zimmerman has to sprint, but he gets it. Chico's through six scoreless.

     Felipe Lopez doubles over Pat Burrell's head in left to start the top of the seventh. Ronnie Belliard's sac bunt moves Lopez to third. Lohse walks Zimmerman. Lohse out. J.C. Romero will spin DY around. DY grounds to first, Howard drops it. Lopez scores. DY safe. 3-0 Nationals. Austin Kearns flies out to the warning track in center. Zimmerman takes third. Justin Maxwell runs for DY. Ryan Church up next. Passed ball...Maxwell takes second, Carlos Ruiz fires the ball into center. Zimmerman scores. Maxwell takes third. 4-0 Nationals. Church down swinging to end the top of the seventh.

     Aaron Rowand wakes up Philadelphia with a huge home run to left on a fastball over the middle of the plate. No doubt about it. Chico's done. Towels are waving. 4-1 Nationals. Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera takes over on the hill. Jayson Werth flies out to center. Gregg Dobbs will pinch hit. Rivera throws a full count fastball in the dirt to walk Dobbs. Carlos Ruiz lines a single to left. Shane Victorino will face a new pitcher...

     The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History Jon Rauch comes on to face Victorino. Ryan Langerhans comes on to play center. Victorino pops one straight up. Jimmy Rollins grounds to first, Robert Fick bobbles but backhands to Rauch, who covers in time. 4-1 Nationals after seven.

     Tom "Flash" Gordon will throw to the Nationals in the eigth. Pena grounds out. Schneider strikes out. Ryan Langerhans beats out an infield single. Felipe Lopez flies out to left to end the Nationals eigth. Rauch comes back for the bottom of the frame. Utley rips one to Langerhans in center for the first out. Pat Burrell stares at strike three. Ryan Howard takes a 2-1 fastball to right and GONE!! Philly erupts. 4-2 Nationals. Aaron Rowand shows warning track power on a fly ball to center. 4-2 Nationals after eight.

     Philly closer Brett Myers comes on to try to hold it close through the top of the ninth. Belliard grounds out to second. Ryan Zimmerman walks. Fick grounds to third and Gregg Dobbs takes the force at second. Austin Kearns singles through second. D'Angelo Jimenez can't hold up his swing on a curve inside for strike three. Wait for it...

     Chad Cordero enters the game with a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth. Cordero sports the away grays, navy blue Nationals cap pulled down low over the brow, white cursive "W" stitched above a brim as flat as the Nationals are about to level Philly's lead in the East. Jayson Werth swings through a high heater for strike three. 1. Gregg Dobbs flies out to center. 2. Carlos Ruiz pops out to second. Put down your towels and put your caps back on co-rrectly. 1,2,3 Nationals win. You're welcome New York.

Nationals now 73-88.