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Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers: Game Report..."First Sabathia And Now Sheets...New Nationals Shut Out Again. 6-0 This Time."

First Sabathia and now Sheets as the Nationals are shut out for the second-straight game by the Brewers' starters in the first two games of Washington's four-game visit to Milwaukee. The Nationals haven't scored a run since the sixth inning of last Thursday night's game against the Rockies, so they'll be taking a 22-frame scoreless streak into play tomorrow when the Brewers and Nationals throw dueling lefties John "Cool Hand" Lannan and Manny Parra at 2:05 pm EST in Miller Park... 

Ben Sheets (W, 11-5, 2.95 ERA) surrendered just 5 hits over 9.0 scoreless innings for the complete game shutout, striking out 6 on the way to the W...Before beating the Nationals tonight, Sheets hadn't won a start since July 4th against the Pirates... Sheets got all the run support he would need in the bottom of the third when Gabe Kapler (who replaced an injured Ryan Braun) hit an RBI single to score Ray Durham on the third straight hit off DC starter Tim Redding, followed by Corey Hart, who hit an RBI sac fly, to make it 2-0 Milwaukee after three. Ray Durham and J.J. Hardy hit solo HR's back to back in the fourth for a 4-0 lead over Redding and the Nationals, and then Hart struck again with a bases empty blast to center in the fifth, before Ben Sheets added insult to injury in the eighth by driving in the sixth run in his own 6-0 win over Washington. 

Lastings Milledge hit a two-out single in the seventh to stretch his hit streak to 10-straight games, but went just 1 for 4 on evening. Ronnie Belliard was 2 for 3 with singles to lead off the third and eighth innings. Pete Orr provided one of two extra base hits this evening for the Nationals with a pinch hit, one-out double in the sixth, but Orr was stranded at second when the inning came to an end, and Willie Harris followed Belliard's eighth inning single with a double to the right-center gap which moved Belliard as far as third, where he too was stranded, as close to home as Washington would get against Sheets.

The three solo HR's are the most Tim Redding's given up in a game since April 17, 2005 when the Los Angeles Dodgers connected for three dingers off Redding, who was then pitching for the San Diego Padres. Redding allowed 7 hits, 5 runs and 5 walks over 5.0 innings, dropping his record to (8-7) on the season and raising his ERA to 4.60 after 140.2 IP this season. 

For The Completists, the Full Game Thread follows after the jump...

 

New Nationals now 6-3.

 

Nationals now 44-73. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At...27.)

 

 

Emilio Bonifacio gets down 0-2 early in the first at bat against Brewers’ righty Ben Sheets, and the Nationals’ leadoff batter takes a fastball for a called strike three and the first out of the evening. Cristian Guzman slaps a grounder back to the mound. Ryan Zimmerman grounds an 0-2 pitch out to third, ending the top of the first...DC righty Tim Redding walks Ray Durham to put the first Milwaukee runner on. Redding goes to a full count before popping up J.J. Hardy. Full-count fastball up high to Ryan Braun gets a swinging K, and Jesus Flores throws to second to nail Durham for the strike’em out, throw’em out. No score after one...

 

Austin Kearns pops up to Prince Fielder. Lastings Milledge grounds weakly to Fielder, who tosses to Sheets covering. Jesus Flores flies out to center, where Mike Cameron makes a shoestring catch while sprinting in...Prince Fielder walks to start the Brewers’ second. Corey Hart grounds into a force at second, but beats out the backend of his own DP grounder. Russell Branyan strokes a single to right. Mike Cameron up with two on...a curve in the dirt allows Hart to take third. Redding hits the outside corner with a two-strike fastball for a backwards K of Cameron. Jesus Flores loses track of another curve in the dirt moving Branyan to second. Redding walks Jason Kendall to bring up Sheets, who pops the first pitch up to Belliard at second to end the threat and the inning...

