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Elijah Dukes Just Hit A 3-0 Pitch Out Of The Yard. The Nationals Win Their 1st Game Of '09!!!

Everything went right tonight in the Washington Nationals' first win of 2009...I mean when was the last time a Washington Nationals' hitter even took a swing at a 3-0 pitch, none the less launched it like Elijah Dukes did to put the nation's capital's favorite baseball team up 7-2 in the eighth inning of what would eventually be an 8-2 win. Adam Dunn goes deeeeep to right, for a 3-run blast in the first and Washington holds the lead over the next eight innings with 22-year-old DC starter Shairon Martis finally providing the calming influence on the mound that the Nationals have been looking for through eight games of the '09 season. Oh, and Nick Johnson likes the 2-spot! 

More to come soon...Nationals win. Nationals win. 8-2 Final. 


Adam Dunn got it...Adam Dunn got all the runs the Nationals would need with one swing of the bat in the first, as Philly starter "Joltin'" Joe Blanton delivered a BP fastball on a 2-2 count that ended up in the second deck in right for a 3-0 Nationals' lead. The Phillies came back against DC starter Shairon Martis, with a two-out single by Raul Ibanez scoring Chase Utley from second in the fourth and a sac fly by Jimmy Rollins scoring Lou Marson, after Marson had doubled to lead off the fifth, but that was all Shairon Martis would allow. Martis (W, 1-0), completes 6.1 IP, allows 5 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB and strikes out 1 in the win, throwing 86 pitches, 49 for strikes and handing the ball to lefty, Mike Hinckley, set-up man, Joe Beimel and the DC closer "Wild" Joel Hanrahan, giving the DC Faithful the first look at the bullpen that will be used to close out wins this season...

Hello, Nick Johnson!!!

Manny Acta's decision to move Nick Johnson to the 2-spot behind Anderson Hernandez paid off immediately with the left-handed hitting first baseman 3 for 4 with three line drive singles and 1 line drive out. Adam Dunn hits his 3rd HR of the year, goes 1 for 3 and K's twice. Nice. Ryan Zimmerman 2 for 4 with his 8th RBI. Alberto Gonzalez 2 for 4 with his 1st HR. Elijah Dukes goes 1 for 4 with a solo shot on a 3-0 pitch from Philly lefty Jack Taschner. Josh Willingham came off the bench and launched one. 13 hits, 8 runs...In case you hadn't noticed, the Nationals' offense is not the problem, and the pitching finally came through tonight in the win. 

A Defensive Replacement...

Roger Bernandina made his first appearance of the year for the Nationals, coming on late in left field in place of the defensively-challenged, Adam Dunn, who had don..who's work was don...Forget it...Bernandina comes on to play left in the top eighth and takes a walk when he comes to bat with two down in the bottom of the frame. A stolen base, and a clutch single by Anderson Hernandez and the Nationals are manufacturing runs. 

"Yes, Hinckley, H-I-N-C-K-L-E-Y. Yeah they signed Beimel. Late Spring..Han-ra-han. Joel. He's the closer, yes..."

Nationals' lefty Mike Hinckley came on in the seventh with the Nationals clinging to a 3-2 lead. Shairon Martis struggled to record the first out of the frame and the Phillies got a left-handed bat, Gregg Dobbs off the bench to hit for Blanton. DC Manager Manny Acta called on Hinckley to get the last two outs of the inning, and forced Philly Skipper Charlie Manuel to burn Dobbs for the right-handed hitting Eric Bruntlett, who hit a groundout to second, followed by Jimmy Rollins who flew out to Austin Kearns in right. Joe Beimel got a fly ball to left out of Shane Victorino, got Chase Utley chasing a two-strike curve and popped Ryan Howard up to center, where Elijah Dukes settled under and made the grab to end the eighth...and DC Closer "Wild" Joel Hanrahan overpowered the Phillies, popping up Jayson Werth, striking out Raul Ibanez and drawing a fly ball out of Pedro Feliz for Austin Kearns to catch ending the Nationals' first win.

Nationals win. 8-2 final.

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

Nationals now 1-7. 


Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals. Game 8 of 162. 


Shairon Martis is wearing the star-spangled DC logo on blue home jersey and Martis and the rest of the Washington Nationals are all wearing the start-spangled DC logo on their navy blue red-brimmed caps. Ryan Zimmerman charges in to field a weak grounder from Jimmy Rollins, and throws to first is in time for the first out. Shane Victorino makes Elijah Dukes take a step back first, but he comes in and makes the catch on a line drive to center. Shairon Martis makes the mistake of walking Chase Utley in front of Ryan Howard, but Martis gets Howard swinging at a change off the plate to end the top of the first...Chase Utley fires to first a step ahead of a sprinting Anderson Hernandez. Nick Johnson takes a change on the outside edge to left center for a line drive single. Ryan Zimmerman rips a single by third, and an errant throw in advances both runners. Adam Dunn...SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!!! 3-Run Dunn HR and it’s 3-0 Nationals early. Elijah Dukes sends Chase Utley back to the track in center. Austin Kearns sends one out to short right to end the first.


