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The Washington Nationals Just Can't Win...Houston Astros Beat DC On Geoff Blum Walk-Off Single...Geoff Blum...

Geoff Blum's walk-off winner in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, gave the Houston Astros a 6-5 win and their second straight victory over the Washington Nationals in the first-half-ending four game series in Minute Maid Park. Blum, the Astros' third baseman, hit a double in the eighth as well, moving what would be the game-tying run over to third, and only because Nick Johnson and Anderson Hernandez, a few pitches earlier, had let Blum's foul pop drop after they'd both chased and then simultaneously stopped, as the ball fell to the ground between them. The Washington Nationals get 6 hits and 4 runs in the seventh to take a 5-4 lead over the Astros and they then give up the game one run at a time when DC lefty Joe Beimel blows the save in the eighth and takes the loss when "closer" Mike MacDougal replaces him and gives up Blum's bases loaded hit in the ninth...Oh, and did I mention two Nationals got thrown out at the plate? By the same Astros' outfielder? More ranting and raving after the JUMP...

Astros win, 6-5 final. 

Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...


• Nick Johnson and Willie Harris Nailed At The Plate...TOLMAN!!!!

• You Can't Let Geoff Blum Beat You...

• Mike MacDougal Might Be The Next Failed DC Closer.

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

DLBT: 3 out of 4.

Nationals Now 25-60. Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At 40.



• Nick Johnson and Willie Harris Nailed At The Plate...TOLMAN!!!!


Of course it wasn't last year's DC third base coach Tim Tolman who sent Nick Johnson and Willie Harris around third tonight to where they were thrown out at home, it was Pat Listach, the Nationals' new third base coach, who made two bad decisions, that in a one-run game could have been the difference. Nick Johnson hit a one-out RBI double in the fourth to bring Nyjer Morgan in and make it 2-1 Houston after Morgan had singled and stolen second and third. Adam Dunn followed Johnson with a double to center, and with piano strapped firmly to back, Johnson "sprinted" toward home as the throw from Michael Bourn came in from center, on target and in time, Pudge Rodriguez blocked the plate and made the tag, and the ump punched Johnson out as he slid past home.


Willie Harris singled off Astros' reliever Jeff Fulchino in the top of the ninth and took second on a sac bunt from Anderson Hernandez that brought Nyjer Morgan to the plate. Fulchino started Morgan with a change and followed with another, the second one a hanger that was lined back over the mound into center, Willie Harris has wheels, and he rounds third as Michael Bourn charges in, loads up and throws home, up the line, Harris decides not to slide, Pudge Rodriguez catches the ball and dives, tagging Harris in the stomach as Harris leaps toward the plate, 'You'rrre OUT!" yells the Ump.


Both runners were sent with one down. Johnson with Josh Willingham due up next in the fourth, and Willie Harris with Cristian Guzman, who'd hit a two-out, two-run single in the seventh to tie the game at 5-5, set to hit in the ninth. 


• You Can't Let Geoff Blum Beat You...


This is not to denigrate Mr. Blum, but he never should have had the opportunity to help tie the game in the eighth or win the game in the ninth. Blum popped up a pitch from Joe Beimel in the eighth and Nick Johnson and late game defensive replacement Anderson Hernandez gave chase down the first base line into foul territory, coming close enough to catch it, but stopping short and allowing it to fall to the ground as they both stood and watched. It was probably Hernandez's ball, but Nick Johnson was closer, and when they gave Blum a second chance, he ended up doubling, moving Pudge Rodriguez from first to third and allowing the Astros' catcher to score on a sac fly and tie the game at 5-5 after eight.  


After Willie Harris was thrown out at the plate in the top of the ninth, the Astros came up with the game tied and Joe Beimel back on the mound. Miguel Tejada singled to start the bottom of the frame, and one out later, with Tejada still at first, DC closer Mike MacDougal took over for Beimel on the mound...


• Mike MacDougal Might Be The Next Failed DC Closer.


...MacDougal got a fly ball out to center from Carlos Lee that was deep enough to allow Tejada to tag and take second. An intentional walk to Hunter Pence brought Pudge Rodriguez to the plate, and then MacDougal threw a wild pitch which moved both runners into scoring position. Rodriguez walked to load the bases and bring up Blum, and three fastballs later it was over when Blum hit a walk-off single to right.




Washington Nationals At Houston Astros. Game 85 of 162. 

Nyjer Morgan tests Roy Oswalt’s glove with a grounder to the mound. Cristian Guzman works the count full and flies out to left for the second out of the first. Nick Johnson swings over a two-strike bender from Oswalt, and the Astros are up...Nyjer Morgan just waits for his Michael Bourn’s fly ball to center. Alberto Gonzalez fields a grounder off the mound and throws out Miguel Tejada. TAWH!! Willie Harris steps in front of short and fields a hotshot from Lance Berkman, the throw to first ends the frame. 


Michael Bourn is back on the track a step from the wall in center when he catches Adam Dunn’s flyout. Josh Willingham flies out to right, Hunter Pence makes the catch at the line. Josh Bard rolls the third out to Kaz Matsui at second...Scott Olsen tries to run a fastball inside to El Caballo, Carlos Lee, but it ends up five rows deep in the Crawford Boxes, 1-0 Astros. Willie Harris goes into foul territory to catch Hunter Pence’s pop up. Ivan Rodriguez pushes Josh Willingham back to the track in right. Geoff Blum drops a two-out single in front of Nyjer Morgan in center. Olsen issues a four-pitch walk to Kaz Matsui, but gets a fly ball out from Oswalt to end the second.


Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to Matsui. Carlos Lee catches Willie Harris’ fly in the left field corner. Olsen takes a low two-strike curve for a called strike three...Michael Bourn flies to left center and gone, out into the first row of the Crawford Boxes for a 2-0 lead. Miguel Tejada drops a single into left. Alberto Gonzalez, to Cristian Guzman to Nick Johnson, double play on Lance Berkman’s DP grounder. El Caballo singles to left. Hunter Pence throws his bat at a fastball outside and singles to right. Pudge Rodriguez grounds out to Harris at third to end the bottom of the inning.


Nyjer Morgan’s back up for the fourth. A low liner by first is in for a single. Roy Oswalt gets Cristian Guzman to chase a high slow curve. Nick Johnson bounces a double off the wall in center, Morgan scores, 2-1 Astros. Adam Dunn lines to center, Nick Johnson’s going try to score, Michael Bourn’s throw is there, Nick Johnson’s nailed, "You’rrrrre OUT!" yells the Ump. Willingham grounds out to third, 2-1 in the fourth...Olsen walks Geoff Blum to starts Houston’s fourth. Kaz Matsui punches a single into right. Roy Oswalt gets a sac bunt down. Michael Bourn singles up the middle, two runs score, 4-1 Houston. Michael Bourn steals second. Wilie Harris makes a diving stab on a grounder from Miguel Tejada and he bounces the throw to first off Nick Johnson. Bourn picked off by Olsen and tagged after a rundown. Berkman K’s swinging to end the fourth.


Bard gets another sloow curve and K’s to start tbe fifth. Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to second. Willie Harris works a two-out walk. Scott Olsen gets a cruel two-strike curve and K’s...El Caballo Carlos Lee singles to start the Astros’ fifth. Hunter Pence grounds to short, Guzman to Gonzalez to Johnson, double play. Michael Bouran catches a fly ball from Pudge.


Nyjer Morgan measures out the distance from the plate with his bat and steps up against Oswalt. Morgan disagrees with a called strike three. Kaz Matsui fields a tough grounder and bounces the throw to first but get Guzman. Nick Johnson grounds out to first to end a quick sixth....Geoff Blum flies out to Dunn in left. Kaz Matsui’s fly is caught by Dunn at his chest. Roy Oswalt grounds out to end a quick sixth. 


Roy Oswalt throws two 2-2 curves to Adam Dunn, Dunn fouls both off and then connects on a full-count offering knocking a ground rule double into right center. Josh WIillingham hits the second straight double to left, Dunn scores easily, 4-2 Houston. Oswalt’s out with a blister. Josh Bard will face Chris Sampson. Bard lines one right to Kaz Matsui. Alberto Gonzalez’s single moves Willingham to third. Willie Harris singles to score Willingham, 4-3 Houston. Ronnie Belliard K’s swinging over a slider in the dirt. Nyjer Morgan hits a high bouncing grounder to short and beats Tejada’s throw to first. Cristian Guzman singles to left, two runs score, 5-4 Nationals!!!! Sampson’s done, Tim Byrdak takes over on the mound. Nick Johnson swings way over a slider that gets by Pudge. Nick Johnson K’s swinging...Sean Burnett is on for DC, facing the top of the Astros’ order. Michael Bourn K’s swinging over a two-strike slider that drops across the plate. Miguel Tejada flies out to center. Lance Berkman takes a two-out walk. Burnett’s lifted. Jason Bergmann comes on and throws a 1-2 fastball by Carlos Lee, 96 mph and rising, Bergmann holds thr DC lead through seven!!!


Adam Dunn grounds into dramatic shift  Tim Byrdak’s done. Alberto Arias on to face Josh Willingham. Arias loses a curve that hits Hammer in the shoulder. Josh Bard flies out to Michael Bourn in center. Alberto Gonzalez pops out to end DC’s eighth...Joe Beimel vs Hunter Pence in the Houston eighth. Pudge Rodriguez singles under a diving Anderson Hernandez at second. Nick Johnson and Anderson Hernadez track down a foul pop from Geoff Blum and both let it drop. Geoff Blum doubles with the extra out, Pudge to third. Kaz Matsui gets the intentionals to load the bases with one down. Jeff Keppinger steps in. Sac fly to left, Pudge tags and scores, 5-5 ballgame. Beimel drops a 3-2 curve on Michael Bourn and gets a swinging K. 


Jeff Fulchino gives up a leadoff single to Willie Harris. Anderson Hernandez’s bunt moves Harris into scoring position. Nyjer Morgan lines to center over the pitcher’s head, Harris comes around, the throw in from Bourn is off, but Pudge gets it and dives toward home, tagging Harris in the stomach for the out at the plate. Cristian Guzman grounds out to end DC’s ninth...Beimel back out. Miguel Tejada sneaks a leadoff single under Guzman’s glove. Lance Berkman flies out to right. Austin Kearns and MacDougal enter the game. Carlos Lee flies out to Willie Harris in center. Tejada takes second on a poor throw in. Hunter Pence gets the intentionals to bring up Pudge Rodriguez. MacDougal throws a wild pitch to advance both runners, and then he walks Pudge. Geoff to right, game over. 6-5 Astros. 


Nationals now 25-60.