THE KIDS CALL IT THE STREAK...And Thanks To An Eighth-Inning HR, It's 27 Games Long.
Ryan Zimmerman had the whole DC baseball world behind him when he came up in the eighth inning in what would most likely be the last chance to extend his 26-game hit streak. Zimmerman was 0 for 3 with three hard hit liners, but each ended up in an outfielder's glove, and it looked for a moment like Zimmerman's luck had run out...Would The Streak End?...
...Ryan Zimmerman steps to the plate with one down and DC up 1-0 in the eighth after Elijah Dukes K's swinging. Arizona righty Juan Gutierrez goes into his delivery and unleashes a 95 mph first pitch fastball to Ryan Zimmer---THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! SOLO SHOT TO CENTER FOR A 2-0 DC LEAD AND A 27-GAME-HIT-STREAK!!! Ryan Zimmerman extends THE STREAK with his 6th HR of the year and his 21st RBI. 400ft+ to center. 2-1 Nationals.
John "Cool Hand" Lannan Walks 6 In 6.0 Shutout Innings In Win.
93 pitches. 53 for strikes. 3 hits, 6 walks. 2 K's. 2 Double play grounders. 6.0 IP. John "Cool Hand" Lannan erected obstacles for himself and pitched around them, and it would take six, count'em six, relievers to preserve the slim two-run lead Lannan left them, but the bullpen came through in the end...just barely...and saved Lannan's second win of 2009.
Lannan issued a two-out walk in the 1st, but got a fly ball for the third out. A leadoff walk in the second would have scored, if Lannan hadn't thrown home on a weak grounder from the No.8 hitter and then retired the opposing pitcher, Doug Davis, to end the frame. In the third, a leadoff walk, a single and a one-out walk loaded the bases, before a DP grounder from Josh Whitesell ended the threat. A leadoff single in the fourth was erased by a double-play. A two-out walk in the 5th was followed by a swinging K. A fielding error by Adam Dunn at first and a one-out walk put runners on first and third in the sixth, and a two-out walk loaded the bases, but Lannan got a grounder out of pinch hitter Conor Jackson, and the Nationals' lefty left with the lead after six innings of work on the hill...
The Bullpen Is Still A Problem...(subtitled: "Luckily, Chad Tracy Swings At Junk.")
Garrett Mock came on for Lannan in the seventh, and loaded the bases in no time at all, surrendering a leadoff single to Felipe Lopez, a one-out single to Justin Upton and a one-out, base-loading walk to Mark Reynolds, before being replaced by DC lefty Ron Villone. The next D-Backs' batter, Josh Whitesell hits a line drive to right that's impossible to judge, Felipe Lopez delays at third, breaks for home, and gets gunned at the plate when Austin Kearns fields it on one-hop, and fires home in time for the force at the plate, with Jesus Flores stretching out for the throw and keeping just a toe attached to home. Score it 9-2. Logan Kensing on for Villone, Eric Byrnes K's swinging.
Joe Beimel puts runners on second and third with one down before striking out Felipe Lopez, and only slick fielding help from Ryan Zimmerman on a grounder from Chris Young gets Beimel out of the eighth. Kip Wells comes on to close it in the ninth and walks two before surrendering a run on a double and handing it off to "Wild" Joel Hanrahan, who keeps it together long enough to get a swinging K to end it...though it helped that Chad Tracy chased Hanrahan's junk. Nationals win. 2-1 final, but there are still real problems in the bullpen.
SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!!! SHAKE N BAKE!!!! How's Dunn Doin?
Down 1-2 to D-Backs' starter Doug Davis in the second, Adam Dunn took two to work the count full and then destroyed a slider on the outside edge, lifting it over 410ft to center for a solo shot and a 1-0 lead which held up through eight, when Ryan Zimmerman's dinger gave the Nationals' the decisive run in the 2-1 game. Dunn finishes the night 1 for 3, with the HR (9), 1 RBI (25), 1 walk (27) and 2 K's, (31), a .297 AVG and a .445 OBP...What a HR!!...Oh, and Dunn started at first and made three errors...What? Two errors, but he dropped it before the throwin--...forget it...What a HR!!!! (ed. note - "OBP almost makes me forget errors.")