 

Ronnie Belliard goes with an outside pitch from Sheets and singles through second to leadoff the third. Willie Harris lifts a full-count fastball to center where Mike Cameron catches it looking back over his shoulder. Tim Redding fouls off a two-strike bunt attempt for the second out. Ronnie Belliard steals second and moves himself up with Emilio Bonifacio at bat. Bonifacio slices a one-hopper to short and J.J. Hardy’s throw ends the DC third...Ray Durham works the count full and gets a fly ball by Kearns in right center for a leadoff double. J.J. Hardy singles just over Guzman’s glove at short. Durham to third. Gabe Kapler pinch hits for an apparently injured Ryan Braun. Kapler sneaks a sharp grounder under Zimmerman and Guzman who both dive and come up empty, Durham scores. 1-0 Milwaukee. Fielder grounds to Guzman behind second on the shift, Guzman steps on second, but fires wide of first, so Fielder’s safe, Hardy in at third. Corey Hart...flies out to the center field wall, where Milledge crashes but makes the grab, Hardy tags and scores. 2-0 Milwaukee. Redding walks Russell Branyan. Low 2-2 fastball to Mike Cameron for another backwards K. 2-0 Brewers after three.

 

Sheets drops a cruel two-strike curve on Cristian Guzman for a swinging K. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to second. Austin Kearns flies out to Cameron in center. Four scoreless for Sheets...Jason Kendall grounds out to Belliard at first. Ben Sheets sends Redding into self-defense mode with a line drive back to the mound. Ray Durham rips a 1-0 fastball inside, deep to right and GONE! Durham makes it 3-0 Milwaukee with the solo blast. 3-1 fastball to J.J. Hardy goes out the other way, solo shot to the second deck in left. 4-0 Brewers after four. 

 

Lastings Milledge and Jesus Flores both ground to third, and Russell Branyan throws each of them out. Belliard flies to center where Mike Cameron catches the final out of the DC fifth...Prince Fielder pops out to the infield. Corey Hart clears the wall in straight-center for the third solo shot off Tim Redding. 5-0 Milwaukee after five...Willie Harris flies out to center. Pinch Hittin’ Pete Orr gets a fly ball over Gabe Kapler in left for a one-out double. Bonifacio flies out unproductively to left. Guzman grounds to short, 5-0 Brewers middle of six...Steven Shell takes over for the Nationals in the bottom of the sixth. Shell throws a fastball by the opposing pitcher for a swinging K. Ray Durham pops out to the infield. J.J. Hardy takes a two-strike fastball outside for Shell’s second K which ends the sixth.

 

Zimmerman pushes Sheets first pitch out to right where Corey Hart catches the first out of the seventh. Austin Kearns hits a broken-bat groundout to third. Lastings Milledge singles to center! Jesus Flores swings over a two-strike 78 mph curve outside for the final out of the inning, Stand up and stretch...Shell saws off Gabe Kapler for the first out of the frame. Prince Fielder rips a single over first. Willie Harris leaps at the wall to rob Corey Hart of extra bases. Russell Branyan flies out to Kearns in right to end the seventh. 

 

Ronnie Belliard singles over short to start the eighth. Willie Harris splits the gap in right center. Belliard hustles round to third. Harris safe at second. Ryan Langerhans lines the first pitch to Prince Fielder. One down. Emilio Bonifacio swings over a two-strike curve. Two down. Guzman grounds out. Eight scoreless for Sheets...Luis Ayala’s on in the eighth for DC. Mike Cameron flies out to Willie Harris. Jason Kendall doubles off the wall in left, just a few feet from a homer. Ben Sheets...drops a single in over short, Kendall scores. 6-0 Milwaukee. Ray Durham flies out to Harris in left. Ayala gets Hardy staring at strike three. 

 

Three outs to get six runs for DC. Ryan Zimmerman swings over a two-strike curve. Austin Kearns grounds out to Durham at second. Lastings Milledge flies out to right. The Brewers win. 6-0 Final. Nationals shutout for the second straight game, twenty-two innings overall. 

 

New Nationals now 6-3.

 

Nationals now 44-73. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At...27.)