Elijah Dukes backs up to the top of the curly-W in the outfield grass to catch the first out of the second off of Jayson Werth’s bat. Raul Ibanez grounds a fastball out to second. Fly ball, center, Elijah Dukes catches Pedro Feliz’s pop fly...Jesus Flores K’s to start the DC second. Alberto “The General” Gonzalez pushes a single out to right. Shairon Martis K’s on a third attempt at a bunt. Anderson Hernandez flies out to left. 3-0 Nationals...


Lou Marson slices a line drive to center for a leadoff single in the third. Joe Blanton  moves Marson over. Jimmy Rollins grounds out unproductively to Nick Johnson at first. Shane Victorino tries for a bunt single but Martis is on it...Nick Johnson lines a single over second. Ryan Zimmerman gets a slow bender and swings a foot over it for strike three. Adam Dunn gets jammed and pops out to second. Elijah Dukes grounds sharply to third, Feliz takes the force at second...


Anderson Hernandez can only turn and watch Chase Utley’s scorched single roll into right. Ryan Howard grounds weakly to first. Utley moves up. Jayson Werth pops up behind the plate. Raul Ibanez brings Utley around with a hard line drive to center. 3-1 Nationals. Pedro Feliz grounds to short, Gonzalez takes the force at second...Austin Kearns tops off a grounder. Jesus Flores flies out to center. Alberto Gonzales pushes the third out to right. 3-1 after 4. 


Lou Marson hugs the line in right with a weak fly ball single. Blanton with the sac bunt. Jimmy Rollins flies out to right on a hanging 0-2 pitch and brings Philly within one. 3-2 DC. Shane Victorino’s fly reaches the right field track but that’s all...3-2 Nationals...Joe Blanton throws three fastballs by Elijah Dukes. Anderson Hernandez rips a line drive single to right. Nick Johnson hits his third straight single. Ryan Zimmerman grounds to third, Pedro Feliz to Ultey at second, Howard at first, double play. 


Alberto Gonzalez backpedals into center and catches Chase Utley’s pop fly. Martis misses with a full count pitch to Howard that may have been designed for Howard to chase. DC SS Alberto Gonzalez goes back to catch Werth’s fly ball in short left. Raul Ibanez floats a two-out single to left. Martis gets a broken bat grounder out of Pedro Feliz to hold the DC lead through five and a half...Adam Dunn K’s to start the DC sixth. Elijah Dukes flies out to center. Austin Kearns pulls a fastball to left for a two-out double. Jesus Flores walks with two down. Alberto Gonzalez flies out to right to end the sixth. 


Martis gets Lou Marson to pop out for the first out of the seventh. Martis is out. Mike Hinckley vs Eric Bruntlett, who pinch hits for the pinch hitter, Greg Dobbs, who’s wasted by the Phils. Bruntlett flails at a two-strike curve and grounds out to second. Hinckley gets a fly ball to right from Jimmy Rollins, Stand up and Stretch!!...Chad Durbin takes over on the mound for Philly...Josh Willingham LAUNCHES A SOLO SHOT TO LEFT...AND GONE!!! 4-2 DC!! The HAMMER!!! Anderson Hernandez walks. Nick Johnson lines out for the first time tonight. Ryan Zimmerman up, Anderson Hernandez gets nailed trying for second on a ball in the dirt....Ryan Zimmerman walks in front of Adam Dunn. Jack Taschner on to face Dunn. Lefty vs Lefty. Dunn K’s to end the seventh. 


Joe Beimel’s on for the Nationals in the eighth. Roger Bernandina, replacing Dunn in left, catches the first out off Shane Victorino’s bat. Beimel drops a two-strike bender in on Utley for a swinging strike three. Ryan Howard pops up to Dukes in center. 3-2 Nationals, middle of the eighth...Elijah “SUPER” DUKES LAUNCHES A 3-0 FASTBALL!! GONE!!!!! 5-2  NATIONALS!!! Austin Kearns pops out. Jesus Flores gets fooled and K’s for the second out. Alberto Gonzalez flies to right...and...just over the wall!!! Alberto "The General' Gonzalez, 6-2 Nationals. Roger Bernadina works a two-out walk. Roger Bernadina steals second off Taschner. Anderson Hernandez lines to right, Bernadina scores from second!! 7-2 Nationals. Taschner walks Nick Johnson. Ryan Zimmerman shatters his bat but spins a single past the infield!! Anderson Hernandez scores. 8-2 Nationals. Taschner’s out. J.A.Happ on to face Ronnie Belliard, who pops out to the pitcher. 


Hanrahan gets a pop up from Werth, to the DC catcher, Jesus Flores. Raul Ibanez goes down swinging over a two-strike slider. Pedro Feliz....flies out to right. The Washington Nationals win. 8-2 final.


Nationals now 1-7.