The Reds Get Mock'd!!!
• For the third time this season, the Washington Nationals record a shutout win, this time taking a 2-0 decision over the Cincinnati Reds in front of 19,606 Ohioans in Great American Ball Park a night after being shut out themselves in the first of four. DC right-hander Garrett Mock (W, 2-4), throws 6.0 scoreless, giving up 6 hits and 4 walks while striking out 6 and throwing 101 pitches, 59 for strikes. After Mock, it's Jorge Sosa, Sean Burnett, Jason Bergmann and finally Mike MacDougal, who records his 12th save in 13 opportunities to close out the Nationals' 41st win of 2009. Reds' right-hander Aaron Harang surrenders just 6 hits and the 2 ER's, both on solo shots, by Ronnie Belliard in the fifth and Wil Nieves in the 7th. Belliard's 4th of '09 leads off the fifth, on the first pitch Harang hangs all night, a first-pitch slider that Belli-YARD destroys. Wil Nieves' 2nd, (of his career!) is an opposite field shot on a fastball upstairs that's simply powered out to right by the Nationals' catcher.
• Through the first four scoreless, Garrett Mock let just 3 Reds on, walking two and surrendering a double without letting Cincinnati on the board, but in the fifth, Mock surrendered three singles, and if anyone other than the Reds' pitcher Aaron Harang had been running from second on the third, they probably would've scored what was then the tying run. Instead, Nyjer Morgan comes up throwing on the two-out line drive to center by Paul Janish, and Harang's waved around though the ball arrives at home a full second or two before he collides with the catcher. Wil Nieves makes the catch and the tag for the third out of the frame. The only other real threat Mock faces comes in the 6th when a two-out double by Laynce Nix is followed by two walks, one intentional, and one not so much, to Jonny Gomes and Adam Rosales, bringing up Cincy catcher Craig Tatum, who works the count full and pops out over second. Mock's done after that and the DC Duck Pond Bullpen holds and saves it.
Nationals win, 2-0 final.
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• Nationals/Strasburg Summit...
• Zimmerman's Second Streak Ends.
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The JUMP...
Nationals now 41-75.
BACKPAGE: (Under Construction)...
• Nationals/Strasburg Summit...
Shortly after the Washington Times' Ben Goessling broke the story, in an article entitled, "Source: Lerner Meets With Strasburg", the Washington Post's Chico Harlan and MLB.com's Bill Ladson chimed in with articles entitled, "Lerners, Kasten and Rizzo Meet With Strasburg", and, "Nationals have powow with Strasburg", respectively, which referenced the original Times' report on the Nationals' Brass taking a flight to California to meet with their '09 #1 overall pick, Stephen Strasburg. Mr. Goessling notes that no one knows whether or not Strasburg's agent Scott Boras was present, and neither Mr. Harlan, nor Mr. Ladson adds any details about the discussions, though Mr. Harlan recounts how Strasburg's spent his time since being drafted and speculates that the 21-year-old right hander might get, "...the largest contract ever," while Mr. Ladson notes that, "The Nationals feel strongly that Strasburg can make an immediate impact in their rotation, maybe joining the team's Major League roster sometime in September," which goes against some of the conventional wisdom that says he's sat out for too long to pitch this season. Either way, what's important is that the Nationals talked to Strasburg and reportedly came away impressed. What if anything the meeting adds to their chances of getting Strasburg to sign is mere speculation...
• Zimmerman's Second Streak Ends.
Ryan Zimmerman's second-longest hit-streak of the season ends after 16 games when Zimmerman goes 0 for 4 with 2 K's in Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park tonight. Zimmerman last went hitless back on July 26 against San Diego, and during the streak he was 26 for 63, .413, with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 7 HR's and 16 RBI's. Zimmerman's '09 AVG goes from .284 to .302 after the Nationals' 2-0 win over the Reds. Zim's OBP jumps from .347 to .368, and his SLG goes from .477 to .526. Over the course of his streak, the Nationals played 18 games, and were 11-7.
Washington Nationals At Cincinnati Reds. Game 117 Of 162.
Nyjer Morgan drops a bunt toward third and is safe when Joey Votto drops the throw from Adam Rosales. Reds’ right-hander Aaron Harang gets a double play when he pops up Cristian Guzman with Nyjer Morgan running, Willy Taveras throws from center to first for the DP after making the catch. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to second to end the top of the first...Willy Taveras takes a leadoff walk from Garrett Mock. Paul Janish pops out to right for the first out of the frame. Joey Votto takes a weak hack at a two-strike change outside and K’s swinging. Brandon Phillips can’t hold up, and Mock gets his second-straight K with a 2-2 curve that drops out out of the zone.
