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Nationals vs Cardinals: Game Report...Birds on a Bat vs A Cursive "W"...All Under the Arch...

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XM 187 for game two of the three game series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals, in Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri. Adam Wainwright, who had rain ruin his first start this season looks to pitch one that counts against lefty Matt Chico, who lasted five and a third innings against the Phillies in his first start, and is looking to limit his walks and consistently repeat his new delivery in his second trip to the mound this year. This is how I heard it...

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(AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)

Adam Wainwright retires the first two Nationals' batters he faces, but then Ryan Zimmer...THE KIDS CAL HIM ZIM!! Ground-rule double to right. Two-outs, one on for Nick Johnson, who goes down swinging to end the top of the first. Matt Chico matches Wainwright with his own scoreless first on the mound for Washington. 3 up and 3 down for DC in their second turn at bat.

Chico gives up a leadoff single to Troy Glaus to start the second. Ryan Ludwick lines...Right into Zimmerman's glove at third. Yadier Molina singles. Two on for Adam Kennedy, who lines to left, DC left fielder Felipe Lopez fields it on one hop and fires to third in time for the force...(no choice for Glaus)...Adam Wainwright, you guessed it, "helps his own cause" with a single. One run scores. 1-0 Cardinals. Cesar Itzuris lines to left. 2-0. 4 singles, 2 runs. 2-0 Cardinals after two.

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(AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)

The Nationals go down in order again in the third as Wainwright waltzes through the Washington lineup. Left-handed hitting Rick Ankiel, (a .292 career hitter against lefties), doubles to right in front of Albert Pujols, who gets worked around, allowing Troy Glaus to advance both runners with a fly ball out. Ryan Ludwick down swinging. Chico's one out away from escap...Yadier Molina singles, two runs score, 4-0 Cardinals after three.

Ryan Zimmerman hits his second double of the day with one out in the Nationals' fourth. Nick Johnson singles up the middle, Zimmerman scores. 4-1 St. Louis. Austin Kearns is robbed by Adam Kennedy, in what the announcers describe as the play of the decade, diving, rolling over and tossing to second in time to get the force on Johnson at second. Ronnie Belliard singles, Felipe Lopez walks to load the bases...Jesus Flores?...takes a 3-1 pitch...full count...Flores grounds out to Glaus to end the inning. 4-1 after three and a half...

Matt Chico walks Cesar Itzuris to put the leadoff man on, and then picks him off to erase the problem. Brian Barton speeeeds around the basepaths with a one-out triple in the home half of the fourth. Chico gets Ankiel swinging. Albert Pujols flies out, 4-1 Cards after four.

Lastings Milledge doubles in the fifth, but neither team adds anything else but 0's to the scoreboard in the inning. Nick Johnson singles to center to start the sixth, but Austin Kearns flies out unproductively, and Ronnie Belliard produces a DP grounder that ends the top of the sixth. Matt Chico retires the Cardinals in order to end the sixth inning. (Chico's line (L, 0-1), 6.0 IP, 8 hits, 4 ER and 2 walks allowed, 5 K's, 5.56 ERA to end the day.)

Jesus "Everyday" Colome takes over for Chico in the seventh after the Nationals fail to score in the top of the frame. Colome walks Skip Schumaker to start the inning, Rick Ankiel K's, Schumaker's running as Pujols grounds out to third, so there's no chance for Zimmerman to turn the DP. Troy Glaus flies out. Colome holds it close.

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(AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)

Nick, NICK, Johnson, JOHNSON!! Deep to center and GONE!!! Nick Johnson's first long ball of the season pulls the Nationals within two at 4-2 Cardinals after seven and half. The Cardinals take back the three-run lead right away when Colome walks two with two outs and is replaced by Ray King who walks the bases loaded and then proceeds to throw a wild pitch that allows a run in and gives St. Louis a 5-2 lead. Adam Wainwright done after eight. (W, 1-0)...8.0 IP, 8 hits, 2 ER, 1 walk, 4 K's, 2.25 ERA.

...and the wild pitch hurts even more a few minutes later...

...Ronnie Belliard doubles to start the ninth off Cards' reliever Anthony Reyes. Felipe Lopez flies out to left. What will Jesus do? Jesus Flores lifts one DEEEEP to left and over and the wall, two-run blast, 5-4 Cardinals...Aaron Boone pops out...Cristian Guzman up...St. Louis' Manager Tony La Russa's gonna turn Guzman around, bringing on lefty Randy Flores...who gets Guzman to fly out on the first pitch...to center where Rick Ankiel closes his glove on the second consecutive 5-4 St. Louis win over DC.

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(AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)

Nationals now 3-3.

?'s and Notes for DC Baseball fans...

That's (0-1) in 2 starts and 14 hits, 7 ER, and 3 walks, with 9 K's in 11.1 IP for Matt Chico so far...if John "Trouble" Lannan comes up tomorrow and impresses and Shawn Hill manages to make a return to the rotation next week, is Chico suddenly a candidate for a trip to Triple-AAA Columbus? (ed. note - "The Cardinals' radio announcers said Chico had good control early on...How'd he look if anyone watched today?)

How many wild pitches/passed balls have there been in the first week for the Nationals...is it just me? Or am I just missing Brian Schneider?

Cardinals note...How fast is Brian Barton? They said yesterday his defense was shaky, but he's so fast he could double on a bunt.

Ryan Zimmerman - 2 doubles, 2 for 4, 1 run scored, .259 AVG, that's more like it.

Nick Johnson - 3 for 4, 1 HR, 1 run scored, 2 RBI's (4 total), .368 AVG.

Is Jesus Flores destined to be just as clutch as Ryan Zimmerman? Without the trouble Colome and King encountered in the eigth, Flores' blast would have tied it.

Three straight losses negate the 3-0 start, so one more in St. Louis tomorrow and then the Nationals can settle in at home after last Sunday's tease of a home opening at new Nationals Park. Let's hope Lannan fares better than the last two lefties against the St. Louis' lineup on Sunday at 2:15 PM EST...