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Washington Nationals vs Minnesota Twins: Game Report..."And So Much More..."

Game Report...

By now most Washington baseball fans should know that the Nationals lost 9-3 this afternoon, dropping their third straight on the road in Minneapolis, Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, to end the Nationals' nine-game road trip through Pittsburgh, Seattle and Twinkie Town with four wins and five losses, a 29-45 overall record, and a 13.0 game deficit in the race for the NL East crown. 

Shawn Hill took the brunt of the Twins' abuse this afternoon, dropping to (1-4) after taking the loss, while allowing 10 hits, 7 runs, (6 ER) and 3 walks in 3.2 innings to end the day with a 5.22 ERA so far in '08. After surrendering two runs to Jason Kubel and Brian Buscher, who hit RBI triples and singles, resepectively, with one down in the second, Hill gave up another RBI double to Michael Cuddyer in the third, immediately after Cristian Guzman and Elijah Dukes had tied it at 2-2 a half-inning earlier. Two singles, a double, a triple and a sac fly into the fourth, (not particularly in that order), Hill's lifted, and the Nationals are down 7-2 after four. 

A walk, a double, a wild pitch and a sac fly, and the Twins add two runs to their lead against "Wild" Joel Hanrahan in the seventh. 9-2 Minnesota...Dmitri Young blasts a solo shot to right to lead off the eighth. 9-3 Twins. Twins' starter Glen Perkins (W, 3-2, 4.39 ERA) lasts 8.0 innings, allowing 10 hits and all 3 runs the Nationals' plate, but Perkins walks only one and surrenders 1 HR, with just 2 K's. 

Cristian Guzman (2 for 4, .318), Elijah Dukes (1 for 5, .241), and DY (1 for 5, .264) each get an RBI in the game, but the Nationals strand 10 as a team. Wily Mo Pena hits a two-out single in the fourth, and goes (1 for 4) on the afternoon (with an error), leaving the Nationals' struggling outfielder batting .206 at the end of the game. 

The Washington Nationals now head back to DC, where they'll welcome the other former-Washington Senators, the AL West's red-hot Texas Rangers, the AL West's first place Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the Beltway rival Baltimore Orioles in for three each on a nine-game stand that will last through June 29th. 

And So Much More...

As Washington Post sports writer Chico Harlan reported in his article entitled, "Acta Hopes Mock Steadies In Second Start", Garrett Mock will be taking the injured Odalis Perez's spot in the starting rotation Saturday, which means it's Tim Redding, Mock, and John "Cool Hand" Lannan facing the Texas Rangers this weekend, and they'll unfortunately be facing centerfielder Josh Hamilton, who might be the best player in the Majors this season, batting .321, with 19 double, 3 triples, 19 HR's and 74 RBI's in 72 games...

By way of comparison with Hamilton...The Washington Nationals' team leader in doubles? Cristian Guzman with 22. Triples? Who leads DC?...Dukes and Guzman with 2 triples each. HR's? Ryan Zimmerman (Remember him?) with 8. The RBI leader for the Nationals? Zimmerman again, tied with Lastings Milledge at...27...otherwise known as -45 RBI's less than Hamilton. Second on the Rangers in RBI's? Milton Bradley at 48 runs batted in...

BASEBALL AMERICA...More On 1st Round Pick Aaron Crow...

In the most recent newstand edition of Baseball America's magazine, Washington Nationals' correspondent Lacy Lusk quotes Nationals' Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo, in an article entitled, "It's Unanimous", in which Mr. Rizzo  states that '08 1st Round Pick Aaron Crow was:

"...the one true unanimous decision in the draft room, which scares me a little bit...But we're very excited to add a top of the rotation guy."

Nationals' scouting director Dana Brown is also quoted in Lacy Lusk's column, telling the Baseball America correspondent about the team's surprise at finding Crow available when their turn came around for the 9th Pick of the 1st Round:

"It's so rare to get a guy like (Crow) drafting this low...I think what happened is that a lot of teams decided to go with bats...When was the last time three catchers went (in the Top 10)?"

7:35 pm EST tomorrow night in DC. Washington takes on the other team that stole the Senators from the nation's capital, the Texas Rangers, who come to town for a three game weekend series. 

Nationals now 29-45.