DC WINS SEVENTH STRAIGHT ON HOMESTAND!!!
DC right-hander Tim Redding had a no-hitter through five, though he allowed runners on all afternoon, but it took until the sixth before the Philadelphia Phillies finally got to Redding, scoring two to chase the Nationals' starter, and bring Philly back in a game they desperately needed to win, but already trailed in 6-0 before Redding surrendered that first hit.
The Nationals score two in the bottom of the first, after Redding let's two on with one out, and works out of a jam in the top of the frame. Lastings Milledge starts the scoring off when he drops a single into center with runners on first and third for a quick 2-0 DC lead. In the fourth inning, with Philly starter Kyle Kendrick really beginning to struggle, the Nationals put up four more runs with back to back to back hits, from Willie Harris, who tripled in a run, Cristian Guzman who doubled one in, followed by Ryan Zimmer... THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Ryan Zimmerman, who hits a two-run blast to bring Guzman home and make it 6-0 DC after four.
That's how it would stay until the top of the sixth when Philly put the three runs up on Redding, all with two outs...Ryan Howard hits an RBI double to score Victorino, who had singled, and after a brief relief appearance by Charlie Manning, who failed to get out the only batter he faced, Marco Estrada comes out of the DC pen to walk and force in a run with a HBP to allow Philly within three runs, at 6-3 DC after six.
Elijah Dukes ripped a grounder to Rollins, deep in the hole at short with two down in the seventh for a single and then scored on Jesus Flores' RBI double to left. 7-3 DC. Philly adds a run in the ninth on a solo shot by much-maligned Phillies' SS Jimmy Rollins, but that's as close as Philadelphia gets, as the Nationals nail down their seventh-straight win, their ninth win in their last eleven, and their 53rd win of the season.
Redding goes two games over .500 at (W, 10-8), with a 4.55 ERA on the season. Willie Harris is 2 for 4 with an RBI and his 4th triple of '08. Cristian Guzman hits his 32nd double of the season. Zimmerman hits his 10th HR, and the longest he's hit since RFK (probably), with 2 RBI's for 40 total on the year. Milledge is 1 for 3, with 2 RBI's. Dukes goes 0 for 1 with two HBP and makes a spectacular catch in right just before crashing into the wall. Manning, Estrada, Rivera and Shell combine for three scoreless in relief, and Jesus Colome looks good, minus the Rollins' dinger, in ending the Nationals win. Seven straight for DC with two more against Philly tomorrow and Wednesday. Break up the Nationals. 7-4 final.
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...
Nationals now 53-85. (Countdown To 100 Losses STUCK At...15.)
DC righty Tim Redding walks Phillies’ leadoff batter Jimmy Rollins for the first baserunner of the afternoon tilt. Shane Victorino pops out unproductively. Redding hits Chase Utley to advance Rollins to second, and then an errant throw on a pick attempt moves Rollins to third. Ryan Howard strikes out swinging at a high two-strike heater. Jayson Werth pops out to end the threat. One scoreless for Redding...Willie Harris sneaks a single through second to start the DC first. Cristian Guzman grounds too weakly to short for Philly to turn a DP. Ryan Zimmerman works the count full on Kyle Kendrick, taking ball four. Lastings Milledge gets a pitch high and tight from Kendrick that gets away from the catcher, moving both runners up, and then Milledge singles to knock Guzman and Zimmerman in. 2-0 DC. Belliard K’s swinging as Milledge steals second. Elijah Dukes with the two-out RBI opp....Dukes gets hit. Jesus Flores grounds out to Utley. 2-0 DC.
Greg Dobbs flies out to Dukes in right. Matt Stairs, the newest Philly, grounds out to Guzman behind second. Chris Coste swings through a high two-strike fastball to end Redding’s second scoreless...Emilio Bonifacio flies out to Victorino in left. Tim Redding singles through second. Harris and Guzman fly out to center and left, respectively to end the home half of the frame...Ryan Zimmerman cuts off Kendrick’s grounder and throws out the pitcher to start the third inning of play. Rollins flies out to right, Dukes closes his glove on the second out. Redding hits Victorino in the jersey on a fastball inside. Chase Utley up, Victorino runs, Jesus Flores guns him at second. Three scoreless for Redding...Ryan Zimmerman works a leadoff walk, after a pitch inside from Kendrick earns a warning from the Ump. Miiledge grounds to Rollins at short to Utley to Howard, double play. Ronnie Belliard walks. Dukes grounds into a force at second to end the third. 2-0 DC.
