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Washington Nationals vs New York Mets: Game Report..."The Perennial Cellar-Dwellers vs The Epic Collapsers...."

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Both starters, righty Shawn Hill for Washington and lefty Oliver Perez for New York retire the opposing batters in order in the first inning. Hill throws three pitches by Carlos Beltran to start the top of the second. Ryan Church hits the corner of the wall in center for a one-out double, but Hill gets two outs without Church scoring, for Hill's second scoreless frame. Oliver Perez gets a good call on a low fastball to get Austin Kearns staring, an arching curve fells Wily Mo Pena, but today's DC first baseman Aaron "F'N" Boone singles to center interrupting the flow...Willie Harris flies out to left, two scoreless in the books. 

 

Raul "The Heartthrob" Casanova's behind the plate for New York tonight, and he singles to start the top of the third, allowing Oliver Perez to lay down a sac bunt, which he does successfully. Jose Reyes grounds out to first. Hill throws a 2-2 fastball out over the plate and Luis Castillo singles on a line drive to center, scoring Casanova, 1-0 NY after one and a half. Oliver Perez walks Wil Nieves in the Nationals' half of the third, allowing Shawn Hill to lay do the sac bunt, which he does successfully, but after walking Felipe Lopez, Perez gets a ground ball from Cristian Guzman to short, to second, to first, double play to end the third. 1-0 NY. 

 

Hill walks Ryan Church to start the fourth, and one out later, Church steals second, after Carlos Delgado strikes out trying to advance him. Hill walks Angel Pagan. Raul Casanova flies out to center. Hill gets squeezed on a 2-2 pitch inside, so he has to throw a fastball to Oliver Perez, and for the second straight night, the opposing pitcher is lining in runs. 2-0 NY. Ryan Zimmerman beats out an infield grounder deep in the hole at short to start the bottom of the inning, but Oliver Perez gets the next three Nationals in order for his fourth scoreless frame. 

 

Luis Castillo singles through second to put the leadoff batter on in three straight innings. Shawn Hill gets a good call on a high fastball to get David Wright looking. Castillo at second gets hit with a pickoff attempt, and takes third base as the ball rolls into left field. Hill gets Beltran looking with a pitch that's a little more of a strike than the one to Wright. Shawn Hill starts Ryan Church with two strikes, then, after two balls, Hill hangs a slider that Church lines to right, Castillo scores. 3-0 NY...

 

...Leadoff walk issued to Willie Harris. Wil Nieves lines a single up the middle to put two on for pinch hitter Ronnie Belliard. Perez goes to a full count, and walks Belliard to load the bases for Felipe Lopez. Lopez rips a grounder up the middle under a diving Jose Reyes for a two-run single. 3-2 NY. Cristian Guzman almost clears Carlos Beltran's head in center, but Beltran makes the grab for the first out. First and third for Zimmerman...Lopez runs as Zimmerman grounds out to second, Lopez safe, Belliard scores 3-3 ballgame. David Wright robs Austing Kearns with a diving stab, and Carlos Delgado sends Austin Kearns flying for the second straight game, sticking his big a** into the baseline and undercutting Kearns sending him held over heels into the dirt...

 

Recently recalled Mike "Lefty" O'Connor replaces Ray King on the roster, and Shawn Hill on the mound, to start the top of the sixth. O'Connor gets Angel Pagan to fly out for the first out. Raul Casanova hits one to the wall in center, out of reach of a leaping Willie Harris...but "The Heartthrob" misses first and has to go back, as he settles for a single. Oliver Perez pops up a bunt...Casanova doesn't run...O'Connor lets it drop and gets the force on the lead runner at second. Perez safe at first. Jose Reyes grounds a curve to second to end the Mets' half of the inning. 

 

Wily Mo Pena goes the other way with a single to start the Nationals' sixth. Aaaron Boone singles over short. Willie Harris bunts it too hard, and Oliver Perez is able to cut down Pena at third. Wil Nieves grounds to first. Two on, two out for pinch hitter Lastings Milledge. Mets' Manager Willie Randolph is bringing on the Heilman. Milledge works a walk off Heilman. Lopez goes to a full count...and goes DEEP... GRAND SLAM!!! GRAND SLAM!!! FELIPE LOPEZ GOES DEEP!!! 7-3 DC on the HR to right!!! 

 

Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera is on in the seventh. Rivera gets the first two batters out and then gives up a long ball to Carlos Beltran, who crushes a hanging slider to left to cut into the DC lead. 7-4 Nationals. Ryan Church grounds out to second...Stand up and stretch...Mets' reliever Jorge Sosa gets a ground ball from Aaron Boone, but Jose Reyes boots it...Sosa walks Willie Harris, Wil Nieves grounds under Delgado's glove at first, Boone scores, 8-4. Johnny Estrada grounds through first. 9-4 Nationals. One out later, Cristian Guzman singles in Estrada, 10-4. 

 

Luis "Set-Up" Ayala retires the Mets in order in the eigth. Mets' reliever Pedro Feliciano gives up a single to Wily Mo Pena, but gets out of the eigth. Wait for it...

 

The Tallest Closer in MLB History, Jon Rauch towers over the mound. Pinch hitter Marlon Anderson...takes Rauch deep...to right...and GONE! 10-5 Nationals. But that's as close as NY gets. Reyes singles, Castilo singles, Rauch gets serious. David Wright flies out to center. One out. Beltran still can't hit curves. Two down. Ryan Church flies out to center. Nationals win 10-5. 

 

Nationals now 7-16.