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DC Closer Joel Hanrahan Blows Save, Washington Nationals Drop 3-2 Decision To Florida...

The Nationals Can't Beat The Fish...

John Lannan had a 2-1 lead for 6.1 innings on the mound against Florida, and Julian Tavarez, Mike Hinckley and Joe Beimel held it through eight, handing the ball to Washington Nationals' closer "Wild" Joel Hanrahan, who promptly surrendered a game-tying HR to Cody Ross to make it 2-2 after nine, and then 3-2 Marlins in the tenth after Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera gives up three-straight two-out singles and the go-ahead run to the Fish. Elijah Dukes hits a leadoff double in the ninth, but ends up stranded at second as Florida closer Matt Lindstrom shuts the Nationals down. 

The Return Of "Cool Hand" Lannan...

Hanley Ramirez was one of only two Marlins to reach first base in the first three innings tonight, (along with John Baker, who was HBP in front of Ramirez in the first). But Hanley took care of Baker, grounding into a force at second, and then got himself thrown out trying to steal his way into scoring position. Lannan started the fourth with a K, his sixth through 3.1 IP, but the next batter, Baker, who might have taken the HBP personally, took Lannan deep to right field and just inside the foul pole for a solo shot that threw Lannan momentarily off his game. Ramirez popped out and then Jorge Cantu doubled. Dan Uggla took one between the numbers, and Lannan issued a two-out walk, but the left-hander finally escaped, down just 1-0 early. 

The Nationals score two runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead. Alberto "The General" Gonzalez's double scores Jesus Flores from first, and Gonzalez then scores from third when Anderson Hernandez singles after John Lannan's sac bunt...and Lannan retakes the mound with a 2-1 lead. That's how it would stay through eight, with Lannan out after 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB and 8 K's, having thrown 99 pitches, 65 for strikes. Julian Tavarez gets the second out of the sixth, and Mike Hinckley the third. Joe Beimel makes quick work the Fish in the eighth...and it's all in "Wild" Joel Hanrahan's hands...

Hanrahan gets behind Jeremy Hermida, but gets a groundout with a 95 mph fastball on the outside edge. Hanrahan starts Cody Ross with three sliders, one for a called strike and one swinging with another slider called a ball in between, but then Hanrahan went back to the slider, hanging one up for Cody Ross to hammer right over "The Hammer", Josh Willingham's head. Hanrahan escapes with the tie in spite of a two-out double to Alfredo Amezaga, and the Nationals go down quickly in order in the ninth...

Enter Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera the Nationals' Iron Man reliever. A groundout from John Baker. A ground ball from Hanley Ramirez to short...and then...Jorge Cantu singles. Dan Uggla singles. Jeremy Hermida singles. Florida takes the 3-2 lead.

The Marlins' closer gets it right, sort of...Matt Lindstrom throws three straight fastballs to Elijah Dukes and Dukes hits the third one so hard it appears he has tied it...but as it turned out, Dukes' line drive didn't go over the wall, it tried to go through it, and became impossibly wedged in the wall's pads some 370 ft from home. Dukes is stranded at second, however, as Josh Willingham, Jesus Flores and Alberto Gonzalez all fail to bring the tying run home. The Marlins beat the Nationals for the fourth time this season and DC drops the 8th of 9 in 2009.

For The Completists, Full (Currently Unedited) Game Report After The Jump...

Marlins win, 3-2 Final. 

Nationals now 1-8.


Florida Marlins at Washington Nationals. Game 9 of 162. 


Cameron Maybin leads off against John Lannan, and K’s swinging at two-strike bender in the dirt. Lannan hits Florida catcher John Baker in the right arm. Hanley Ramirez sprints to first to beat out his own DP grounder, and then tries to steal second, but gets nailed by DC Catcher Jesus Flores...Anderson Hernandez tests Hanley Ramirez with a ground ball over second, but Hanley’s up to it. Nick Johnson lifts another trademark liner over second for a single. Cameron Maybin tracks a sinking line drive from Ryan Zimmerman and dives to make the catch an inch above the grass. Elijah Dukes takes a 2-2 pitch for a ride but lines out to right to end the first. 


The barrell of Jorge Cantu’s broken bat gets almost as far as his groundout to second. Dan Uggla stares a two-strike fastball all the way in. Lannan gets a curve in on Jeremy Hermida and gets a harmless fly to right out of the Marlins’ right fielder...Ricky Nolasco spins a two-strike slider away from Josh Willingham’s bat. Jesus Flores throws his bat at a fastball outside, and sends it soaring to left for a single. Alberto Gonzalez punches a single to center. John Lannan drops a successful sac bunt in front of home. Second and third for Anderson Hernandez, who gets called out on strikes with his bat on his shoulder. 