Willy Taveras takes a few steps in from the track in center to catch Adam Dunn’s fly. Josh Willingham rips a single through short on a hanging change from Harang. Willie Harris pops out on a fastball in on the fists. Ronnie Belliard shatters a bat lining out to left...Garrett Mock pops up Laynce Nix in the Reds’ second. Jonny "HR" Gomes doubles by third and into the left field corner. Adam Rosales, walks, well, sprints really, to first after taking ball four. Fly ball to left from Craig Tatum.
Wil Nieves pushes a fastball on the outside edge of the plate into right for a single. Garrett Mock fouls off a two-strike bunt attempt, and he’s out. Nyjer Morgan sends a fly ball down the line in left, but Laynce Nix gets there. Cristian Guzman lines out to second...Willy Taveras bunts toward third and Ryan Zimmerman makes an All-Star effort to get the throw to first in time. Paul Janish grounds out to the Guzzzz. Mock gets Votto swinging to end the third.
Aaron Harang throws a full-count curve in the dirt to get Ryan Zimmerman chasing. Adam Dunn walks with one down. Josh Willingham flies out to the track in right. Willie Harris gives Jonny Gomes some more work, three down...Nyjer Morgan takes his time coming in on Brandon Phillips' fly out. Nyjer Morgan spins around and makes the catch on a fly ball from Lance Nix. Jonny Gomes gets a full-count curve on the inside edge for a called strike three.
BELLI-YARD!!! Ronnie Belliard hits one into the upper deck in left for a 1-0 Nationals’ lead. Wil Nieves K’s swinging. Garrett Mock swings through a two-strike fastball. Nyjer Morgan lines past Harang and back up the middle. Cristian Guzman grounds out to short to end the Nationals’ fifth...Mock throws an 0-2 change to Adam Rosales and gets a swinging K. Catcher Craig Tatum pops out to center. Harang pops up behind second, Guzman, Belliard and Morgan converge and then lose it and let it drop. Willy Taveras hits a bloop single to left. Two on for Paul Janish.
Harang vs Zimmerman in the sixth. Zimmerman’s called out on strikes. Adam Dunn walks again. Josh Willingham takes the second straight free pass. Willie Harris goes opposite field but flies out to Nix. Ronnie Belliard flies out to end the top of the frame...Garrett Mock gives up a leadoff single to Joey Votto. Brandon Phillips lines to first, Adam Dunn makes the catch and steps on first, double play. Mock gives up a two-out double to Nix on a fastball up and out over the plate. Mock gives Jonny Gomes the intentionals. Adam Rosales takes a two-out walk to load the bases. Mock vs Craig Tatum. Tatum works the count full, and pops out to second, 1-0 DC after six.
Wil Nieves takes a high fastball from Harang to right and out!! GONE!! HR. 2-0 Nationals. Pinch hitter Jorge Padilla K’s chasing junk. Nyjer Morgan grounds out to third. Cristian Guzman pops up foul of the line in short left and Paul Janish slides in to make the catch...Jorge Sosa gets a fly out to left from Chris Dickerson to start the Reds’ seventh. Willy Taveras singles on a line drive to left. Sosa pops up Paul Janish and then he’s replaced by lefty Sean Burnett, who’ll get Votto with one on, two out. Votto gets punched out on a two-strike fastball that hits the outside edge!!
Right-hander Nick Masset vs Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman lines to short and Paul Janish makes a leaping grab that might end Zimm’s hit streak. Masset walks Adam Dunn, Alberto Gonzalez on to run. Josh Willingham takes the second-straight walk. Willie Harris K’s chasing. Ronnie Belliard K’s chasing junk too. 2-0 DC in the eighth...Sean Burnett’s back out on the mound. Brandon Philllips singles off a diving Alberto Gonzalez’s glove at second. Wladimir Balentin up, Burnett’s out, Elijah Dukes heads to right, Jason Bergmann takes the mound. Balentin flies out to Dukes in right. Jonny Gomes goes down swinging. Adam Rosales flies to right and it’s 2-0 Nationals after eight.
Francisco Cordero on for Cincy. Wil Nieves grounds weakly to second. Elijah Dukes pops out over second. Nyjer Morgan grounds out toward first to end DC’s ninth...Mike MacDougal comes on to close it. Craig Tatum grounds to second on a one-hopper, Alberto Gonzalez makes the play and throws to Belliard at first. Drew Sutton on to hit for Francisco Cordero. Sutton grounds out to short. Willy Taveras grounds to second, Alberto Gonzalez plays it on a hop and throws him out, Nationals win, 2-0 final.
Nationals now 41-75.