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Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies: Game Report..."Nationals 4 Phillies 3...Washington Ends Losing Streak at 12, Can't Help But Help Mets..."

HEADLINE...

DC 4 Philly 3. DC Wins First Game Since August 7th in Colorado.

The Washington Nationals avoid the sweep, stealing the last of three in Philly when Jesus Flores and Austin Kearns hit back-to-back RBI singles off reliever Ryan Madson in the eighth to tie the game and then take the 4-3 lead over the Phillies. Madson gives up four singles and two runs before he's replaced by J.C. Romero, who ends the inning without any further damage. 

DC starter Tim Redding allows 1 run over 6.0 innings, but receives no decision when Saul Rivera blows the lead, surrendering an RBI groundout to Greg Dobbs, after leadoff hitter Shane Victorino singles and takes third on an errant throw from Ryan Zimmerman, and Rivera then hangs a pitch to Carlos Ruiz who blasts a two-run HR to put Philly ahead 3-2 a half-inning before DC would come back to win...

Washington closer "Wild" Joel Hanrahan is asked to pitch two frames for the save, and the 26-year-old closer starts the Phillies' eighth by walking Jayson Werth. Chase Utley follows with a single to left to put two on for Ryan Howard, who K's for the 167th time this season. Pat Burrell grounds to Cristian Guzman at short, to Anderson Hernandez to Ronnie Belliard, double play. Hanrahan's halfway there...

The Nationals get two on with two outs in the ninth, and DC Manager Manny Acta leaves Hanrahan in to hit with the 4-3 lead, and no one warmed up in the pen. After Hanrahan grounds out he heads back to the mound to face Shane Victorino, Eric Bruntlett and Carlos Ruiz. Leadoff single for Victorino, who immediately steals second. Bruntlett K's with the bat on his shoulder. Ruiz grounds out to Guzman for the second out, and Hanrahan gets a groundout from pinch hitter Chris Coste. Nationals win. 4-3 final. I saw it. I swear.

Who The Heck Is Dick Heller? 

I know who he is now, recognized the name, and some quick googling caught me up to speed, but now Dick Heller's diagnosing the Nationals' ills in a Washington Times' article entitled, "Dick Heller: Nats' casualties of woe could be Acta, Bowden", in which Mr. Heller writes:

"...describing the Nationals as bad qualifies as massive understatement. How about abysmal, atrocious or dreadful. And maybe all three."

According to Mr. Heller, (who chooses the unfortunate image of a severed head rolling down the streets of the nation's capital to illustrate his point), someone in the Nationals' chain of command is going to be held accountable for the team's failings in their fourth straight season since arriving in DC. Mr. Heller's guess as to who goes? Bowden? Acta? Both? It's a good column/editorial, read it for yourself...

But it's Mr. Heller's parting shot, the cruelest blow, that caught my attention. After wondering, as I did recently, how many of the 9,000 local tv viewers were still tuning in to Nationals' games, Mr. Heller ends his article with this lament:

"It's a shame that our baseball renaissance has come to this. For 33 years, we endured summers without a major league team. Now we seem to be in that sad and sorry position again."

For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...

New Nationals now 7-13.

Nationals now 45-83. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stays At...17.)

Ryan Zimmerman’s up with two down in the first and “Old Man” Jamie Moyer on the mound dealing from his Bag of Slow Tricks. Zimmerman hangs around long enough to find something to hit and lines a single to center to bring up Lastings Milledge, who flies out to end the DC first...Jimmy Rollins grounds out to Anderson Hernandez at short, and receives a chorus of catcalls. DC righty Tim Redding throws a two-strike fastball by a swinging Jayson Werth. Chase...Utley takes a two-out walk, so Redding will have to face Howard. Ryan Howard K’s swinging over an 83 mph change/bender?...

Ronnie Belliard turns a slow pitch inside out for a ground ball to second that Utley handles. Jesus Flores pops straight up for the second out. Austin Kearns flies out on the first pitch...Pat Burrell goes the other way with a leadoff single to right. Shane Victorino flies out to Willie Harris who glides a step onto the warning track to make the catch. Pedro Feliz lines out to Milledge, and Philly catcher Carlos Ruiz grounds to short, Cristian Guzman tosses to second for the force, Redding’s through two. 

 

Willie Harris starts to first on a full count curve but the Ump calls strike three, Harris disagrees. Moyer throws a cruel curve to get Redding swinging. Ryan Howard tracks a pop up from Anderson Hernanez into foul territory, where he catches the final out of the frame...Moyer hits a fly ball out to left. Ronnie Belliard fields Jimmy Rollins grounder while sliding into the line, and he jumps up to beat Rollins to the bag. Ryan Zimmerman bounces the throw but beats Jayson Werth to first to end the third.

