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9/4/07 What Would Jesus Do ?

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     Washington starter Shawn Hill lets one man on in the first, and that means he has to face Florida's Miguel Cabrera with two outs in the inning. Hill saws off Cabrera's bat and Ryan Zimmerman takes the force at second for the final out of the opening frame. Austin Kearns comes up in the Nationals half, with two down and runners on first and third, and Dontrelle Willis gives up a two-out single to make it 1-0 Nationals after one.

     Mike Jacobs loves RFK Stadium, but he apparently hates the outfield wall the way he bruises it with a hard-hit double to right. One out in the second. Shawn Hill gets Cody Ross staring at strike thee with a cut fastball on the outside edge, and Miguel Olivo grounds out to second to end the top of the frame.

     Shawn Hill sinks his way through three scoreless, which means Hill has thrown eight straight scoreless overall against the Marlins, including his last start against Florida on May 11th, when Hill left the game with an injury in spite of throwing a ho-hitter through five. 1-0 Nationals in the middle of the third.

     Nook Logan drops a blooper in right and runs all the way to second before the Marlins throw it back in. A sac bunt from Felipe Lopez moves Logan to third, and a ground rule double from Ryan Zimmerman scores the second run of the game. 2-0 Nationals.

     The Marlins first hit of the game is a double to center from Jeremy Hermida to lead off the fourth. One out later Josh Willingham cuts the lead in half with a line drive to right. Hermida comes `round. 2-1 Nationals. A wild pitch from Hill moves Willingham to third. Mike Jacobs singles to right to tie it at 2-2. Jesus Flores throws out a runner and drops a pop up before the end of the inning. Rookies!!

     "The Lethal Weapon" Hanley Ramirez singles and steals second with one out in the fith. Alfredo "The Amazing" Amezaga beats out a grounder to short, and Ramirez takes third. Hill gets a pop out foul of third from Hermida. Miguel Cabrera smokes a grounder off a diving Zimmerman's glove. Ramirez scores. 3-2 Fish.

     Jesus Flores singles by Cabrera at third to start the Nationals fifth. Hill's sac bunt moves Flores to second, but Dontrelle Willis strands Flores there, blowing away Nook Logan and Felipe Lopez to hold the lead through the fifth.

     Shawn Hill gets a ground out from Dontrelle Willis to end the top of the sixth. Zimmerman, DY and Kearns due up in the bottom of the frame. Willis walks Zimmerman on four straight. DY rips a grounder at Willis, who stabs it, throws to Amezaga at second, to Jacobs at first, Double Play! Kearns chases strike three into the dirt. 3-2 Fish after six.

     Hill lets Hanley Ramirez on again to start the seventh, and then goes 3-0 on Amezaga before finding the zone. A foul ball from Amezaga makes it a full count, and Hill pops him up to third for the first out. Jeremy Hermida will face a new pitcher...(Hill goes 6.1 IP, gives up 11 hits, 3 ER, with 6 K's).

     ...A Brand New Pitcher...left-hander Arnie Munoz, who could see a good deal of time with today's trade that sent Ray King to Milwaukee. The twenty-five year old former White Sox prospect gets the out he was brought on to get when Hermida lines out to Wily Mo Pena in left. Manny Acta, Nationals Manager, goes back to the pen for right hander Winston Abreu. Ramirez steals second. Abreu pops up Cabrera to end the top of the seventh. Stand up and stretch...

     The D-Train comes back with a scoreless seventh to hold the Marlins 3-2 lead. Luis Ayala is almost through the eigth, but Jesus Flores drops his second pop-up of the game, and Ayala's forced to strike out Cody Ross to end the top of the inning.

     The Professional Pinch Hitter Tony Batista takes one to the top of the wall in left where Marlins left fielder Josh Willingham makes an unneccesary jump to snag it. Nook Logan motors his way to second on a line drive to right. Felipe Lopez beats out an infield single when Miguel Cabrera makes a great diving play and fires to first a few steps late. Dontrelle Willis is done for the evening. (7.1 IP, 8 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 5 K's). Right-handed reliever Lee Gardner saws off Ryan Zimmerman, who lines to second, and Lopez is doubled up at first. 3-2 Marlins after eight.

     Nationals reliever Chris Schroder gets a double play grounder from Hanley Ramirez to end the top of the ninth. DY, Kearns, and Wily Mo will face Marlins closer Kevin Gregg. DY walks to start the ninth. Ryan Langerhans will run for DY. Austin Kearns strikes out swinging at a high heater from Gregg. Wily Mo Pena lines through second, Langerhans takes third. Ronnie Belliard pops up a bunt?...Mike Jacobs makes a diving catch on Belliard's bunt for the second out of the ninth. "The Future?" Jesus Flores...THE FUTURE IS NOW!!! THE FUTURE IS NOW!!! LINE DRIVE TO THE CORNER IN RIGHT!!! Langerhans scores, Wily Mo Mo Mo MO MO comes around to score!!!! The NATIONALS WIN! THE NATIONALS WIN!!! Jesus Flores wins it with a double.

ROOKIES!!...

4-2 Final. (Flores gets a pie in the face from Schneider and Zimmerman during the post-game interview.)

Nationals now 62-77.