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Washington Nationals vs New York Mets: Game Report..."The Nationals Lose As Much As Big Head Teddy."

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The New York Mets make their first visit to Nationals Park tonight, as the Washington Nationals welcome their NL East rivals for an abbreviated two game stay in the nation's capital.

 

No score after one. Carlos Beltran lines a leadoff double to right off Washington starter Tim Redding in the second. Ryan Church grounds out, advancing Beltran to third with the first out of the second. Carlos Delgado grounds out to second, for a productive out and a 1-0 Mets' lead. 

 

Austin Kearns hits a dribbler down the third base line, Mets' starter Johan Santana fields and fires to first, Carlos Delgado makes the catch and his hip catches Kearns, sending the Nationals' right fielder tumbling to the ground...(and limping around the dugout...) Santana gives up back to back two-out singles to Wily Mo Pena and Wil Nieves, but gets the opposing pitcher swinging to end the second. 1-0 NY. 

 

Johan Santana catches everyone by surprise at the plate, lining a one-out double over Lastings Milledge's head in center and all the way to the wall on a roll. Jose Reyes flies out harmlessly to left. Tim Redding gets the call on a called strike three low in the zone to get Luis Castillo looking to end the top of the third. Cristian Guzman lines to left for another single with one down in the bottom of the third. Ryan Zimmerman works the count full, and grounds out to first, Guzman's running, so he's safe at second. Santana gets Nick Johnson looking to end the third. Still 1-0 Mets. 

 

Tim Redding drops a curve into the top of the zone to get David Wright looking. Carlos Beltran takes four and walks. Ryan Church grounds out. Beltran's running, so he's safe at second. Carlos Delgado rips a grounder into the dramatic shift to end the top of the fourth. 

 

(Big Head Teddy Roosevelt was well on his way to his first Presidents Race win, when a pulled hamstring derailed the hopes of an entire nation.)

 

Wily Mo Pena demolishes the ball while shattering his bat on a line drive single to left with two down in the DC fourth. Pena's running when Wil Nieves drops a bloop single into short right. Pena to third. Tim Redding returns the favor..driving a two-out double off Santana and over the pulled in outfield for two-run blast and a 2-1 Nationals' lead after four. 

 

Tim Redding walks the opposing catcher and pitcher with one out in the top of the fifth. Jose Reyes grounds into a force at second, but is far too quick to get thrown out at first. First and third for Luis Castillo...Reyes steals second...Castillo chops one up the middle, and beats out Cristian Guzman's throw for an RBI infield single. 2-2 ballgame. Johan Santana retires the Nationals in order. Still a tie after five. 

 

Carlos Beltran lines a leadoff single to left to chase Tim Redding before an out is recorded in the sixth. "Half-A" Ray King on to face Church and Delgado. Church hits one off the end of his bat and sends it spinning toward third, Ryan Zimmerman fields on the run and fires it...by Nick Johnson at first, allowing Beltran to score and Church to take third. 3-2 New York. Angel Pagan hits one off the end of his bat, and Ray King can't make the play. 4-2 New York. Angel Pagan steals second...and third...Brian Schneider grounds out, Pagan scores. 5-2 Mets after five and a half. Santana retires the Nationals in order to end the sixth. 

 

Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera, who got the final out last inning, is back for the seventh, and he throws a scoreless frame getting Castillo, Wright and Beltran in order. Aaron Boone works a one-out walk off Johan Santana, bringing up Felipe Lopez, who grounds into an inning ending DP. 5-2 NY after seven. 

 

Carlos Delgado grounds to short off "Wild" Joel Hanrahan with one out in the seventh. One out later Brian Schneider hits a line-drive single to center, moving Delgado to third. Marlon Anderson flies out to end the inning. Santana replaced by Duaner Sanchez, who gets Guzman, Zimmerman and Johnson in order to end the eigth.

 

Jesus "Everyday" Colome gives up one-out, line-drive single to Luis Castillo in the ninth. David Wright up, Castillo steals second, (The Nationals cannot throw runners out! And it's not always the catcher's fault!)...Wright walks. Carlos Beltran grounds out to first. Ryan Church hits a 3-1 pitch over Kearn's head in right...two runs score. 7-2 Mets after eight and a half. Austin Kearns gets a leadoff walk from Billy Wagner in the Nationals' half of the ninth. Wagner treats Milledge rudely with a three-pitch K. Wily Mo Pena flies out to center. Wagner gets Wil Nieves swinging to end the game. 7-2 Mets win. 

 

Nationals now 6-16. 

 

 

Random #'s and ?'s...

 

Can Ryan Zimmerman be blamed for the error that started the Mets' scoring in the sixth? The ball was spinning oddly, and he had to reach back across his body? On the run? Am I making excuses for Zimmerman? What about the 0-4 at the plate? The Nationals had only 7 hits as a team...but that leaves Zimmerman at .215 in '08...

 

...Then again...Nick Johnson's batting .209...Would Nick Johnson still be starting if DY was healthy enough to compete...cause you know Dmitri Young would be hitting .300 if he could...

 

...Did Colome slow the game down the way a car accident does traffic on the highway or what? 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 1 K...31 pitches...19 strikes, against 6 batters. That inning felt longer than all of Johan Santana's half-innings combined...

 

Just the #'s, no judgment for another year or so...

 

Brian Schneider - 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, .309 AVG. ('08 - 1 2B, 8 RBI's.)

Ryan Church - 2 for 5, 1 R, 2 RBI, .342 AVG. ('08 - 2  2B, 2 HR, 13 RBI's.)

 

Lastings Milledge - 0 for 4, 2 K's, .271 AVG. ('08 - 7 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI's, 2 SB.)

 

Where does Church get off playing like he has so far? Don't tell me Howard Johnson is responsible for turning a .270 hitter into a .340 batter? Will Church be able to bat .300 all season? In this lineup he just might...

 

Another one with NY tomorrow...

 

Shawn Hill (0-0, 7.20 ERA) vs Oliver Perez (2-0, 2.49 ERA)

 

7:10 PM in DC...