An error by Washington shortstop Cristian Guzman puts Skip Schumaker on to lead off the first inning of the second game of today’s day/night doubleheader. Aaron Miles singles to right to put two on for Ryan Ludwick. DC catcher Wil Nieves calls for it outside and Nationals’ righty Tim Redding delivers a fastball right there to get Ludwick swinging. Troy Glaus battles to a full count with Redding, but ends up grounding out, letting Redding off the hook...Cristian Guzman singles through second, and Elijah DUKES! tears the cover off the ball, lining a triple, that scores Guzman from first, over the head of St. Louis' centerfielder Skip Schumaker, who just stops and makes a desparate leap as the ball soars above his glove and into the triangle in the center wall. 1-0 Nationals off St. Louis' rookie righty Mike Parisi. Lastings Milledge pops out unproductively, but Aaron Boone does his job, flying out to right for the second out and the second run as Dukes tags and scores. 2-0 Nationals after one...
Tim Redding retires the Cardinals in order in the second. Parisi’s a whole new pitcher as he retires Redding and strikes out Guzman for the first two outs of the frame, but Skip Schumaker drops a can of corn from Dukes and it’s Dukes at second instead of the end of the inning. Lastings Milledge tries for a 3-ball walk, but gets called back to the plate, where he takes ball four. Aaron Boone gets a fastball, and he lines it up the middle scoring Dukes from second for a 3-0 lead. Kory Casto lines into the corner in right for a double, two runs score. 5-0 Nationals.
Tim Redding gets two ground ball outs from Cesar Itzuris and Skip Schumaker and a line drive to Casto at third from Aaron Miles for a quick scoreless third...Wil Nieves singles to left with one out in the DC third. Redding lays down a perfect sac bunt moving Nieves to second. Cristian Guzman drives Nieves in with a stand-up double to center for a 6-0 Nationals’ lead. EIlijah Dukes lines to right, Guzman beats the throw home, Dukes takes second. 7-0 Nationals.
Adam Kennedy singles off Redding to start the fourth. Ryan Ludwick flies out to right. Kennedy tries to take second on a ball in the dirt, but Nieves gets it and fires to second in time for the tag. Troy Glaus gets the Cards on the board with a two-out solo shot to center. 7-1 Nationals. Joe Mather and Jason La Rue single in succession and then both score when Manager Tony La Russa lets the pitcher, Mike Parisi hit, and he doubles both runs in to make it 7-3 DC in the fourth. Aaron Boone starts the bottom of the inning with a double. Kory Casto flies out unproductively. Felipe Lopez takes a walk in front of Ryan Langerhans, who drills a low liner just to the right of second base to drive in Boone for an 8-3 Nationals’ lead.
Skip Schumaker takes Redding’s first pitch of the fifth out to center for a leadoff single. Aaron Miles flies out to right. Adam Kennedy grounds to first, Boone to Guzman, back to Redding covering, double play to end the Cards’ half. Elijah Dukes sends a one-out screamer up the middle for his third hit of the game, this one off Cards’ reliever Mark Worrell. Milledge grounds to short, to second, to first, for the inning-ending DP. Redding gives up a one-out walk and a two-out single to Troy Glaus and Jason La Rue, respectively, to bring up pitcher Mark Worrell, who HOMERS? to left! A three-run blast to get the Cardinals back in the game, now down 8-6. Saul Rivera comes on and ends the Cards’ sixth. Aaron Boone splits the seam in left center, doubling to the wall in the home-half of the sixth. Kory Casto walks, and Felipe Lopez lays down the sac bunt, bringing up Langerhans with men on second and third. Langerhans gets the intentionals to load’em up for Nieves. Wil Nieves flies out to short right, too short to score Boone. Willie Harris pops out to end what should have been a rally. 8-6 after six.
Charlie Manning, Nationals’ lefty reliever, walks the leadoff batter, Skip Schumaker. Aaron Miles pops out to the infield. Adam Kennedy slices a grounder to short, Guzman to Lopez to Boone, double play to end the inning. The Cards’ Kyle McClellan takes over in the seventh. Guzman singles up the middle. Elijah Dukes takes strike three at the knees. Lastings MIlledge grounds into his second straight DP.
Luis “Set-Up” Ayala gets help from a sliding Elijah Dukes, who catches the first out of the eighth while gliding over the grass. Glaus flies out to right. Joe Mather flies to right. Dukes’ third catch of the inning ends it...Kory Casto gets his third hit of the night with one down in the eighth. Lopez ends the inning with one grounder. Wait for it...
