When Winning Is Losing, Who Knows What To Cheer For...
With 5 runs in the top of the fourteenth inning, the San Diego Padres, the 27th best team in the Majors fell behind in the hunt for the #1 overall pick in '09 by beating the next-to-worst Washington Nationals in Nationals Park. At the same time, the Nationals' loss put them only four away from 100 losses at 58-96 with 8 games left in their '08 campaign, but DC's just a game off the losing pace with the league's last place Seattle Mariners, who have lost and played one less game than the Nationals, as the other Washington-based team managed to drop their ninth-straight overall last night, this one to the Oakland A's, in the M's all-out effort to earn the right to draft Stephen Strasburg #1 overall at next year's MLB Amateur Draft.
...Tied at 4-4 after five innings, at 5-5 after six and 7-7 after nine, the Padres and Nationals had to play fourteen innings over five long, long hours in which the teams combined for 17 runs, 30 hits, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR's, 3 SB, 2 CS, 25 K's and 29 walks, before the Padres' scored their five fourteenth-inning runs off DC reliever Levale Speigner, who hit the first batter of the inning and then allowed a triple, two singles, a sac bunt, an intentional walk, an unintentional walk that forced in a run and an RBI single before striking out the same player who he'd started the inning by hitting for the final out of the frame.
The top of the Nationals' order finished the night 0 for 16, with Emilio Bonifacio 0 for 3 with 3 walks and 2 RBI's, Cristian Guzman 0 for 6 with 1 RBI and Ryan Zimmerman 0 for 7 with an RBI groundout. Elijah Dukes was 1 for 4, walking 3 times with the help of his Discerning Eye, though he also K'd 3 times, but most impressive of all with the bat tonight for DC was Roger Bernadina, who went 3 for 5 with an RBI, a walk and a run scored in his second multi-hit game and the first three-hit game of his rookie campaign.
DC starter Collin Balester allowed 9 hits and 5 ER with 4 K's in 5.0 IP. San Diego's last-minute starter Dirk Hayhurst was out after 3.1 IP, and then it was all up the 'pens to decide the outcome, which they were able to do, 16 pitchers and 9 innings later when Chase Headly's RBI triple gave the Padres the first of the five fourteenth inning runs they'd eventually score.
Final score, Padres 11 Nationals 6.
For The Completists, The Full Game Report Is After The Jump...
Nationals now 58-96. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At....4.)
Will Venable flies out to Lastings Milledge in deep center for the first out of the evening and the three game weekend set with the visiting San Diego Padres. DC righty Collin Balester on the mound, Padres' second baseman Matt Antonelli grounds out to Cristian Guzman at short. One player, we’re familiar with, Brian Giles, pops one straight up for the final out of the opening frame...Padres’ righty Dirk Hayhurst throws four straight balls to walk DC’s leadoff batter Emilio Bonifacio. Bonifacio steals second with Cristian Guzman at bat, Guzman grounds to Antonelli at second. Ryan Zimmerman grounds deep enough to second to score Bonifacio from third. 1-0 DC. Lastings Milledge flies out to Venable, who apparently plays center.
Collin Balester goes with a change in on Adrian Gonzalez for a swinging K to start the second. Kevin Kouzmanoff gets a 92mph fastball in on the fists that he pops up to the infield for the second out. Chase Headley finds the only spot in left Roger Bernadina can’t reach with a sliced single halfway down the line that falls in just fair. Nick Hundley grounds out to end Balester’s second scoreless...Elijah Dukes rips a single to the left of second and into center for a leadoff single. Hayhurst gets Casto swinging for his first K tonight. Luke Montz walks to put two on for Bernandina. Roger Bernadina gets hold of a fastball inside and lines to right scoring Dukes from second for a 2-0 lead. Balester K’s trying to bunt and Bernadina was running and is doubled up at second.
