Lannan Finally Loses Cool...
John "Cool Hand" Lannan gives up two runs in the first when Garrett Atkins picks up two RBI's with a single. After Washington ties it on three straight singles, an RBI groundout and a run-scoring DP in the top of the third, Lannan gives up three runs in the bottom of the inning, when a groundout, a double and a single from Hawpe, Tulowitzki and Torrealbla, respectively, score three runners to give the Rockies a 5-2 lead...But it was the top of the fifth that ended Lannan's night early, when two walks, a one-out RBI single and another error by Lastings Milledge in center, result in an increased lead, at 6-2 Rockies, and an early exit by Lannan, (L, (6-12), 4.0 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 2 K's, 3.81 ERA)...Garrett Mock gives up two walks and three singles before recording the first out of the fifth...on a sac fly...leaving it 11-2 Rockies after five.
The Nationals score four runs off Livan Hernandez in the sixth, when he's obviously done, but the Rockies let him finish the inning, and even bat him in the top of the seventh, rather than use/waste a pinch hitter, before replacing Livan on the mound with Luis Vizquel for the bottom of the seventh...and then the Rockies add 2 more runs in the top of the ninth just to rub it in...13-6 final. Nationals drop ninth straight, fifth loss in five of the six games on the homestand...There's always Sunday...
Milledge made another error in the outfield, what did Redding have to say this time?
In my desire to follow the Crow drama last night and my steadfast determination to cover yet another Nationals' loss simultaneously, I failed to read anyone else's game reports so I missed this article, which I first read about in a post by Dave at Bottomfeeder Baseball, where he points, in a post entitled, "GB&U: Failed Draft Pick Signing Edition", to Chico Harlan's article at the washingtonpost.com entitled, "One Game-Changing Play Alters Nats' Fate", which focused on Lastings Milledge's "game-changing" error Friday night, in the fifth inning of the first game of this series, on a two-out line drive to center from Matt Holliday that sailed over the Nationals' centerfielder's head for a run-scoring double, to tie the game at 2-2, and keep the inning alive long enough for Brad Hawpe to homer, putting the game effectively out of reach, though the Nationals pulled close, eventually losing 4-3.
The story in Mr. Harlan's article wasn't the error, or the loss even, as much as it was two particular Nationals' reactions to the events, with Milledge contrite in admitting to the relative-enormity of his error, but saying it was just a misjudgement on a hard liner right at him, and that's it...until Tim Redding is asked the same line of questioning and is quoted by Mr. Harlan stating:
"'Just one play changes the game,' said Redding, who allowed four runs, all earned, and seven hits in six innings. 'It's one of those situations where we should have won this game, 3-1. The second home run to [Brad] Hawpe should never have happened. I thought the team played well today.'"
Not wanting to let Redding get away with ambiguity, the reporters persisted, asking the question again, as Mr. Harlan recounts:
"Redding was then asked directly if he thought Milledge should have caught the fifth-inning liner.
"'Not commenting, next question,' Redding said. 'I made my point. I think we should have won the game.'"
Well it's big of Tim Redding not to comment after subtly insinuating...and for what reason, really? Does Redding think his season, which has been impressive by just about any measureable standard is going to be judged by this one loss to the Rockies, or his he really just a super-intense competitor who can't stand the fact that he lost again...which, if that's the case is okay with me because I'm right there, thanks to Don Sutton's consistent constructive analysis, in thinking that Redding still has a few years as an effective Major League starter left in him...but I really don't see how calling out one of your own players to the press, is an effective means of expressing his dissatisfaction will Milledge's play...Isn't it best expressed behind closed doors amongst the players? Or maybe Redding should right a blog?...Oh but Redding isn't done, continuing, as quoted by Mr. Harlan:
"'The most frustrating is when you know the inning should have been over and you give up runs to guys who shouldn't have been at the plate. Like I said, it's just one of those situations where I thought we played a real good game as a team; it's just unfortunate that one play changed the whole outcome in a one-run ballgame.'"
Alright, Redding, Alright! Everyone gets it...That play lost it...not the inability to score more than one run in the sixth, which started with Kearns hit by a pitch and advanced into scoring position with no outs by a wild pitch...and ended with just Kearns having scored three outs later to make it 4-3? Or Bonifacio and Zimmerman striking out looking in the 7th? Or the three swinging K's in the ninth against a nasty Rockies' closer Brian Fuentes...Nope, all Milledge's fault. Got it...
Can things get any worse...Team infighting in the press after the 8th-straight loss...and then the admission of failing to sign your 1st Round pick to start/end the day, followed by the loss of the 9th-straight (and 80th overall) game of the year? There's always tomorrow. I, for one say there's no way the Nationals get swept by the Rockies...What? I already said that and was wrong once this week?
For The Completists, Full Game Report is after the jump...
At least this will make you laugh though...(ed. note - "Thanks for the tip, Baldwin.")
Batting Stances: Expos/Nationals (via BattingStances)
New Nationals now 6-10.
Nationals now 44-80. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At...20.)
Clint Barmes sends a short fly to right where Austin Kearns catches the first out of the evening. Willie Harris slaps a single through short for a one-out single off DC lefty John Lannan. Taveras takes second. Lannan walks Matt Holliday in front of Garrett Atkins. The Rockies pull a double steal to put both runners in scoring position. “Cool Hand” Lannan goes to a full count with Atkins, and gives up a single to left that scores two, 2-0 Colorado. Brad Hawpe hacks a single through second. Lannan gets in on Troy Tulowitzki’s fists, inducing a DP grounder, that bounces off Emilio Bonifacio at second and out of his reach, so everyone’s safe. Bases loaded, one out for Yorvit Torrealba. Zimmerman throws home on Torrealba’s grounder and Jesus Flores fires to Kory Casto at first, double play the hard way...Oh no! It’s Livan Hernandez. Bonifacio grounds out to short. Willie Harris flies out to center. Ryan Zimmerman reaches out and hits what should have been ball four for a groundout to second...
