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So That's What An Ace Looks Like...New York Mets' Ace Johan Santana Dominates Washington Nationals. Mets 4 Nationals 3.

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(ed. note - "The Story of the night was Johan Santana. The NY lefty dominated DC's batters...")

New York Mets' ace Johan Santana strikes out 10, allows 6 hits, (1 HR by Nick Johnson), 1 ER, 1 BB in 6.0 IP, and the Mets' bullpen holds on in the end in spite of a two-run HR off NY closer Francisco Rodriguez by Nationals' catcher Jesus Flores that brings Washington within one in the ninth. K-Rod closes it out.

Three misplays in the outfield and one bases-loaded walk doom the Nationals. Elijah Dukes thought he could shoestring a sinking liner but missed it completely and then simply looked back wondering who was going to get it as it rolled into deep center field, and Austin Kearns failed to come up with a line drive from Fernando Tatis, turning a single into a triple in the sixth, Tatis would score one out later when Daniel Murphy singled to right off DC starter Scott Olsen and again in front of a diving Kearns...But you know what...rather than even get into Kip Wells' bases-loaded walk in the eighth...

Nick "Two Spot" Johnson went all the way to the left field corner, homering off Johan Satana for his first HR of the season and the first HR hit of Santana. Jesus Flores absolutely demolished a high fastball from Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth to make it 4-3 NY, but that's as close as DC would get...

Mets win, 4-3 Final.

(ed. note - Rather than relive loss #12 of 15, (which you can do in the Game Report linked below if you choose to), I thought I'd take a chance to highlight some of the excellent writing that's been posted at Federal Baseball.com recently...the GameThread for game two of three at Citi Field against the Mets will be up just after noon today, and I heard something about future DC ace Stephen Strasburg pitching last night...wonder if anyone saw that?...Here's links and samples of some of the best recent writing, starting with the the latest installment of our resident escaped Physicist's stat-based madness...madness...)

"Tuesday Nats Stats: Friday edition: new week, new team?" - Doghouse

"Well, we suffered through a second set of 7 games this last week that were markedly better than the first (0 and ) 7.  But for a series of stomach-gnawing bullpen implosions, we had a fighting chance at winning all 7, and managed to go 3-4 in spite of  some disappointing relief work and a ton of runners left on base.  How are our boys doing, stats-wise?  The numbers tell us who's hot and who's not after the jump."...

Continue Reading.

"To Trade NJ, Or not to Trade NJ, that is the ?" - Mezza 

"Nick (Johnson) has had a great start to the season, is healthy and doing what we all love (which is hit line drives and have a monster OBP).  But given we probably wont win it all this season (it's hard to accept...even for me in April), do we cash in now with a player in his final contract year (in July)?  Or do we hold on tight and make him a piece of the puzzle in years to come (and hope the injuries are the thing of the past)?"... 

Continue Reading.

"The Middle Infield/Leadoff Situation" - bluelineswinger

"Since the demotion of Lastings Milledge and Cristian Guzman's current stint on the DL started, both the middle infield and leadoff situations have been a complete mess.  I hate to go all sabermetric on the Nats, but Manny's decisions regarding lineup construction simply don't make a lick of sense.  I'll start with the middle infield situation, as (hopefully) Guzman is expected to return on April 29 when he's eligible.  Someone's going to have to be trimmed from the roster when he returns, so let's bust out the candidates..." 

Continue Reading.

(ed. note - "And in an attempt to help everyone understand what the DC Faithful are actually talking about in the GameThreads...")

"Fed Baseball's acronyms, 'nyms and 'nicks..." - cat daddy3000

"Hey, we need a list. A glossary of the more obscure and less obvious for the casual reader and a repository of the clever references contributed by the DC Faithful, so they will not be lost in the avalanche of the thread commentaries..... [Inspired by the Ryan "Don't call me Mendoza" Zimmerman entry, a derivative of the soon to be universally accepted DCMR and the hysterical DCCT.......]

Promote your pet faves, steal from others, add to the history and flavour of FB and to the Greater NatsTown blogoplex..." 

Continue Reading.

1:10 pm EST tomorrow from Citi Field...Pelfrey vs Cabrera...

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

 Nationals now 3-12. 

Washington Nationals at New York Mets. Game 15 of 162.

 

New York Mets’ ace Johan Santana throws a two-strike change to Anderson Hernandez and gets the Washington Nationals’ leadoff batter swinging. Nick “Two-Spot” Johnson swings through a two-strike fastball. Johan Santana goes with a change in the dirt to get Ryan Zimmerman swinging to end the first...Jose Reyes sends a screaming liner into left and by Adam Dunn, Elijah Dukes’ arm holds Reyes at second. Luis Castillo’s groundout advances Reyes to third. Carlos Beltran hits a broken bat liner to Alberto Gonzalez at short. Scott Olsen gets Carlos Delgado to chase a slider out of the zone for a swinging K to end the first. 