Bonifacio goes back to make an over-the-shoulder catch on a pop out from Padres’ shortstop Sean Kazmar. Balester gets the opposing pitcher swinging. Will Venable takes a 2-1 pitch from Balester over the out-of-town scoreboard in right for a two-out solo blast that cuts the Nationals’ lead in half. 2-1 DC. Antonelli pops out foul of third to end the top of the frame...Bonifacio grounds out to second to start the DC third. Guzman slaps the second out to Headley in left. Zimmerman flies out to Venable to end a quick third.
Brian Giles start the fourth with a double to the right center gap. Adrian Gonzalez battles it out with Balester, fouling off a few 2-2 pitches and ends up driving an RBI single to right allowing Giles to trot around, 2-2 ballgame. Balester leaves a fastball up and out to Kouzmanoff, and it ends up in the left field bullpen. 4-2 Padres jump ahead. Collin Balester blows Chase Headley away with a fastball. Nick Hundley drops a spinning broken bat pop into the infield grass for a weak single. Sean Kazmar pops out to short center. Balester gets the opposing pitcher looking to end a long inning...Lastings Milledge settles for a ground rule double to left after a fan reaches over and interferes...Be smart, Home-town fans. Hayhurst gets Elijah Dukes swinging over a two-strike curve. Kory Casto drills a single to right off the second baseman’s glove. Milledge takes third. Luke Montz walks to load the bases in front of Bernadina, who’ll face a new pitcher, Hayhurst is out. Mike Ekstrom comes on. Bernadina K’s swinging at a 91 mph sinker outside. Collin Balester works the count full and grounds deep in the hole at second, no one covers first, one run scores, 4-3 Padres. Bonifacio takes the 11th pitch from Ekstrom for a bases loaded walk. 4-4 ballgame. Guzman flies out to strand three. 4-4 after four.
Will Venable starts the fifth with a fly to center that Milledge catches. Matt Antonelli strokes a single to center. Brian Giles grounds out, advancing Antonelli. Lastings Milledge charges in and catches the third out off Adrian Gonzalez’s bat...Ryan Zimmerman almost gets a short line drive over the shortstop Sean Kazmar, who manages to make the play. Milledge K’s swinging. Dukes’ Discerning Eye draws a two-out walk from Ekstrom. Chase Hudley goes back to the track and grabs Casto’s fly ball to end the fifth still tied at 4-4.
Kevin Kouzmanoff doubles off the out-of-town scoreboard in right. Chase Headley destroys a hanging curve, Milledge leaps at the wall, but fails to come up with it, Kouzmanoff can’t tell if Milledge caught it though, so he only gets to third. Balester’s done. Garrett Mock faces Nick Hundley, who walks to load the bases. Sean Kazmar goes down swinging. MOCKED!! Mock struck out the next batter too before allowing a two-out RBI single by Venable that made it 5-4 Padres.
Roger Bernadina and Willie Harris hit back to back singles with one out in the sixth. Padres’ reliever Clay Hensley then allowed a single to Garrett Mock which put two on for Emilio Bonifacio, who flies to left, Bernadina tags...and beats the throw, 5-5 ballgame. Hensley saws off Guzman at the handle to get a fly out to center to end the DC sixth.
Mike Hinckley, DC’s lefty reliever starts the seventh against Brian Giles. GIles pops out to short. Adrian Gonzalez slices a single into left. Hinckley walks Kouzmanoff to bring up Chase Headley with two on, one out. Hinckley goes to a full count. Headley grounds out to third, Zimmerman fields and throws. Steven Shell comes on to get the last out, and does his job, drawing a fly ball to Dukes in right out of Nick Hundley... Mike Adams starts the seventh for San Diego against Ryan Zimmerman, who pops out. Lastings Milledge punches a single out to right. With Dukes up, Milledge gets caught going for second. Dukes’ Discerning Eye draws a two-out walk. Kory Casto K’s swinging over a nasty two-strike curve.