Willie Harris Wants To Play. Harris robs Ian Stewart of extra bases by sprinting into the corner to catch Stewart’s sliced line drive. Livan Hernandez grounds back to the mound. Lannan drops a two-strike curve on Barmes for a quick second inning...Milledge goes the other way with a leadoff single into right. Austin Kearns hits a hard liner to short that eludes Tulowitzki and bounces into short left. WWJD? Line-drive single through short to load them up for Belliard. Ronnie Belliard grounds back to the mound, and Livan’s throw home hits Milledge, 2-1 Rockies. Kory Casto drives a grounder into a double play, but a run crosses to tie it at 2-2. Lannan grounds out to Livan. 2-2 after two.
Willy Taveras grounds out to Bonifacio to start the third. Matt Holliday walks. Garrett Atkins beats Zimmeran’s backhand with a line drive to left. Bonifacio dives to catch up to a screaming grounder from Hawpe, a run scores, but Bonifacio gets an out. 3-2 Colorado. Tulowitzki traces the right field line with a double that scores Atkins. 4-2 Rockies. Lannan hangs a curve to Torrealba that gets slapped into center for another run and a 5-2 lead...Bonifacio rips a 2-2 curve to Taveras in center. Livan Hernandez comes off the mound to field Harris’ groundout. Ryan Zimmerman rips a two-strike liner right to Barmes at second. 5-2 Rockies after three.
After Lannan gets a groundout from Livan, and Clint Barmes grounds out to Belliard at short, and THE KIDS CALL HIM PICKER! Ryan Zimmerman can pick it, just like Vinny Castilla used to, robbing Torrealba with a backhand stab and throw to end the Rockies’ fourth...Milledge’s grounder to short takes a wicked hop to avoid Tulowitzki for an infield single. Kearns erases the runner with a DP grounder. Livan Hernandez drops the slooowww curve on Jesus Flores for a swinging K to end the fourth...
Lannan does not want to pitch to Matt Holliday, walking him for the third time to start the fifth. Jesus Flores throws from his knees, but Hollliday beats Flores’ bullet to second. Lannan walks Atkins. Brad Hawpe singles to center, and Milledge misplays it, Holliday scores and everyone moves up on the error, 6-2 Rockies. Lannan’s done. Garrett Mock comes on in relief. RBI single by Tulowitzki, 8-2 Rockies. Mock walks Torrealba. Still 0 outs. Ian Stewart knocks in Tulowitzki. 9-2...and now Livan Hernandez finds the line in right with an RBI single. 10-2 Rockies. Mock walks Barmes, and Willy Taveras fly ball scores another run. 11-2. One down!! Mock drops a nasty curve under Holliday’s bat for a swinging K. Garrett Atkins flies out to Milledge to end a looong top of the fifth...Belliard grounds out Tulowitzki. Casto grounds out to first. Mock goes down looking. Livan for Cy Young.
Mock throws a full-count fastball upstairs by Brad Hawpe for the first out of the sixth. Zimmerman catches a pop up off Tulowitzki’s bat. Yorvit Torrealba flies out to center for a quick 1-2-3 sixth...Emilio Bonifacio singles under a diving Tulowtizki for a leadoff hit in the bottom of the inning. Willie Harris flies to Taveras in left center. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! Ryan Zimmerman goes the other way and into the corner in right for an RBI double. 11-3 Rockies. Milledge doubles off the out-of-town scoreboard to knock Zimmerman in. 11-4 Rockies. Livan walks Kearns to put two on for Jesus Flores. WWJD? Flores singles to center, Milledge holds at third as Taveras fires in. Ronnie Belliard doubles to the left center gap, two score and Flores gets...nailed at the plate on the relay throw from Tulowitzki! Two runs score. 11-6 Rockies.
Steven Shell starts the top of the seventh. Shell strikes out Ian Stewart with a hard 90’s fastball. Livan Hernandez is staying in, and he grounds weakly to Zimmerman. Shell bends a curve in on Barmes for strike two and throws a fastball by Barmes to end the frame...Stand up and stretch...Pinch Hittin’ Pete Orr, who really took over in short to start the seventh, pops out to third. Bonifacio flies to left. Willie Harris up with two outs. Luis Vizcaino gets a fly ball from Harris to Taveras...and Harris comes up lame at first...C’MON!!
Lastings Milledge comes running in to catch the first out of the eighth off Taveras’ bat. Steven Shell vs Holliday. Ground ball to third, Zimmerman picks it. Fly ball to center from Atkins. Shell throws another scoreless inning...Zimmerman grounds back to Vizcaino. Milledge grounds out to second. Kearns grounds weakly to short, and it’s 11-6 after eight...Top o’ nine...Luis Ayala gets help from Willie Harris, Who Wants To Play, making a sliding grab to rob Hawpe of a single. Troy Tulowitzki pushes a line drive single to right. Ian Stewart doubles in a run with a fly ball to right. 12-6 Rockies. Seth Smith reaches first when Ryan Zimmerman sails a throw to first. A broken bat single to center drops in front of a charging Milledge, RBI hit for Barmes. 13-6. Pete Orr throws out Taveras. 3 outs to get 7 runs off Jason Grilli...Flores flies out to center. Ronnie Belliard finds the gap in left center with a single. Langerhans K’s looking after a long at bat. Orr flies out. Rockies win 13-6. Nationals drop their ninth straight.
New Nationals now 6-10.
Nationals now 44-80. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At...20.)