• Stammen Impresses, Nationals Win!!
Craig Stammen was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 12th Round, 354th overall in 2005, eleven rounds after the Nationals selected Ryan Zimmerman fourth overall with their 1st Round pick. Tonight in DC, Stammen, using some low-90's heat and a brutal sinking fastball, threw four scoreles innings, and didn't allow a hit until the top of the fifth, when Adam LaRoche, who would later homer, hit a double off Stammen to start the Pirates' half of the frame. LaRoche scored two groundouts after his double, and two innings later, he returned with a two-run blast, and his brother Andy LaRoche knocked in the go-ahead run to make it 4-3 Pirates in the seventh, and bring and to end Stammen's debut after:
• THE KIDS CALL HIM CLUTCH!! (When Flores Isn't Around At Least.)
Cristian Guzman hit a one-out single off Pirates' lefty Tom Gorzellany in the eighth, and Nick "Two-Spot" Johnson followed with a "trademark single" of his own in front of the Face of The Franchise©, the Kid They Call Zim, Ryan Zimmerman, who singled Guzman in from second to tie it at 4-4 and give the Big Donkey a shot, which Adam Dunn used for a single to center...(ed. note - "Checking...nope, not a HR, an RBI single for Dunn.")...that scores Johnson and puts the Nationals up by a run at 5-4 after eight...
Is Manny Acta Serious? You Betcha!!
DC Manager Manny Acta is not like the rest of the DC Faithful, you see Manny Acta believes in his players, and he's going to give them every chance to prove that he's right to do so...which would explain Mr. Acta's decision to bring "Wild" Joel Hanrahan out for the top of the ninth with a one-run lead and left-handed slugger Adam LaRoche due to lead off. LaRoche hit one five feet short of a disaster to Willie Harris in deep center, and after a one-out single by Brandon Moss (on an 0-2 slider?), it was clear that Hanrahan would continue the DC Closer Tradition of "Making It Interesting". Four fastballs later Joel Hanrahan had recorded out No.2 on a swinging K by pinch hitter Ramon Vazquez. Delwyn Young gets more of the same, 6 straight fastballs, anywhere from 95-97 and the sixth one is in Young's grill, he can't lay off and that's a big S for Joel Hanrahan. Hanny Saves!!!! Nationals win, 5-4 final.
• Bring On The O's!!!!
The Washington Nationals start Interleague action with their neighbors to the north, the Baltimore Orioles, live from Nationals Park at 7:05 pm EST with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound for DC against the O's Rich Hill.
Feel Free To Relive it!!! The DC Faithful were ecstatic in Tonight's Finale GameThread!
Nationals win, 5-4 final.
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...
Nationals now 12-28.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs Washington Nationals. Game 40 of 162.
Craig Stammen gets a called strike on the outside corner with a fastball on the first pitch of his major league career. Cristian Guzman catches a line drive off Nyjer Morgan’s bat. Stammen’s first major league K comes courtesy of a two-strike fastball inside at 92 mph to a swinging and missing Freddy Sanchez. Nate McLouth flies to center, Willie Harris settles in under it for the final out of the inning...Cristian Guzman spins a fly ball out to left field that Nyjer Morgan handles. Nick Johnson sends a line drive to right and off the wall as he hustles for a double. Ryan Zimmerman chases a two-strike slider out of the zone. Ian Snell ends the first with a slider at the knees on the outside edge to get Adam Dunn looking.
Anderson Hernandez fields and throws to first to get Adam LaRoche. Josh Willingham tracks the second out off Brandon Moss' bat to the wall where he makes the grab. Two-strike fastball inside and Andy LaRoche can’t catch up, Stammen through two...Josh Willingham gets the benefit of the Ump’s tight zone on a 3-2 fastball outside. Willingham’s running as Willie Harris lines a double into the right field grass. Josh Bard does his job, grounding out to second to score the Hammer. 1-0 DC. Nate McLouth slides into snag Anderson Hernandez’s liner, Willie Harris tags and scores. 2-0 DC. Stammen grounds out to short to end the second.
Jason Jaramillo grounds out to Anderson Hernandez at second. Ryan Zimmerman’s ready for Jack Wilson’s high-hopper. Stammen gets Snell to ground out to end the Pirates’ third...Guzman grounds backc to Snell. Nyjer Morgan catches Nick Johnson’s fly ball at the track. Ryan Zimmerman lines right at Freddy Sanchez...Nyjer Morgan grounds out to short. Freddy Sanchez swings over a hard sinking fastball that dives into the dirt. Nate McLouth grounds out to first to end the Pirates’ fourth...Adam Dunn hits a low hopper to first, LaRoche handles it. Josh Willingham doubles off Snell to leadoff the Nationals’ fourth. Willie Harris K’s and has to run it out. Josh Bard gets a ground ball through second and into center, Josh Willingham scores, 3-0 DC. Anderson Hernandez bounces one off the pitcher, Andy LaRoche recovers it and throws to first, in time.
Adam LaRoche’s liner gets under Nick Johnson’s glove for the first hit off Stammen. A groundout from Moss moves LaRoche to third. Andy LaRoche grounds to short to score his older brother from third, 3-1 Nationals. Jason Jaramillo flies out to Willingham in left...Craig Stammen K’s swinging. Cristian Guzman grounds sharply to first. Nick Johnson gets called out looking on a fastball low and inside, if Nick didn’t swing, we can assume it’s a bad call...Stammen gets help from his fellow ‘05 pick, Ryan Zimmerman, who reaches into the stands to bring back the first out. Ground ball to Belliard from Snell for the second out. Nyjer Morgan grounds to Belliard who fields and throws without incident...Ryan Zimmerman chops out to short. Nyjer Morgan takes a few steps back and catches Adam Dunn’s flyout. Josh Willingham K’s trying to end the sixth.
Cristian Guzman backhands in the hole at short and throws across his body to get Freddy Sanchez at first. Stammen walks Nate McLouth for the first free pass of the night. Adam LaRoche almost hits one out of Nationals Park. 3-3 ballgame. Ground rule double over the left center wall from Brandon Moss follows. Andy LaRoche rips a grounder up the middle and it’s 4-3 Pirates as Moss crosses. Stammen done. Julian Tavarez walks the first batter he sees, Jason Jaramillo. Adam Dunn catches a line drive off Jack Wilson’s bat. Belliard’s playing back on the grass, Eric Hinske’s grounder’s hit right at him...Willie Harris lines out to right. Tom Gorzelanny get a fly ball to center from Josh Bard. Ronnie Belliard flies out to end the seventh.
Nick Johnson makes quick work of Nyjer Morgan’s weak grounder. Freddy Sanchez grounds to Guzman at short. Nate McLouth grounds to first, Johnson tosses to Tavarez covering...Austin Kearns vs Gorzelanny to start the DC eighth, Kearns pops up behind second. Cristian Guzman gets things going with a one-out single to center. NIck “Two-Spot” Johnson lifts a trademark single over second. Ryan Zimmerman shoots a single through second, Guzman scores from second, 4-4 ballgame. Adam Dunn drills a liner to center, Johnson scores. 5-4 DC!!! Jesse Chavez vs Willingham. The Hammer flies out to left. Willie Harris K’s swinging over a 90mph heater.
“Wild” Joel Hanrahan comes on to close it. Adam LaRoche works the count full and flies out to center. Brandon Moss hits an 0-2 slider back up the middle. Ramon Vazquez K’s looking at a high fastball!! More of the same for Delwyn Young, two-strike fastball up high and he K’s swinging to end it!!! Nationals win, 4-3 final.
Nationals now 12-28.