Washington's starter Tim Redding retires the Atlanta Braves in order in the top of the first, even getting Chipper Jones to fly out to right, which will drop his .433 AVG slightly. Atlanta lefty Tom Glavine gets a ground ball from Cristian Guzman for what should be the second out of the bottom of the inning, but the ball eats up Chipper Jones at third, allowing Guzman to reach safely. "What is he British?" My Brother Scout, Braves' Fan and Source For All Things Baseball asks about Ryan Zimmerman who rips a single through short moving Guzman to second. ("Why does Zimmerman bat with his pinky extended off the bat? Like he's sipping tea..." Scout asks again.) Nick Johnson's up with two on, one out..."Shave that moustache, Nick!" Scout shouts about Nick Johnson's new lip-warmer...line-drive single for Johnson, bases loaded. Lastings Milledge grounds to Kelly Johnson, who tosses to Yunel Escobar, the throw over to first, in time for an inning-ending DP. 0-0 after one.
Mark Teixeira rips a 2-2 pitch past Nick Johnson at first, and down the line in right for a leadoff double. Brian McCann flies out to right, Milledge and Austin Kearns collide lightly, and Tex takes third. Tim Redding gets waaay inside on Jeff Francouer and hits him in the bicep with a fastball. Mark Kotsay grounds to Nick Johnson weakly enough that there's no time for a double play, so Tex scores. 1-0 Atlanta... Austin Kearns hits a laser over Francouer's head in right for a leadoff double in the Nationals' half, and Kearns moves to third on a Johnny Estrada groundout. Wily Mo Pena walks. Redding lays down a sac bunt. Felipe Lopez goes down swinging, stranding two...
"The Grant Fuhr of Baseball," Scout calls Ryan Zimmerman as the Nationals' third baseman robs the opposing pitcher of a base hit with a glove save and a throw to first. Kelly Johnson lines one right into Nick Johnson's over-sized mitt at first. Redding issues a two-out walk to Yunel Escobar in front of Chipper Jones. C. Jones lines a single to right, Kearns' arm keeps Escobar at second. Redding gets out of the inning with a high outside fastball that gets Mark Teixeira looking...Glavine gets Guzman to ground out for the first out of the Nationals' third. Ryan Zimmer...THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Ryan Zimmerman launches one to left center and GONE!! 1-1 ballgame....NICK JOHNSON waits on a curve and goes DEEEEP to right and GONE!! Back to back long balls, 2-1 Nationals.
Redding retires six straight to hold it at 2-1 through the top of the fifth. Felipe Lopez starts the bottom of the inning with a soft line drive to center. Guzman grounds into a force at second, Zimmerman goes down looking, and Nick Johnson grounds out to second to end the fifth. Chipper...JONES!! Redding serves up a fastball down the pipe and C.Jones takes it to center with a high fly ball that comes down left of center in the outfield stands. 2-2 ballgame middle of six. Glavine gets Milledge, Kearns and Estrada in order to end the sixth tied at two.
Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera takes over for Redding in the top of the seventh, and walks the leadoff batter, Matt Diaz. Diaz steals second with pinch hitter Ruben Gotay at the plate. Gotay lines to left, Diaz moves to third, no outs. Kelly Johnson grounds back to the mound, Rivera looks Diaz back to third, and takes the out at first. Yunel Escobar rips one to second, Lopez throws home, and Diaz is out by a mile. Two outs. C.Jones rolls over one and grounds out to second. Sa-OOOL!!! Stand up and stretch....Wily Mo Pena makes Blaine Boyer pirouette on the mound to avoid a sharp line drive single. Willie Harris flies out to center unproductively. Felipe Lopez works a walk. Guzman pokes a grounder to third, Chipper's in close and he can't come up with it. Bases loaded. 2-2 fastball inside to Ryan Zimmer...THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! Line drive over Francouer's head in right, one hop and off the wall, two runs score, 4-2 Nationals. Lastings Milledge vs Jorge Campillo with two on, two out....Milledge takes a hanging curve to right for a two-run double. 6-2 Nationals.
Luis Ayala retires the Braves in order in the top of the eigth. Campillo comes back out for Atlanta, and pitches a quick scoreless frame. Wait for it...Chad Cordero, the Flat-Brimmed Closer in Training takes over for the Nationals in the top of the ninth. First pitch...79 mph fastball singled to center by Mark Kotsay...and Jon Rauch is immediately up in the bullpen...77mph and 81mph on a ball and strike to Matt Diaz, 87 mph on a ball, and Matt Diaz rips the next pitch to third, where Zimmerman takes one off the chin on a bad hop. Pinch hitter Brayan Pena, pops out to Zimmerman foul of third. Kelly Johnson takes a swing at a high 84 mph fastball, and then watches an 82 mph strike into the catcher's mitt, before Cordero throws a ball to...Cordero's injured. It's official...(holding his underarm? Lat?)...The Tallest Closer in MLB History. Kelly Johnson lines Rauch's second pitch through second for an RBI single. 6-3 DC. Rauch drops a deuce on Yunel Escobar and then blows the heat by him for a swining strike three. Chipper Jones, tying run at the plate, 1-1 pitch is popped out to center, Milledge has it. Nationals win.
"e. chigliak wrote:
Your early middle of the order question:
(“Woo-hoo! Is this the game the middle of the order turns it around?” – Doghouse)
...is gonna lead off the game report.
In that case let me offer further prophecy...
(Woo-hoo! Is this the game that starts our successful run for a WC berth?)"
Let's hope so, Doghouse.
Nationals now 10-17.
(ed. note - "Buzz Bissinger hates me cause I blog.")