The Nationals win three straight, 5-2 in May, and they look for the sweep Arizona on the road tomorrow as DC lefty Scott Olsen and D-Backs' right Max Scherzer meet at 4:10 pm EST from Arizona.
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...
Nationals now 10-18-1.
Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks. Game 28 or 29 of 162.
Mark Reynolds gets a glove on a hot shot from Cristian Guzman but it bounces off and rolls behind him for an infield single. Elijah Dukes grounds into a force at second but beats the throw to first. AZ lefty Doug Davis has a sick pick off move, and he uses it on Dukes. Ryan Zimmerman flies to deep right to end the top of the first...Felipe Lopez flies out Austin Kearns in right where he catches it amidst the patches of sunlit grass. Chris Young grounds to Guzman who whips one over to first for out number two. DC lefty John Lannan misses with a full count fastball to Justin Upton. Elijah Dukes makes his way over to right center to catch Mark Reynolds' high fly.
Arizona’s wearing their Saturday blacks, alternate logo caps, and DC's in their new ‘09 gray aways, Washington across the chest in red with the navy blue curly-W caps. Adam Dunn leads off the second with a solo shot to straight center and GONE!!! SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!!! 1-0 Nationals. Josh Willingham takes a two-strike fastball inside and is called out on strikes. Austin Kearns is waaay out in front of a two-strike change outside and sinking. Jesus Flores and Ronnie Belliard hit back to back two-out singles, but John Lannan’s grounder ends the Nationals’ second...Lannan walks Josh Whitesell, and Eric Byrnes comes to the plate to the Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey”. Austin Kearns catches a line drive off of Byrnes’ bat. AZ catcher Chris Snyder lines a one-hopper to Dunn at first, and he has it bounce off his leg, then throws away the toss to Lannan covering, Whitesell moves to third. Josh Wilson grounds back to the mound, Lannan throws home, and Whitesell’s dead to rights, “You’re Out,” yells the Ump. Ryan Zimmerman throws to first on Doug Davis grounder, and Lannan’s through two scoreless in spite of Adam Dunn...sorry.
Cristian Guzman punches a single through second to start the third. Elijah Dukes gets jammed and pops out behind first, to bring up the kid with the streak. Ryan Zimmerman gets robbed at the wall, Justin Upton backs up to the fence and pulls it down. Adam Dunn takes a two-strike fastball low and outside for a called strike three...John Lannan walks Felipe Lopez in front of Chris Young who drops a bunt that gets by Lannan and confuses Dunn. Justin Upton flies out to left field where Josh Willingham closes his glove on it. Mark Reynolds takes a one-out walk when Lannan offers. Josh Whitesell grounds to second, Guzman grabs it, tosses to Belliard, to Dunn at first, double play!! John Lannan’s cussing into his glove as he heads off the mound!!
Josh Willingham skies one to center, Chris Young’s got it. Justin Upton sprints in to catch Kearns’ line drive to right. Jesus Flores flies to left and tosses his bat as he runs it out, thinks he just missed...Eric Byrnes grounds weakly toward third, Lannan fires a strike to first, too late. Chris Snyder swings over a two-strike bender down low. Josh Wilson grounds to Ronnie Belliard to Guzman to Dunn, double play.
Ronnie Belliard walks to start the fifth. John Lannan gets down two strikes trying to bunt, so he’s swinging and he lines out to Wilson at short. Cristian Guzman grounds into a force at second, Wilson to Lopez, but Guzman beats the throw to first. Elijah Dukes lines out to center, and it’s 1-0 DC after four and a half...Guzman fires to first on a ground ball from Doug Davis. Felipe Lopez grounds to first, Guzman throws it low, Dunn drops it, but picks up just in time to get a not-hustling Felipe Lopez. Chris Young walks with two down. Justin Upton gets called out on a two-strike fastball on the outside edge. 1-0 DC after five.
