Lastings Milledge has the first hit of the game for the Washington Nationals with a single to left. Ryan Zimmerman up with Milledge at first, one out, right-hander Kyle Lohse on the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals in the Sunday finale of this three game visit to Busch Stadium. Zimmerman tags one but it hangs up in the air long enough for Rick Ankiel to get under it and make the catch. Milledge gets caught off first when Yadier Molina takes a fastball inside to Nick Johnson from Kyle Lohse and fires it to first catching Milledge off guard ending the top of the first.
(AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)
John Lannan walks Brian Barton to put the leadoff man on in the Cardinals' first. Rick Ankiel doubles over Milledge's head in center and it lands at the bottom of the wall for a run-scoring hit. Barton's already getting a drink in the dugout. 1-0 Cards. Albert Pujols grounds out to short, moving Ankiel to third. Troy Glaus grounds hard to third, Zimmerman looks Ankiel back to the bag and fires to first in time to get the out. Ryan Ludwick, rips one into Zimmerman's glove. Lannan limits the damage.
(AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)
Austin Kearns slips a bloop single into left off Kyle Lohse with one out in the second. Kearns steals second and takes out the second baseman allowing the throw to roll into center...Kearns takes third. Paul Lo Duca pops out the infield. (ed. note - "Would Jesus would have driven Kearns in.") Felipe Lopez, who starts at second today, grounds to second. (ed. note - "C'mon Felipe!!) Kearns stranded at third...Nick Johson backhands a grounder from Yadier Molina, getting down in the dirt and tossing to the covering Lannan for the first out of the Cardinals' second. Adam Kennedy grounds back to the mound. The opposing pitcher, Kyle Lohse, chases an outside fastball for strike three to end the second.
(AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)
Rob Mackowiak, who gets his first start of the season in left, takes a leadoff walk in front of John Lannan, allowing the pitcher to attempt the sac bunt...which Lannan executes expertly, advancing the runner. Cristian Guzman takes a two-strike fastball for out number two. Lastings Milledge pops out to second. 1-0 Cards, middle of three...John Lannan drops a brutal curve on Cesar Itzuris and gets Brian Barton to line the first pitch out to Milledge for the first two outs of the inning. Rick Ankiel goes deep to left center, Milledge and Mackowiak are tracking it...but it's GONE!!! 2-0 Cardinals. Pujols takes four straight. Troy Glaus walks. Two on, two outs for Ryan Ludwick. Lannan throws three strikes in a row to put Ludwick down looking. 2-0 after three. (ed. note - "Lannan's no joke! Third strike was an angry one.")
Ryan Zimmerman goes the other way for a line drive single to right to start the fourth. Nick Johnson flies out to center. Austin Kearns ropes one right into Troy Glaus' glove, Glaus to second, to first, inning-ending DP. Yadier Molina finds the right center gap for a double to start the bottom of the fourth. Adam Kennedy lines one directly at Kearns in right. Lannan hangs a curve over the outside corner that Lohse can't lay off of...Cesar Itzuris grounds to short, through Molina's feet, but Cristian Guzman makes the play, 2-0 after four. (ed. note - "Solid D by thee Guzman.)
(AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)
Paul Lo Duca finds some real estate in right for a leadoff single in the fifth. Felipe Lopez looks lost, going down swinging at a curve in the dirt. Rob Mackowiak flies out to left. (ed. note - "When are Dukes and Pena coming back?") Lannan grounds back to the mound. Back on the hill...Brian Barton singles to left when Mackowiak can't come up with the ball on a diving play. (ed. note - "Dukes? Pena?) Rick Ankiel grounds up the middle, Guzman steps on the bag, throws to first, unassisted DP. Albert Pujols grounds out to short, Guzman's got it. Lannan through five. 2-0 Cards.
Guzman, Milledge and Zimmerman all fly out in the sixth. Lannan's getting squeezed by the ump's idea of the zone, and it results in a Troy Glaus double on a pitch down the pipe. Ryan Ludwick drills a single through short. First and third for Yadier Molina. Molina fists one to Zimmerman for a lineout. Adam Kennedy grounds to Nick Johnson at first, Johnson throws home to get Glaus easily. Two outs. Lohse grounds out. 2-0 after six. (ed. note - "Lannan's unflappable.")
Lohse jams Nick Johnson, who flies out weakly to right. Austin Kearns takes a 3-1 fastball to the warning track in left, but that's as far as it goes. Lo Duca grounds out to third. 2-0 after six and a half. Stand up and stretch...Lannan's back out for the seventh, and he gives up a leadoff single to Cesar Itzuris. Skip Schumaker grounds out, but Itzuris was running and slides in safely at second. Lannan gets Rick Ankiel leaning out over a breaking ball for a groundout second out. Lannan's done after 6.2 IP, 7 hits, 2 ER, 3 walks, 4 K's, 1 HR. Joel "Unhittable" Hanrahan throws four balls to Pujols. Troy Glaus up...Double steal, Pujols steals second, Itzuris to third. Hanrahan drops a curve on Glaus for strike three.
Cards' reliever Randy Flores turns Felipe Lopez around to the right side, and gets a ground out to start the eigth. (ed. note - "Lopez batting .188 so far.") Ronnie Belliard to pinch hit. The Cards want Ryan Franklin on the mound. Belliard pops out to short. Willie Harris smokes a liner...right to Ryan Ludwick. Luis "Set-Up" Ayala takes over on the mound for the Nationals. Ryan Ludwick gets one by Milledge in center, and runs out a triple before the ball comes back in. Yadier Molina goes deep enough to center to score Ludwick, who tags and crosses. 3-0 St. Louis. Adam Kennedy flies out to left. Chris Duncan grounds out to Belliard.
Jason Isringhausen vs Cristian Guzman, Lastings Milledge and Ryan Zimmerman...Guzman grounds out to Adam Kennedy. Milledge gets robbed by Rick Ankiel who dives with glove outstretched to make the grab. Ryan Zimmerman hits a two-out single up the middle. Nick Johnson grounds out to first. 3-0 Cards win. Nationals get swept out of St. Louis and drop their fourth straight overall.
Nationals now 3-4.
?'s/Notes for DC Baseball Fans...
DY Update?...Washington Post writer Barry Svrluga wrote yesterday in a post entitled, "Cordero to DL, Dukes will return to court", on his blog "Nationals Journal" that:
"If Young goes on the DL -- and it seems that could be probable -- you have to think Justin Maxwell would be a candidate to be recalled, give that the Nationals are down an outfielder. Though with Lopez (Felipe) now out there in left (and I have to say, he's looked good out there thus far), perhaps that's not the case."
Lopez may look alright defensively, but he really needs to find his swing at the plate. The Nationals struggled to score runs this weekend, and left a lot of runners stranded. The big bats of Wily Mo Pena and Elijah Dukes are sorely missed. A quick stint from Maxwell in left might make a difference if DY is DL'd.
Chad Cordero? The Flat-Brimmed Closer spoke to MLB.com's Bill Ladson following a throwing session on Saturday and was quoted in an article entitled, "Cordero has pain-free 'pen session," reporting:
"'Everything felt fine,' Cordero said. 'From the windup, everything was good. From the stretch, it was even better.'"
Reports are that Cordero could be back off the 15-Day DL in time for this weekends' series with Atlanta.
Before Atlanta comes back to DC...It's the Florida Marlins for three starting Monday in Nationals Park.