Felipe Lopez leads off the game with a single, and a passed ball with Cristian Guzman at bat moves Lopez to second. Guzman lines to right...the ball takes off, completely fooling Jeremy Hermida, and Lopez, who fails to run, and only starts to after the ball sails over Hermida's head. Lopez is held at third on Guzman's double. Ryan Zimmerman goes down swinging. Nick Johnson grounds out to second, Guzman scores. 1-0 Nationals after a half.
Shawn Hill's first inning of the season is a scoreless one, as the right hander retires the first three Marlins in quick succession. Burke Badenhop's back on the mound quickly, and Wily Mo Pena's up at bat. This could be ugly as Badenhop has a nasty slider and a sinking fastball..."He's got a 12 to 7 slider, but the 7 is on another clock!" my Brother Scout, Braves Fan and Source For All Things Baseball chimes in. "How about...' a12 to 7 slider, but the 7 is on a clock in the dirt?" I ask. (No response...) "All right, I'll stick with, "7, uh 7 on another clock," I say. Badenhop issues two walks but pitches his way out of the top of the second.
Lefty Mike Jacobs slices a sinker into the left field corner and is in standing up at second with one out in the inning. HIll throws an 0-2 fastball by a stunned Jorge Cantu. Shawn Hill drops a slider on Cody Ross, and walks off the mound as Ross chases it into the dirt for a swinging strike three. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to give Badenhop the first out of the third. Nick Johnson's discerning eye will have none of Badenhop's junk, as Johnson walks. Lastings Milledge walks. Austin Kearns pops a 3-1 pitch out to center. Wily Mo Pena doubles to center. Johnson scores. 2-0 Nationals. Johnny Estrada rips one to right. 3-0 Nationals.
Hanley Ramirez hits a chopper to first, that glances off Nick Johnson's glove and falls to the infield unplayable, as Ramirez reaches first...and here he goes...Ramirez steals second and moves to third when Johnny Estrada's throw rolls into center. Dan Uggla drives a sinker to right, right over Austin Kearns and off the wall for an RBI double. 3-1 Washington after three.
Logan Kensing replaces Badenhop on the hill for the fourth. Felipe Lopez grounds out. Dan Uggla bounces a throw on a ground ball by Cristian Guzman, who reach on a one-out error. Ryan Zimmerman singles to right. Nick Johnson pops up to the infield...for some reason Guzman's rounding third...(ed. note - " I actually yelled, 'There is only one out!!!!'")...Jorge Cantu catches and throws to second for a double play. Cantu hits a two-out single off Hill in the Florida fourth. Cody Ross grounds to Guzman at short, and Guzman tosses casually to second, apparently aware now how many outs there are...
Austin Kearns takes a Logan Kensing fastball in the bicep to put a man on with one out for Wily Mo Pena. Pena pops straight up for the second out. Johnny Estrada follows Pena with another pop straight up in the air, but this time Mike Jacobs drops it, Kearns in safely at third. Shawn Hill pops out to end the top of the fifth. Felipe Lopez bounces the throw to first on Mike Rabelo's grounder, and Nick Johnson can't handle it. Error charged to Lopez. Robert Andino grounds out to second in a pinch hit appearance. Hanley Ramirez gets sawed off in a sinker inside as Hill gets a ground ball to short for the second out. Dan Uggla rips a single through short. Rabelo held up at third. Hill vs. Hermida...Hermida lines to left, Wily Mo's got it. 3-1 after five.
Runyel Pinto's throwing for Florida. Felipe Lopez singles to left. Guzman grounds to short, Lopez takes a big turn at second as Hanley Ramirez throws from short to first, Jacobs tries to get Lopez off second, but throws it into left, Lopez takes third. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out ineffectively. Nick Johnson pops out to third. 3-1 middle of six.
"The Hammer" Josh Willingham drives a triple into the right-center gap to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Mike Jacobs hits a broken bat single under a diving Felipe Lopez to score "The Hammer", 3-2 Nationals. Jorge Cantu drills one into the scoreboard in left for a loud metallic thud and double. Jacobs to third. Shawn Hill done. Jesus "Everyday" Colome on to face Cody Ross. Ross flies out to deep center, both runners advance. 3-3 ballgame. 1 out. Mike Rabelo grounds to second, Felipez Lopez knocks it up and over his own shoulder, allowing the run to score and the runner to reach first safely. 4-3 Marlins. The pitcher, Pinto, lays down a sac bunt. Hanley Ramirez doesn't believe it, but the Ump calls a third strike to get Ramirez staring bringing an end the to sixth. 4-3 Florida.
Pinto gets a grounder from Lastings Milledge in the seventh. Austin Kearns grounds to third. Wily Mo Pena grounds to short. Stand up and stretch...Jesus Colome gets Dan Uggla swinging and cursing with a slider. Hermida gets more of the same for Colome's third K. "The Hammer" nails a double to the same spot he tripled to last frame. "Half-A" Ray King's coming in...to face Mike Jacobs...Lefty vs Lefty...Jacobs lines one-hop and off the wall in right..run-scoring double for Jacobs. 5-3 Marlins. King's out. Cordero's in. The Flat-Brimmed Closer gets as high as 87 mph on the radar against Jorge Cantu, who reaches on an infield single Zimmerman can't handle. Cody Ross grounds out to short to end the seventh.
Johnny Estrada flies out to center. Aaron "F'N" Boone grounds to short, Hanley Ramirez backhands it and fires to first in time to beat Boone. Felipe Lopez to short, Ramirez to first, Runyel Pinto's through eight. "Wild" Joe Hanrahan retires the Marlins in order to end the eigth...
...Cristian Guzman grounds up the middle off closer Kevin Gregg, "Superstar" Hanley Ramirez can't handle it. Ryan Zimmerman connects...on a fly out to center. Nick Johnson goes to a full count on a pitch over the catcher, allowing Guzman to take second. Nick Johnson walks. Lastings Milledge goes to a full count...lines a few foul...Strike three! Fastball outside corner for Gregg. Austin Kearns...the 1-1 pitch is wild, both runners advance...3-1 fastball right by Kearns...The crowd rises...Kearns drops the ball into shallow right...two runs score. 5-5 game. Wily Mo Pena flies out to right to end the inning.
Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera's on next, and he issues a leadoff walk to Dan Uggla. Rivera gets a groundout from Jeremy Hermida, Uggla advances to second. Rivera gives "The Hammer" the "Intentionals", Wes Helms singles to center...Uggla rounds third...
Nationals now 5-13.