Ryan ZImmerman flies out to right in his third at bat. Adam Dunn patiently takes a one-out walk in front of the Hammer. Josh Willingam grounds sharply to third and it jumps up on Reynolds. Both runners safe. Austin Kearns gets just about all of it, just about, flies out to center. Jesus Flores grounds a two-strike curve to third, Reynolds wraps it up...Short hop on a grounder to Dunn and he boots it letting Josh Whitesell on. Eric Byrnes moves Whitesell to third with a double to left. Chris Snyder grounds to third, Zimmerman looks Whitesell back, and throws out the catcher. Lannan walks Josh Wilson to load the bases and chase the pitcher, who’s lifted for pinch hittter Conor Jackson. Jackson grounds to short, Guzman fires to first, in time! 1-0 DC.
Ronnie Belliard leads off the seventh against Franklin Gutierrrez with a swinging K. Alex Cintron hits for John Lannan and flies out to right. Cristian Guzman grounds to Josh Wilson at short, 1-0 DC in the seventh, Stand Up and Stretch...Garrett Mock takes over for Lannan. Line drive single to center from Felipe Lopez. Chris Young pops up to first, Adam Dunn makes an awkward catch. Justin Upton shoots a low liner back up the middle, Lopez to second. Mock walks Mark Reynolds to load the bases. Ron Villone on to face Josh Whitesell. Lefty vs Lefty. Whitesell lines to right, Felipe Lopez holds up at third to see if Kearns gets it, Kearns doesn’t get there, catching on one hop and firing HOME, TO JESUS FLORES' OUTSTRETCHED GLOVE, JUST IN TIME FOR THE FORCE ON FELIPE LOPEZ!!! WHAT A THROW!!! BLUE GRASS!!!!!! Logan Kensing drops a 1-2 curve on Eric Byrnes for a swinging K!!!
Juan Gutierrez vs Dukes to start the eighth, and Dukes K’s swinging way over a slider. Ryan Zimmerm...THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! ! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! HR TO CENTER AND GONE!!!! 27-Straight!!! Zimmerman’s hit in 27-straight in dramatic fashion!!! 2-0 DC. Adam Dunn K’s swinging with lefty Scott Schoenweis on the hill. The Hammer flies out to Byrnes in left...Joe Beimel takes the mound for DC and gives up a leadoff single to left, to Chris Snyder. Josh Wilson flies out to Elijah Dukes in center. PInch hitter Ryan Roberts doubles off the wall in center, Snyder to third, Dukes fires it back in. Second and third, one out for Felipe Lopez. Beimel throws a 3-2 sinking change in the dirt, and Lopez K’s chasing. Chris Young rips one to third, Zimmerman dives, knocks it down and fires to first, in time!!! 2-0 DC after eight.
Chad Qualls takes a liner off the arm, but it bounces right to Felipe Lopez, who throws to first. Jesus Flores flies out behind short. Ronnie Belliard grounds out to short...and it’s Time To Go To The Wells. Kip Wells on to close it for Washington. Justin Upton gets a brutal two-strike curve and has no chance, one down. Mark Reynolds walks with one down. Wells walks Josh Whitesell. Eric Byrnes ground into a force at second, but reaches first safely on Belliard’s high DP throw, Reynolds to third. Miguel Montero, lines to right, Reynolds scores, 2-1 DC. Wells out, Joel Hanrahan to face a pinch hitter. Chad Tracy, Tracy chases a two-strike slider out of the zone!!! Strike threee!!!
THE NATIONALS WIN!! 2-1 final.
Nationals now 10-18-1.