New Nationals' starter Tyler Clippard has apparently gotten the message from Management, as he starts Giants’ leadoff hitter Fred Lewis with two fastball strikes. The right-handed Clippard wastes one and misses out ot the zone twice, going to a full count, before Lewis pops out to center for the first out. Four straight balls to Ray Durham and Randy Winn’s up with a man at first. A wild pitch on a 1-2 count gets by Flores and all the way to the wall behind home. Winn doubles off the wall 377 ft from the plate. Durham scores. 1-0 Giants. Bengie Molina flies out to center. Aaron Rowand pops out to third to end Clippard’s first inning as a National...Cristian Guzman grounds out to second. Elijah Dukes scorches an inside fastball, sending it screaming out to left for a single. Dukes gets nailed stealing second. Lastings Milledge takes a two-out walk. Milledge gets caught stealing when Omar Vizquel makes a leaping-swipe-tag at second to end the first.
John Bowker leads off the San Fran second, and he goes down swinging for Clippard's first K...
(Substitution: Insert Scout, Braves Fan And Source For All Things Baseball, with the remainder of the Report...)
...Clippard pops Rick Aurilia up on a high fastball to start the second. 3-1 pitch to Omar Vizquel sails high and away for a walk, bringing up Today's Starter for the Giants, Matt Cain. Cain K's on ball four after Clippard goes full on his mound-counterpart. Bottom of the frame, DY strikes out leading off on a 2-2 curve that starts chest-high and drops towards home plate. Flores tests Omar Vizquel's backhand. The Eternal Shortstop fields cleanly, plants, and guns Flores down. Casto K's on a curve to end the second frame.
Fred Lewis leads off for the second time tonight, flying out short of the 'track in left-center. Ray Durham K's on a sinking change-up. Randy Winn pops the next pitch to short right where Dukes catches it on his way into the dugout...DC third, Felipe Lopez can't catch up to a shoulder-high fastball, Wily Mo shatters his bat grounding back to the mound. Tyler Clippard tests Cain too, this time Cain takes the steam off a grounder up the middle, deflecting it so Vizquel can't throw Clippard out. Cristian Guzzzzzzman follows with a single, two on for Dukes. Dukes grounds to short, Vizquel to Durham at second to end the third.
Bengie, the eldest of the Catching Molina Brothers leads off the fourth with a single. Rowand works the count full before K'ing on a gutsy-belt-high 3-2 change from Clippard. Clippard goes full with Aurilia as well, walking him to put runners on first and second with two out. Clippard pitches around Omar Vizquel to pitch to the pitcher, and gets Cain swinging at three off-speed pitches to end the fourth-inning threat...Lastings Milledge lifts a 3-2 fastball to DEEP right, off the scoreboard in RF for a leadoff double. DY lines a one-hopper to John Bowker at first, advancing Milledge to third. Flores hammers one to left, plenty deep to score Milledge, and it's tied at 1-1 after four.
Clippard K's Lewis on a sharp breaker. Ray Durham waits on a change and lines a double to right. Clippard and Winn battle with a RISP...Winn fouls off two-strike fastballs twice, sliders twice, and then Winn lines a 2-2 change through the middle for a 2-1 Giants' lead. Molina follows with a blast to left that Pena can't track down. One-hop and off the wall for a 3-1 lead when Winn crosses. ("Scout"-ing Report: "Clippard battles but comes up short against two veteran hitters, who seemed to be looking 'off-speed' with two strikes.") Manny Acta makes the change. Clippard's day is done. Brian Sanches on to relieve Tyler Clippard, one out, Molina on second. Sanches gets Rowand, but then hits Bowker on the wrist before popping Aurilia out to right center. 3-1 Giants...DY flies out to Lewis, who misplays a pop-up into a diving-double-saving catch on the left field foul line. Pena K's on a Cain curve. Ryan Langerhans K's on an 0-2 fastball high and away in a pinch hitting appearance.
Jesus "Everyday" Colome pitches a quick 1-2-3 inning, getting Vizquel to line out to Pena, who makes a waist-high grab, the pitcher Cain to ground out to short, and Colome gets strike three swinging on a slider under Fred Lewis' hands...Guzzzzman singles to leadoff the sixth, dropping a flare into short right/center. Dukes flies out to center. Milledge battles Cain, fouls off 2-2 inside heat, and the 2 curves that follow, before flying out to Rowand. DY singles past Durham to put runners on the corners with two down for Flores. WWJD? Flores battles back from an 0-2, to a full count and K's on a 3-2 curve from Cain in a 13-pitch marathon at-bat. (ed. note - "Scout - 'Write it!' e chigliak - 'What? Write what?' Scout - 'Write the last line.' e chigliak - 'Fine.'")...
"...(Flores K's) in a marathon at-bat that ends in Nats' frustration." (ed. note - "I never call them the Nats. I hate that nickname of a nickname.")
Ray Durham flies out to Milledge in center. Colome walks Winn on four straight. One out, one on. Molina K's on a hard slider for the second out. Rowand walks on four straight. Guzman knocks down a Bowker liner holding Winn at third. Bases loaded for Aurilia, who pops the first pitch up behind second, Felipe Lopez makes the catch retreating to end the San Fran seventh...Felipe Lopez hits a one-out double to the screen in the wall in left-center that protects the bullpen area. Wily Mo flares a 2-2 pitch to center. With two on, Keiichi Yabu comes on to hold Cain's lead. Aaron Boone grounds to Ray Durham, to Vizquel, to Bowker at first. Double play. Rally over.
Chaalee Manning throws a scoreless eighth inning...Cristian Guzman slashes a liner to Aurilia, at first now, after playing third earlier. Dukes K's on a sharp curve. Milledge draws a two-out, full-count walk. Dy singles up the middle, tying runs on again. Willie Harris on to run for DY. Flores walks to load the bases for Kory Casto. Casto will face Alex Hinshaw. Catcher Bengie Molina attempts a pick off throw on a 1-1 ball inside to Casto, and the throw hits the runner and trickles into center, Milledge scores. 3-2 Giants. Hinshaw walks Casto, and the Giants turn to closer Brian Wilson. Felipe Lopez vs Brian Wilson. Bases loaded, two outs. Felipe lines a 1-2 pitch right at Randy Winn for the final out of the inning. 3-2 Giants after eight.
Luis Ayala pitches a scoreless ninth. The Nats have three outs to get one run. Jose Castillo handles a tough chopper from Wily Mo Pena. Wil Nieves grounds to Castillo again, and the third baseman sails an errant throw high over Aurilia's head at first, but Ray Durham's backing up and they hold Nieves there. Guzman grounds the first pitch to Durham, the flip to Vizquel, the throw to Aurilia at first. Double play. Good night. Giants sweep four straight at Nationals Park. 3-2 final.
Nationals now 25-40.