 

Adam Dunn drops a single between second and center to leadoff the first. Elijah Dukes takes a full-count change inside and gets called out on strikes as he’s headed for first. Austin Kearns K’s swinging over a 93 mph fastball. Jesus Flores gets more of the same, another change, another K, and Santana strikes out the side...again...David Wright stares a two-strike slider all the way in. Gary Sheffield gets a good bounce and it’s over Alberto Gonzalez’s glove. Fernando Tatis lines one off the wall in left, Sheff takes third, Tatis in at second with a double. Scott Olsen walks Ramon Castro, to get to Johan Santana, who grounds to first, and Nick Johnson throws home for the force. Jose Reyes pops out foul of first, Nick Johnson has it. 

 

Alberto Gonzalez pops out to the catcher Ramon Castro. Scott Olsen gets treated rudely by Johan Santana who throws the opposing pitcher a two-strike change. Anderson Hernandez grounds back to the mound...Elijah Dukes rushes over and throws in Luis Castillo’s liner to hold the Mets' second baseman first. Carlos Beltran lines to center, and Elijah Dukes misses it coming in the ball rolls all the way to the wall...Castillo scores, Beltran to third, 1-0 Mets. David Wright K’s chasing a slider. Gary Sheffield pops out to the infield to end the third inning. 

 

Nick Johnson pops out to start the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman sends a low liner through short and is held to a single. Adam Dunn pops out to short left for the second out. Elijah Dukes swings through a fastball up high, and Santana’s through four...Fernando Tatis takes a four-pitch walk. Ramon Castro flies out harmlessly to Elijah Dukes in center. Johan Santana bunts back to the mound, and Olsen misses a backhand try and slips, Tatis to second, Santana safe. Jose Reyes pops out unproductively. Luis Castillo single to center, Tatis scores, Dukes nails Johan Santana, when the pitcher overruns second. 2-0 Mets.

 

David Wright dives to catch a groundball that’s behind him, Delgado picks the throw from Wright for the first out. Jesus Flores lines a single to center off Santana. Alberto Gonzalez spins a single through second. Olsen gets down a sweet sac bunt. Anderson Hernandez grounds back to the Johan. 2-0 Mets, middle of five...Carlos Beltran pops one straight up over the infield. Delgado K’s swinging over a low slider that crosses the zone. David Wright blasts a two-out double to left that Adam Dunn has no chance of catching. Gary Sheffield unloads on a fastball but only gets as far as the track in left. 

 

Nick Johnson goes the other way to start the sixth...and...GONE!! HR to the corner in left for “Two-Spot” Johnson, 2-1 Mets. Ryan Zimmerman takes a walk from Santana. Adam Dunn slaps a single over second, Zimmerman stops at second. Dukes K’s swinging through a fastball. Austin Kearns K’s swinging over a two-strike change inside. Jesus Flores pops out to third, Johan Santana should be done. 2-1 Mets...Fernando Tatis drops a short fly in front of Austin Kearns, who dives and misses, Tatis takes third. Ramon Castro flies out to Dukes in center and Tatis doesn’t even think about running. Daniel Murphy lines to right, Kearns...can’t come up with it, diving forward and missing. Tatis scores. 3-1 Mets. Jose Reyes grounds to short, Alberto Gonzalez to Anderson Hernandez to Johnson at first, double play.

 

Bobby Parnell takes over on the mound for NY. Alberto Gonzalez battles Parnell and lines the tenth pitch into right for a single. Josh Willingham hits for Olsen. Parnell bounces one past Castro, Gonzalez takes a base. Parnell throws a high 97 mph fastball by Josh Willingham for a swinging K. Anderson Hernandez tips strike three into the catcher’s glove. Nick Johnson grounds back to the mound...Jason Bergmann gets a fly ball to left, Dunn makes the grab on Castillo’s fly ball. Bergmann walks Beltran with one down. Carlos Delgado walks. Wright flies to right, deep, and Kearns catches it over his shoulder! No one advances. Bergmann walks Gary Sheffield. Kip Wells called on to face Fernando Tatis. Tatis grounds into a force at second, 3-1 Mets after seven. 

 

J.J. Putz on for NY. Ryan Zimmerman K’s swinging through a hanging sinker. Adam Dunn pops out to short. Elijah Dukes rips a liner right to Beltran in center...Kip Wells comes back out and gives up a single to Ramon Castro. Jose Reyes grounds out to first, Wells covers. Second and third, one out. Castillo grounds out to Zimmerman at third, no one advances. Wells walks Beltran to bring up Delgado. Kip Wells walks in Delgado. 4-1 Mets. Ryan Zimmerman charges in and throws out Wright with a slick fielding play. 

 

Austin Kearns singles through short to start the ninth. Jesus Flores gets a hold of a high fastball and launches it to left!!! Two-run HR, 4-3 New York. Alberto Gonzalez lines out to center. Alex Cintron K’s on a check swing, after being up 3-0. Two down. Anderson Hernandez flies out to center. K-Rod closes it out. Mets win. 4-3 final. 

 

Nationals now 3-12.