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Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants: Game Report..."Nationals' Comeback Thwarted By Giants' Comeback...or Is Bengie The Best Molina?"

 

Giants’ righty Kevin Correia starts Thrillie Harris with a fastball for a strike, follows with a change for a swinging strike two, and then has Harris hit an 0-2 pitch inside for an infield single on a swinging bunt. Harris is caught leaning off first, which hurts even more when Cristian Guzman and Ryan Zimmerman single in succesion off of Correia. Austin Kearns is called out staring at an 0-2 slider outside. WWJD? Jesus Flores pops an 0-2 pitch out to short left, where Fred Lewis makes the catch as he darts between SF centerfielder Aaron Rowand and Omar Vizquel to end the top of the first...Collin Balester gets a weak grounder in front of home from Fred Lewis that DC catcher Jesus Flores easily plays. Randy Winn lines a Balester bender into right for a two-out single. Balester shakes off Flores and goes with a fastball inside against Bengie Molina that ends up bouncing off the outfield wall in left center. as Winn scores. 1-0 Giants. Aaron Rowand follows Molina’s example with his own RBI double. Molina scores. 2-0 San Francisco.  Balester walks John Bowker to bring up Rich Aurilia, who flies out to Harris in center to end the first. 

 

Paul Lo Duca lines the first pitch of the second to left for a single. Felipe Lopez connects with the first pitch from Correia and almost finds the right center gap, but Randy Winn’s all over it with a sprinting grab. Ryan Langerhans grounds out to first on the first pitch. Collin Balester grounds out to end DC’s second...Omar Vizquel throws his bat at a fastball outside from Balester and lines it to the opposite field in left for a leadoff single. Correia uses his at bat to advance Vizquel. Fred Lewis grounds out to second, Vizquel to third. Eugenio Velez wastes a strike standing up and taking a fastball on the first pitch, swings over a breaking ball for strike two and then grounds out to end the second. 

 

Willie Harris grounds out to first to start the third. Guzman grounds out on the first pitch he sees. Correia gets a grounder back to the mound, that he tries to backhand and misses, before throwing over first, allowing Zimmerman to take second. Austin Kearns chops a grounder to second, Velez throws him out...Winn slices a liner to short, Guzman throws to first, in time. Balester throws a 2-2 change outside through Bengie Molina’s bat for a swinging K. Rowand grounds out to Guzman’s backhand to end the third. 

 

Jesus Flores pops up just inside the line behind third. Lo Duca flies out to left, and Flores grounds to first, Kevin Correia’s through four quick scoreless frames...Balester sends Bowker down swinging. Rich Aurilia reaches first safely when his grounder to short takes a ridiculous hop over Guzman’s head. Paul Lo Duca robs Vizquel of a single with a lunging grab and toss to first. Correia grounds out to short to end the fourth. 

 

Ryan Langerhans starts the fifth with a single to the right of second and into center. Collin Balester gets down a perfect sac bunt. Thrillie Harris rips a groundball to first and under John Bowker’s glove, Langerhans scores. 2-1 Giants. Guzman lines out to Bowker, who gets this one. Zimmerman K’s swinging. 2-1 middle of five. Balester walks the leadoff batter Fred Lewis on four pitches. Balester goes to a full count with Eugenio Velez, grounds sharply to Lo Duca with Lewis running, Lo Duca settles for the out at first. Randy Winn pops out behind second. Bengie Molina with a two-out chance? Molina doubles into the right center gap to score the leadoff walk. 3-1 Giants. 

 

Austin Kearns singles up the middle to start the DC sixth. WWJD? How ‘bout a two-run blast to tie it at 3-3!! Jesus Flores rips the cover off a fastball and sends it ten rows deep into left. 3-3 ballgame. Lo Duca grounds out to Vizquel. Felipe Lopez singles through second. Lopez is caught stealing with Langerhans at bat, which would have hurt even more after Langerhans singled, if a pinch hitting Johnny Estrada hadn’t driven Langerhans in to take the lead, 4-3 DC after five and a half...Steven Shell on in relief for the Nationals. John Bowker hits a hard liner out to Kearns in right. Rich Aurilia stares at a two-strike curve from Shell for the second out. Omar Vizquel...singles into right under a lunging Lo Duca. Pinch hitter Ivan Ochoa flies out to end the sixth. 4-3 DC.

 

Giants’ righty Osiris Matos gets a long fly ball out to left from Zimmerman to start the seventh. Kearns grounds out, Flores flies out...1-2-3 inning, Stand up and stretch...Washington brings out Charlie Manning to face lefty Fred Lewis to start the Giants’ seventh. Manning saws Lewis’ bat in half for a weak grounder. Manning’s out, and Saul “Sa-ool” Rivera’s on in relief. Pinch hitter Jose Castillo is called out on strikes. Randy Winn goes down swining. 4-3 DC after seven. 

 

Lo Duca bounces a single off Matos over Bowker at first, Matos is back for the eighth. Felipe Lopez lines out right to Winn again. Lanky lefty Gino Espeneli is on in relief for San Fran. Langerhans walks. Ronnie Belliard’s on to pinch hit, and he grounds out to third, moving Lo Duca and Langerhans up a bag each. Willie Harris? Flies out to center...

...Luis “Set-Up” Ayala gives up a leadoff single to the National-Killer Bengie Molina! Aaron Rowand flies out unproductively to center. Pinch runner Emmanuel Burriss steals second off Ayala. Ayala pitches around Bowker. Rich Aurilia up with two on, one out...2-2 count, Aurilia battles to stay alive..and doubles to center, two runs score, 5-4 Giants. Vizquel singles to left, Aurilia scores. 6-4 Giants after eight.(B)

Brian “Not That Brian” Wilson gets Guzman with three straight strikes. Ryan Zimmerman singles to center on the first pitch from Wilson. Austin Kearns pops out foul of first. WWJD? Wilson hits Jesus Flores in the ribs/arm with a fastball. Pinch hitter Kory Casto goes down swinging through a 97 mph heater...6-4 Giants win. SF now 6-0 vs DC on the season. 

 

(B) = BLAME GAME

 

Nationals now 38-63. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At...37.)