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Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves: Game Report..."John 'Cool Hand' Lannan...Uh?...'Handles' The Braves?...And DC's Favorite C/1B/LF Paul Lo Duca Leads The Offensive Explosion!!"

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Braves' righty Jair Jurrjens starts the game with a high fastball to Willie Harris, who flies out on the second pitch of the top of the first. Paul Lo Duca swings over a two-strike change. Cristian Guzman chops a full-count pitch to short, where Brent Lillibridge fields and throws to end the DC first...John Lannan gives up a leadoff single on a low liner over short from Gregor Blanco. Martin Prado grounds to Casto at third, who takes the force at second, and Lannan throws a high fastball by Chipper Jones for the second out, before Mark Teixeira lines out to center to end a scoreless first. 


Austin Kearns rips a 3-1 pitch back up the middle for a leadoff line-drive single. Johnny Estrada lines out to Chipper Jones at third. Ronnie Belliard drives a single to left moving Kearns up a base, and bringing up Kory Casto with two on and one out. Casto draws a walk, but the former Braves’ outfielder Ryan Langerhans swings over another two-strike change. John Lannan will have to do it himself...Lannan lines- Right into Chipper’s glove ending the DC second...Lannan walks Braves’ catcher Brian McCann to start the bottom of the frame. Jeff Francouer goes down swinging at a curve in the dirt. McCann tries to swipe a bag on Estrada, whose throw sails to center, but McCann and Ronnie Belliard collide, allowing Guzman to nail the slow-footed catcher as he slides into third. Greg Norton grounds out to short. Two scoreless in the books. 


 Willie Harris singles over Brent Lillibridge’s head at short to start the third. Willie Harris steals second with Lo Duca at bat. Lo Duca goes the other way with a high fastball and scores Harris from third with a double. 1-0 DC. (B) (ed. note - "Sorry, force of habit.") Cristian Guzman reaches down and lines a fly ball over Francouer’s head in right fo a triple that scores Lo Duca. 2-0 Nationals. Austin Kearns lines out to right, Francouer catches and throws as Guzman tags, but the throw sails over home, 3-0 DC...Braves' half...Brent Lillibrige takes a full-count fastball out to the warning track in center, Willie Harris has it. Jair Jurrjens grounds out to second. Kory Casto makes a diving attempt, but can’t come up with Gregor Blanco’s single. Blanco gets picked off first by Lannan, 3-0 DC after three. 


After Kory Casto flies out to center, Ryan Langerhans takes a full-count pitch to left for a one-out double in the fourth. Jurrjens strikes out the opposing pitcher. Willie Harris grounds weakly to second. 3-0 DC middle of the fourth...Lannan busts Prado in on the fists and gets a groundout to short. Chipper Jones tests Cristian Guzman’s backhand, and the Guzzz is up to it. Mark Teixeira disrupts the flow, singling through short with two down. Brian McCann fights off a few full-count pitches, and singles up the middle, moving Tex to third. Lannan hits Francouer to load the bases for veteran bat Greg Norton. Another full count...Norton flies out to Willie Harris on the track in center. Still 3-0 DC.


Jurrjens throws a 94 mph fastball by Lo Duca for a swinging K. Guzman grounds over the mound, but out to second. Austin Kearns chases a curve off the plate for another swinging strikeout to end the DC fifth...Willie Harris tracks a Lillibridge fly ball to the wall in center. Lannan walks the opposing pitcher in front of Gregor Blanco. Blanco bunts down the third base line, and the ball refuses to go foul, as Lannan, Estrada and Casto try to will it to roll left...infield hit for Blanco. Lannan drops a two-strike change off the plate to get Prado swinging. C.Jones? Jones singles through second...there’s a complete cluster-F on the basepaths, Jurrjens stops at third, and then has to keep running, as Blanco's already at third, but Jurrjens still ends up beating an errant throw home from Kearns. 3-1 DC. Lannan walks Tex to reload the bases for Brian McCann...McCann lines to right, Kearns has it. 3-1 DC after five. 


Johnny Estrada pops out to the infield. Mark Teixeira catches a sharp grounder near his armpit, and steps on first to get Belliard. Kory Casto grounds out to first too...Jeff Francouer goes the other way with a single to right off the returning Lannan. Norton pops out foul of third. Brent Lillibridge chases another curve in the dirt for a swinging K...Ryan Langerhans doubles over Jeff “Slumpy” Francouer's head  in right to start the DC seventh. Pinch hittin’ Pete Orr grounds out to third. Jurrjens tries to get in on Willie Harris who hits it off his fists and has it land just inches inside the line in right for an RBI triple that scores Langerhans!!! 4-1 Nationals. Jurrjens is replaced by Buddy Carlyle, Scout’s least favorite Braves’ pitcher. Paul Lo Duca flies out to short right, so Harris stays at third. Cristian Guzman hits one straight down and it pops up high over short, for an RBI infield single. 5-1 Nationals. 5-1 Nationals!!! Johnny Estrada belts an infield single right over second, too deep for a play from Lillibridge. Ronnie Belliard chases high heat to leave the bases loaded...Stand up and stretch...Gregor Blanco flies out to right. DC reliever Saul “Sa-ool” Rivera’s up next. Rivera strikes out Martin Prado. C.Jones grounds out to end the seventh. 5-1 Nationals.


Lefty Royce Ring starts the eighth on the hill. Kory Casto swings over a brutal curve.  Ryan Langerhans walks and then takes third on a hit-and-run single from Wil Nieves. Willie Harris sneaks a single under Martin Prado at second, Langerhans scores, Nieves takes third, and Harris takes second on the throw in behind Nieves...Ring OUT! 6-1 DC. Vladimir Nunez is on in relief. Lo Duca grounds through short. Nieves scores. 7-1 Nationals. Guzman hits a sac fly to score Harris. 8-1 Nationals after the top of the eigth. Luis Ayala’s gonna pitch the Atlanta eighth. Ayala strikes out Teixeira. Brian McCann blisters a leadoff single through Belliard's wickets at second. Francouer grounds to Guzman, to Belliard, to Lo Duca, double play. 8-1 DC after eight. 


Julian Tavares is going to try to get through an inning without hitting anyone...Felipe Lopez pinch hits for Ayala, lining out to left. Belliard strikes out swinging. Casto grounds out to first. 8-1 Nationals after eight and a half...The Tallest PItcher in MLB History, Jon "Rumors" Rauch gives up a leadoff HR on a fastball to the journeyman Greg Norton. 8-2 DC. Rauch drops a nasty two-strike curve on Brent Lillibridge for a swinging K. Pinch hitter Ruben Gotay flies out to center. Willie Harris!! Sprints in and robs Gregor Blanco with a shoestring catch to end it. 8-2 Nationals win. 




Nationals now 37-61. (Countdown to 100 Losses Stands At....39 Losses.)