 

Jamie Moyer throws a two-count fastball inside for strike three to Guzman, who stands with his bat on his shoulder. Ryan Zimmerman rips a grounder to short that Rollins takes care of for the second out. Lastings Milledge takes a two-out walk. Ronnie Belliard lines out to left to end the top of the fourth...Chase Utley grounds into the dramatic shift. Ryan Howard K’s swinging through a 93 mph fastball. Pat Burrell does the same...Austin Kearns hits a full-count groundout to short to start the fifth. Willie Harris works a two-out walk to get the pitcher’s spot out of the way. Redding does his job, and grounds out to end the DC fifth...Shane Victorino lifts an 0-1 pitch to center where Milledge makes the catch. Pedro Feliz grounds out to short. Carlos Ruiz tests Guzman again Guzman’s up to it, throwing to first to end the fifth...

 

Anderson Hernandez slaps a single into right to start the sixth. Cristian Guzman sneaks a grounder through short for the second straight hit. Ryan Zimmerman takes strike three inside on a fastball that fools him. Lastings Milledge grounds sharply to third, Pedro Feliz to Utley at second, who throws...wide of first, Milledge safe, Hernandez scores. 1-0 DC after five and a half...Jamie Moyer can’t bring himself to swing at strike three. Jimmy Rollins pops out to Milledge in right center. Jayson Werth finally gets another Phillies’ hit, a two-out double to right and off the out-of-town scoreboard. Chase Utley...singles into center to score Werth from second. 1-1 ballgame. Ryan Howard grounds out to end the sixth, a brand new game...

 

Jesus Flores pops out to third. Austin Kearns takes a one-out walk. Willie Harris singles through second and Jayson Werth throws to third too late to get Kearns, Harris takes second on the throw. Aaron Boone pops out unproductively. Anderson Hernandez grounds to short, Rollins can’t come up with it!! Kearns scores. 2-1 DC....Ryan Zimmerman commits an error on the throw to first and allows Shane Victorino to turn the second out into a runner on third. Greg Dobbs with the pinch hit RBI opportunity. Dobbs rips a grounder to second, Hernandez dives and tosses to first, but the run scores. 2-2 ballgame. Saul Rivera hangs a heater to Ruiz and Carlos Ruiz makes it 3-2 Philly with one swing of the bat. HR to left. Geoff Jenkins doubles into the left field corner. Jimmy Rollins grounds out to end the seventh...3-2 Phillies.

 

Ryan Madson will pitch the top of the eighth for Philadelphia. Ryan Zimmerman slaps a single off the third base bag, rendering it unplayable for Philly third baseman Eric Bruntlett, who pockets it. Lastings Milledge drops a broken bat blooper in short right to put two on for Ronnie Belliard. Belliard sacs to the pitcher to move both runners into scoring position for Jesus Flores. WWJD? Flores grounds up the middle, Utley knocks it down, a run scores, 3-3 and Utley’s throw to third fails to get Milledge, who scores when Austin Kearns singles in the next AB. 4-3 DC. Madson out. J.C. Romero on to face Willie Harris. Lefty vs Lefty. Runners on second and third, one out. Willie Harris K’s, wholly unproductively. Wil Nieves follows suit, K’ing to end the inning...”Wild” Joel Hanrahan’s on in the eighth, and he issues a leadoff walk to put Jayson Werth on. Chase Utley lines a single to left. Ryan Howard swings through a two-strike mid-90’s fastball from Hanrahan. Pat Burrell grounds to short, Guzman to Hernandez to Belliard, double play to end the eighth, 4-3 DC. 

 

Clay Condrey faces Willie Harris to start the ninth. Harris grounds out to Utley at second. Cristian Guzman’s safe at first as he beats out an infield single. Ryan Zimmerman reaches on a fielding error by Eric Bruntlett. Milledge grounds out to move both runners up. Ronnie Belliard grounds out to advance both runners. Joel Hanrahan stays in to hit, and grounds into a force at second...”Wild” Joel Hanrahan’s back for his save...Shane Victorino singles to start the Philly ninth. Eric Bruntlett up as Victorino steals second, but Bruntlett K’s staring at strike three. Carlos Ruiz grounds out to short. Chris Coste fights off a few full-count pitches, and then grounds out to short, Guzman’s throw ends the losing streak, uh, I mean the game. Let's never mention that losing streak again. Nationals win. 4-3 final. 

 

New Nationals now 7-13.

 

Nationals now 45-83. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stays At...17.)