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Nationals vs Braves: Game Report..."Record Deficit Requires Investigation..."

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XM 186 - Rain delays start over 90 minutes...John Lannan v John Smoltz on the mound as the Washington Nationals look to break an eight-game losing streak in the second game of a three game series against the visiting Atlanta Braves. The Nationals were shut out last night by Braves' righty Tim Hudson and it won't get any easier against Smoltz this afternoon...My Brother Scout, Braves Fan and Source For All Things Baseball is back in the bunker reporting on the live broadcast, while I'm on the road reeling in the satellite signal...

Just after 2:40 pm the game gets underway...

Braves' leadoff batter Kelly Johnson doubles off John Lann...

"K. Johnson drives one deep to the left center gap," My Brother Scout interrupts, "Lastings Milledge chases it to the base of the wall and grabs the short hop...leadoff opposite field double."

Alright, Scout. Just jump in any time. Yunel Escobar hits a sac fly to advance the runn-

"...Escobar flies to right advancing K. Johnson in spite of Kearns' rep. C. Jones walks. Tex(Mark Teixeira) punches a high fastball to right. Austin Kearns tries the shoe-top-grab, but can't hold on to the liner. Johnson scores. 1-0 Braves. Frenchy (Jeff Francouer) hooks the first pitch down the line in left and GONE!" Three-run blast. 4-0 Braves after a half..."

Alright, Scout. I'll handle the Nationals side, you take the Braves. Brian McCann singles up the middle. Matt Diaz singles. Mark Kotsay walks. Pitcher John Smoltz grounds into the inning ending Doub--

"...Ladies and gentlemen, the Atlanta Braves' starting lineup.

In the Nationals' first...Guzman grounds out 4-3. Milledge 5-3. Zimmerman tops one toward third, Smoltz off the mound, grabs, pivots, and throws it toward the ballgirl down the right field line. Zimmerman takes second. Nick Johnson gets four purposeful balls. 0-2 on Kearns, Smoltz snaps a slider that bounces in the back corner of the left-handed batter's box and rolls to the wall behind home. Smoltz blows the 3-2 fastball by Kearns."

DC starter John Lannan gives up a walk in the second, and a double in the third, and John Smoltz retires the side in the third, and gives up a single and a walk in the Nationals' half of the third, but no more scoring, and as the fourth frame begin--

"...Smoltz K's on an ugly swing to start the Hotlanta fourth. Cristian Guzman fails to come up with Kelly Johnson's grounder up the middle. Two days in a row, Guzman fields on the wrong foot and can't come up with the ball cleanl--"

Hey Scout, sorry to interrupt...Are you giving out fielding tips to Major Leaguers now? Just stick to the game...

"I was...before you interrupted. Escobar(Yunel) grounds to Zimmerman, Zimm to Felipe Lopez at second, but the throw to first is late, fielder's choice. Chipper singles to right. Escobar to second. Teixiera walks to load the bases with 2 out. Frenchy rips one to left, Two runs score. 6-0 Braves. Runners on first and third. 3-2 pitch to McCann...STRIKE THREE. McCann caught looking at a Lannan bender that tickles Mac's elbow on the way to Lo Duca's mitt."

Right, then the Nationals scored in the bottom of the four--

"Felipe Lopez at second. Willie Harris makes Mark Kotsay pay for playing him shallow in center...over Kotsay's head and into "Wee" Willie's Corner, (as I'm now calling it), in center. Willie turns on the jets and slides headfirst into third. Lopez scores. 6-1 Braves lead."

John Lannan's out after 4.0, 9 hits, 6 ER, 4 walks, 2 K's, 1 HR, 6.75 ERA. "Rutgers' Own" Jason Bergmann doesn't fare much better. Lastings Milledge misplays a single by Mat--

"...Matt Diaz catches Milledge napping and hustles into second as Milledge lazily tosses what should have been a single back in. Kotsay flies to deep right center. Diaz tags and moves to third. Smoltz grounds to Zimmerman, who tries to look Diaz back to third, but no one's covering the bag, so as Zimm throws to first, Diaz breaks down the line and scores. 7-1 Braves."

OK, Scout. What happens next? Huh? 

"I have to do all of this? Alright, Yunel Escobar leads off the sixth with a liner, stung to right and to Kearns on a hop. (Cigarette and bathroom break.)

Scout? What the hel...What did that mean?

"I took a smoke break there, and a bathroom break. I'm not getting paid, am I? You pick it up. The Braves score when..."

...Jeff Francouer hits his second home run of the night two outs later to give the Braves an embarrasing 9-1 lead. Brian McCann takes the very next pitch deep to right and GONE! 10-1 Cowardly Braves. How's that?...

"Wrap it up, I've got things to do."

Joel "Unhittable" Hanrahan starts the seventh fo--

"Unhittable? He's got a 7.50 ERA. Look, I'll take care of the rest. Atlanta reliever Will Ohman gives up a single and a walk in the seventh. Ryan Zimmerman's sac fly scores Willie Harris to make it 10-2 Braves. Jesus Colome pitches two scoreless in relief for the Nationals. Frenchy ends the day 3 for 5 with 2 HR's and 7 RBI's and a .298 AVG. Nationals drop their ninth straight to drop to three an--"

I've got my own way to end it, Scout. Thanks.

Nationals now 3-9. 

"Glavine's next, 1:35 pm. BYOB!!!"


"BRING YOUR OWN BROOMS Braves fans!!! Sweep!!! SWEEP!!!"