Steven Shell starts the eighth against Sean Kazmar, who takes a two-out walk. Mike Adams stays in to bat, laying down a sac bunt, and Kazmar scores on another Venable single to give the Padres a 6-5 lead. Shell gets a pop out from Antonelli. Saul “Sa-ool” Rivera comes on to face Brian Giles. GIles rips a single through second. Rivera vs Adrian Gonzalez, swinging K’s to end the Padres’ eighth...Heath Bell tries to hold the lead. Anderson Hernandez takes a leadoff walk. Bernadina bunts, Kouzmanoff throws to second, too late, both runners are safe. Pinch Hittin’ Pete Orr goes down swinging at a brutal two-strike curve. Emilio Bonifacio takes a one-out walk to load the bases for Cristian Guzman, who flies to center, Anderson Hernandez tags and scores. 6-6 ballgame. Zimmerman flies out, 6-6 after eight.
“Wild” Joel Hanrahan strikes out Kouzmanoff to start the ninth. Chase Headley smokes a single up the middle and hustles around to second. Bernandina catches a fly ball from Nick Hundley, and Hanrahan gets Edgar Gonzalez looking to end the top of the ninth...Milledge up first, grounds out to short. Elijah Dukes flies out to the warning track in center. Kory Casto K’s to send it to extras...
Chip Ambres pops out to Zimmerman. Jesus “Everyday” Colome gets a swinging K from Will Venable. Matt Antonelli flies out to Lastings Milledge in center to end the top of the tenth...Wil Nieves leads off against Cla Meredith. Nieves grounds out to short. Roger Bernadina takes a one-out walk. Ryan Langerhans up, Bernadina steals as Meredith throws a curve, and Berndina swipes the bag. Langerhans walks, Bonifacio grounds to third, Kouzmanoff tags Bernadina as he slides in. Cristian Guzman grounds to second, on to the eleventh...
Charlies Manning starts the eleventh. Brian Giles works a leadoff walk to bring up Adrian Gonzalez. A-Gon grounds to second, Bonifacio to Guzman to Casto, double play. Mannings vs Kouzmanoff, Kouzmanoff reaches down and lines a single to center. Chase Headley works a two-out walk to bring up Hundley. Manning gets a groundout to second, DC’s coming up...Ryan Zimmerman pops out on the first pitch. Milledge singles!!! Dukes? Elijah Dukes swings over a sinker for the third strike. Kory Casto grounds back to the mound...
Charlie Manning’s back for the twelfth. Edgar Gonzalez hits a leadoff single to center, and takes second when Lastings Milledge’s laissez-faire approach gives him enough time. Charlie Manning dives and catches a bunt from Jody Gerut before it hits the ground and fires to second to double up Edgar Gonzalez, and Manning pops up Venable to end the top of the frame...Padres’ reliever Scott Patterson pops up Wil Nieves. Roger Bernadina waits on a bender and singles to center with one down. Aaron Boone? Boone K’s looking as Bernadina swipes second. Bonifacio grounds out to end the inning...
Levale Speigner gets Antonelli to fly out start the thirteenth. Speigner vs Brian Giles with one down. Giles grounds to second. Adrian Gonzalez flies out to left....Guzman flies out to left field. Scott Patterson’s back out. Ryan Zimmerman pops out. Milledge draws a two-out walk to bring up Dukes. Wild pitch moves Milledge up. Dukes takes a walk. Kory Casto will see a new pitcher, Justin Hampson. Casto K’s swinging... Speigner vs Kouzmanoff in the fourteenth. Speigner hits the leadoff batter Kevin Kouzmanoff, who scores on a triple by Chase Headley. 7-6 Padres. Headley scores on a single by Nick Hundley, 8-6 Padres. Gonzalez singles to left. Cha Seung Baek gets down a sac bunt to put runners on first and third for Venable, who gets the intentionals. Zimmerman fields a ground ball from Antonelli and throws home for the force. Brian Giles walks in a run. 9-6 Padres. Edgar Gonzalez knocks in two more with a single, 11-6 San Diego. Speigner strikes out Kouzmanoff to end the long inning...Three outs to get five runs...Trevor Hoffman comes on to close it out...Wil Nieves grounds out to short. Roger Bernadina K’s swinging through a change...Alberto Gonzalez flies out to left to end it, 5 hrs and 10 minutes after it started....Padres win. 11-6 final.
Nationals now 58-96. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At....4.)