Lannan throws a fastball by Dan Uggla for strike three, and gets Wes Helms swinging through strike three for the second out of the frame. Nolasco gets more of the same, Lannan’s through three...Nick Johnson fouls out into the catcher’s glove. Ryan Zimmerman pops one to short left no one can get to for a one-out single. Adam Dunn skies one to deep center that Cameron Maybin almost loses. Ricky Nolasco gets a curve outside called strike three, Dukes down looking. 


John Lannan gets Cameron Maybin swinging at a full count slider, but John Baker gets a hold of a fastball and bends it inside the right field pole, HR, 1-0 Marlins. Hanley Ramirez pops out. Jorge Cantu lines to right and Dukes slides but can’t get it in in time to hold Cantu to one bag. Cantu at second with Uggla up. Lannan hits Uggla. Wild pitch, now it’s second and third, two down for Hermida. Hermida walks to load the bases. Cody Ross grounds to short, Gonzalez to Hernandez for the force, 1-0 Fish in the fourth...Josh Willingham flies out to right center, where Maybin makes the grab. Jesus Flores hits a grounder weakly enough to third to beat out Wes Helms’ throw. Alberto “The General” Gonzalez splits the gap in left center and score Flores from first to tie it at 1-1. John Lannan works Nolasco, and ends up with a productive groundout about 10 pitches in. Gonzalez to third, and Anderson Hernandez waits on a curve and lines it to left for an RBI single, and a 2-1 lead. Nick Johnson grounds out to end the fourth.


Wes Helms offers at a two-strike fastball outside and can’t take it back. Ricky Nolasco pops out to short. Cameron Maybin spins a grounder to third, and Zimmerman tries to let it go foul, but it stays inside the lines for a single. John Lannan hits the outside corner with a fastball and John Baker walks silently back to the dugout....Hayden Penn hangs a curve up for Ryan Zimmerman, who single to right. Adam Dunn pushes Maybin back to the track where he catches the first out. Dukes takes a swing at a 3-0 pitch and pops out to first. Willingham grounds into a force at second, 2-1 DC after five. 


Hanley Ramirez flies out on the first pitch. Jorge Cantu grounds to third, Zimmerman...sails the throw to first...Cantu safe. Uggla grounds to Zimmerman to second, Anderson Hernandez to first, double play and the Nationals hold the slim lead...Jesus Flores spins a liner out to first. Alberto Gonzalez sends a short fly ball to center for a single. Hernandez grounds out to short, 2-1 DC after six. 


Elijah Dukes tracks down a line drive from Jeremy Hermida, and Lannan’s night is done. Julian Tavarez comes on with one down. Tavarez drops a two-strike slider on Cody Ross who tips it into Flores’ glove. Wes Helms takes a full count pitch back up the middle for a 2-out single to center. Ross Gload on to hit, and Tavarez is out for Mike Hinckley. Emilio Bonifacio comes on to run. Gload singles up the middle and Bonifacio takes third. Hinckley issues a two-out walk to Maybin. John Baker grounds to short and Gonzalez fires to time! 2-1 DC after six and a half...Nick Johnson slaps a full count pitch out to left and legs out a double, sliding in just ahead of the throw. Ryan Zimmerman works the count full and grounds productively to second, moving Johnson to third. Adam Dunn rips a grounder to Cantu at first. Johnson’s stuck at third. Elijah Dukes works a two-out walk. Josh Willingham chases strike three out of the zone. 2-1 DC after seven.


Joe Beimel gets a groundout to short from Hanley Ramirez for the first out of the eighth. Jorge Cantu lines to Anderson Hernandez at second. Beimel gets Dan Uggla staring at strike three. 2-1 DC in the eighth...Flores gets called out on a low two-strike fastball outside from Logan Kensing. Alberto Gonzalez lines out to second. Roger Bernadina lines to right and into the corner, two-out double. Anderson Hernandez K’s swinging. 


“Wild” Joel Hanrahan’s on in the ninth. Jeremy Hermida grounds out to second. Cody Ross takes a hanging slider deeeep to left and GONE!!! Tied at 2-2. Emilio Bonifacio strikes out swinging at a high fastball. Alfredo “The Amazing” Amezaga doubles by Nick Johnson at first. Maybin grounds out to third, Zimmerman takes two hops and throws to first, in time. 2-2 in the ninth...Leo Nunez gets a groundout to second from Nick Johnson. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to right. Nunez throws a fastball by Kearns for a swinging K...


Saul “Sa-ool” Rivera takes over in the tenth. John Baker grounds to short, Gonzalez throws him out at first. Cameron Maybin grounds out to short. Jorge Cantu takes a fastball outside back up the middle for a two-out single. Dan Uggla pushes a jam shot out to right, Cantu takes third. Hermida grounds one deep into the hole at short, and scored Cantu when he beats Gonzalez’s throw, 3-2 Fish...Elijah Dukes hits a line drive so hard it gets stuck in the padding of the left field wall. Josh Willingham flies out unproductively to right. Jesus Flores K’s looking after having been up 3-0. Alberto Gonzalez K’s swinging. Fish win. 3-2 final.


Nationals now 1-8.