Chase Utley pops out for the first out of the fourth. Ronnie Belliard dives for Ryan Howard’s grounder, and throws low to first, where Redding makes a great running catch. Jayson Werth flies to right, where Dukes makes the catch and crashes into the fence...Jesus Flores pulls a low pitch to left for a leadoff single. Emillio Bonifacio pops up to short left, and Rollins and Dobbs almost collide as it drops. Tim Redding bunts it too hard back to the mound. Willie Harris up, as Bonifacio gets caught stealing third. Harris? RBI double off the wall in left, Matt Stairs misplays it, Redding comes around. 3-0 DC. Cristian Guzman lines to right, and into the corner, Harris scores. 4-0 DC. Ryan Zimmerm....THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Ryan Zimmerman takes Kendrick DEEEEEEEEP to center and GONE! Two-out, two-run HR to center. 6-0 DC.
Jayson Werth flies out to center. Matt Stairs grounds back to the mound. Chris Coste works a two-out walk off Redding. Pinch hitter So Taguchi pops out to short. 6-0 DC after four and a half...J.A. Happ replaces Kendrick on the mound. Ronnie Belliard pokes a single to center. Elijah Dukes gets hit again. Jesus Flores goes down swinging. Bonifacio gets called out looking. Redding grounds out. 6-0 DC after five...
Redding vs Rollins to start the sixth. Rollins lines out to Belliard, who makes a leaping catch to snag it. Shane Victorino beats out an infield single for the first hit of the afternoon off Redding. Chase Utley flies out to center. Victorino steals second and takes third on a horrible throw from Flores that sails wide of the bag. Ryan Howard lines an RBI double into right, VIctorino scores. 6-1 DC. Jayson Werth takes a two-out walk, and Redding’s done. Charlie Manning on to face pinch hitter Pedro Feliz, and Manning walks him. Marco Estrada replaces Manning on the mound to face Pat Burrell. Estrada walks Burrell and walks in a run. 6-2 DC. Estrada hits Chris Coste in the numbers to force in a run, 6-3 DC. Estrada pops up another pinch hitter, Carlos Ruiz, to end the top of the sixth...Willie Harris pops out. Jimmy Rollins just beats Guzman to first with a throw for the second out. Ryan Zimmerman K’s swinging.
Jimmy Rollins grounds weakly to short, and Guzman guns him at first. Shane Victorino grounds back to the mound. Chase Utley grounds through the dramatic shift and into left center for a two-out single. Ryan Howard K’s swinging to end the top of the seventh...Lastings Milledge grounds out to second. Ronnie Belliard grounds out to short. Elijah Dukes reaches first and then takes second on an errant throw from Rollins deep in the hole at short. Jesus Flores pulls a slider just inside the left field line for an RBI double. 7-3 DC. Condrey strikes out Bonifacio to end the seventh.
Steven Shell vs Jayson Werth to start the eighth. Werth flies out to Dukes in right. Pedro Feliz is robbed by a diving Ryan Zimmerman whose split-second-reaction robs the batter. Pat Burrell goes down swinging...Roger Bernadina gets a pinch hit chance in the DC eighth. Bernadina swings through a two-strike fastball. Philly righty Rudy Seanez pops up Willie Harris, but gives up a two-out single to Guzman to give Zimmerman another AB, which he uses to ground out.
Jesus “Everyday” Colome comes out to end it. Colome vs Coste. Coste swings through a 97 mph two-strike fastball. Eric Bruntlett stares a two-strike slider all the way in. Jimmy Rollins takes Colome deep to right and GONE! Solo HR. 7-4 DC. (ed. note - "Cheer for him now, Philly fans!") Jesus Colome gets a grounder to first from Victorino, Belliard makes the play, steps on the bag. DC has won seven-straight. 7-4 final.
Nationals now 53-85. (Countdown To 100 Losses STAYS At...15.)