The Tallest Closer in MLB History Jon Rauch towers over the mound in Nationals Park. Jason La Rue grounds out inches in front of the catcher. Pinch hitter Brendan Ryan doubles to right center...and Albert Pujols steps to the plate. Pujols vs Rauch. Rauch gets him looking at strike three on the outside corner. (Sort of!) Skip Schumaker triples to center. 1 run scores. 8-7 Nationals. Aaron Miles grounds to center...Guzman can’t come up with it...Schumaker scores. 8-8 ballgame. Ryan Langerhans leads off the home ninth against Cards’ lefty Randy Flores. Langerhans grounds out. Wil Nieves lines out to first. DY? Fly out to left. A double header wasn’t enough...
Brian Sanches to pitch the tenth for DC. Sanches gets the first two outs of the inning, and nine pitches into an at bat with Joe Mather, Sanches hangs a slider that Mather launches to left and GONE! 9-8 Cardinals. Right-hander Ryan Franklin’s on to close out the three-game sweep for the Cardinals in DC. Cristian Guzman singles to center to start the DC tenth. Elijah... DUKES!!! ELIJAH DUKES!! WALK-OFF HOME RUN!!! 420 FEET TO CENTER!!! DUKES! DUKES! DUKES! DUKES! DUKES!!!! WALK-OFF! WALK-OFF!! Nationals win 10-9!!! DUKES 4TH HIT OF THE NIGHT IS HIS FIRST HR OF THE SEASON!! DUUUUUKES!!!!!! THE KIDS CALL HIM DUKES!! THE KIDS CALL HIM DUKES!!!
Nationals now 25-36.
#'s And ?'s For DC Fans...
The Guzzzzzz... - 4 for 6, 3 runs, 1 RBI, .310 AVG.
DUKES!! - 4 for 6, 3 runs, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI's, .203 AVG.
BOOONE! - 3 for 4, 2 runs, 2 2B, 2 RBI's, .273 AVG.
Casto - 3 for 4, 1 2B, 2 RBI's, .556 AVG.
Charlie Manning and Luis Ayala each pitch scoreless innings in relief. Jon Rauch and Brian Sanches each give up runs. Rauch allows 3 hits, 2 ER in his 3rd blown save of the season...
Elijah Dukes walk-off HR was his first HR since May 30, 2007.
Does Kearns go right back into right when he returns?
Is a Pena, Milledge, Dukes OF combo the best option? Langerhans, Milledge, Dukes? Dukes, Milledge, Kearns?
Who is this Kory Casto? And what did he do with '07's Casto? 5 for 9 in the 3 game series with the Cards, 1 2B, 1 RBI in 3 games in right and at third, having competently defended both positions.
Are you worried about Zimmerman yet?
DAY GAME - #60 of 162 after the jump...
Day Game Report: (Supplemented By Scout, Braves Fan And Source For All Things Baseball's Coverage, the "Scout's Eye View")
XM 187 for the day portion of the day/night doubleheader. Kory Casto's up with two on and two outs in the first, and Casto grounds out as Todd Wellemeyer retires the Washington Nationals in order in the first inning of play...(Scout's Eye View - "Casto leaves two on the bags, grounding out to Brendan Ryan at second, for the easy fielder's choice.")
1-2-3 3rd gives Lannan three scoreless. (Scout's Eye View - "Lannan saws Brendan Ryan off, two-hopper to Willie Harris for the first out. Brian Barton rolls over a chest-high-change-up for the second out. Joe Mather pops up to end the Cards' third.")
Ryan Ludwick leads off the 4th with a single. Ludwick steals second, Jesus Flores' throw from his knees is too late to catch Ludwick...(Scout's Eye VIew - "Ludwick swipes second. Troy Glaus rips a 3-2 pitch into the left field bullpen for a 2-0 Cards' lead.") Troy Glaus reaches down low and lifts a fastball to left and GONE! 2-0 Cards...
The Cardinals go up 4-0 in the 7th when Albert Pujols hits a pinch hit home run of "Wild" Joel Hanrahan to lead off the inning. (Scout's Eye View - "Pujols homers just over the wall in left, 3-0 Cards. Brendan Ryan gets a one-out walk, and steals second on an inattentive Hanrahan. Brian Barton up with a man on and 1 out, Barton strikes out on a biting slider, down and away, nice pitch from Hanrahan for the K and the second out. Joe Mather doubles on a 3-2 pitch, down the left field line for an RBI and a 4-0 St. Louis lead.")
Cardinals' reliever Chris Perez walks Kory Casto with one out in the eighth. One out later, Felipe Lopez singles off another reliever, lefty Randy Flores, Lopez goes to left and Casto scores from second. 4-1 St. Louis. That's how it ends...(Scout's Eye View - "Cards can SWEEP tonight!!")
Nationals now 24-36.