The Washington Nationals may have lost tonight's battle with the Colorado Rockies, but behind the scenes they have apparently finally made the right decision. MLB.com's Bill Ladson is reporting that the Nationals will hold a press conference Thursday to take the "Acting" out of "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo's title when they officially introduce Mr. Rizzo as the second GM in team history. After several weeks of conjecture and endless leaks and rumors, the Nationals do the right thing and promote the man who rebuilt the bullpen, hired Jim Riggleman, traded Nick Johnson, signed Stephen Strasburg, and oversaw the most expensive draft in the league...more news to follow...
Game 120 Quick Review: Rockies' right-hander Jason Marquis dominated DC for the second time this season. On July 6th in Colorado, Marquis threw 8.0 scoreless, allowing 7 hits and 2 walks while inducing 14 groundouts before handing the ball to closer Huston Street, who collected his 20th save with a perfect ninth. The Nationals scored three runs on Marquis tonight, with Nyjer Morgan singling, stealing second and scoring on an RBI triple by Ryan Zimmerman in the first after DC right-hander Collin Balester gave up two in the top of the frame, but the Nationals were down two again after Balester gave up a double and an RBI triple in the second and was chased from the game.
Marquis gave up two more runs in the fifth after a Clint Barmes HR in the top of the frame made it 4-1 Rockies. The Nationals trailed by three for about ten minutes, then Nyjer Morgan singled and scored from first on a Cristian Guzman line drive base hit, and Ryan Zimmerman knocked in Guzman with his 27th double of the year. It was 4-3 Rockies until the eighth, when DC reliever Jorge Sosa surrendered a solo shot to Carlos Gonzalez. The eighth inning HR ends up being the winning run when the Nationals score one off Huston Street. Josh Bard's 9th inning HR makes it 5-4 Colorado and that's as close as Washington gets. Three groundouts later it's over. Huston Street earns his 31st save. Marquis' line: (W, 14-8), 6.0 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 14 groundouts.
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• Balester Blow Up. Dunn Fail.
• Rizzo Is Bona Fide.
• Strasburg Friday.
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The JUMP.
Nationals now 43-77.
• Balester Blow Up. Dunn Fail.
Collin Balester threw 51 pitches in just 1.1 IP tonight, allowing 3 hits, 3 runs and 5 walks before DC Manager Jim Riggleman lifted Bally from the ballgame...Adam Dunn ended the game 2 for 3 with two infield singles and a walk, but when he came up with runners on first and third and two down in the seventh, with Washington trailing by one at 4-3, and took a called third strike to end the inning, even though it was 9 pitches into the AB it was a bit of FAIL.
• Rizzo Is Bona Fide.
If you didn't believe the opening paragraph:
• Nats to name Rizzo GM on Thursday | nationals.com: News - Bill Ladson
"The Nationals will officially promote Mike Rizzo to general manager at a news conference on Thursday at Nationals Park, according to a baseball source, who said the Nationals made the decision that Rizzo was their man a couple of days ago."
• Washington Times - Chatter - "Rizzo gets the permanent GM job" - Mark Zuckerman.
"Mike Rizzo's remodeling of the Nationals' roster and his deft handling of the Stephen Strasburg negotiations has earned him the permanent general manager's title."
• Washington Post - Nationals Journal - "Rizzo Will Be Named As Permanent GM On Thursday" - Chico Harlan
"After six months of acquisitions and signings, almost all of them well-received, Mike Rizzo has finally obtained the one thing he's been trying all along to get -- job security..."
• Strasburg Friday.
Recently signed '09 1st Round pick, pitcher Stephen Strasburg will throw out the first pitch and appear in an introductory news conference at Nationals Park Friday, according to a report by MLB.com's Bill Ladson entitled, "Fans invited to welcome Strasburg to DC". Since it's "highly unlikely" that Strasburg will pitch for the Nationals this season according to DC GM MIKE RIZZO!!!!!!!!, this will be your only chance to see the 21-year-old right-hander flame thrower fire from the mound this season...
DON'T MISS OUT ON THE $1 STRASBURG SPECIAL. 1,000 More will go on sale after the Nationals sold out the first round of the dollar specials today.
Colorado Rockies At Washington Nationals. Game 120 Of 162.
1st Inning: QUICK RECAP:
Collin Balester starts the game with three straight walks and then gives up two-run double to Troy Tulowitzki before issuing another walk and then finally recording three straight outs. 2-0 Rockies after a half. The Nationals score when in the first when Nyjer Morgan singles, moves to second on a sac bunt by Cristian Guzman and scores on a Ryan Zimmerman triple. Colorado right-hander Jason Marquis recovers to retire the side after another walk and a DP grounder from Josh Willingham...2-1 Rockies...
...Jason Marquis hits a leadoff double off the center field wall to start the second. Collin Balester gets a foul pop from Carlos Gonzalez down the line in left that Josh Willingham snags with a sliding catch. Dexter Fowler flies over Elijah Dukes’ head in right and off the wall to score Marquis for a 3-1 lead. Todd Helton takes a one-out walk and DC Skipper Jim Riggleman has seen enough. Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera's on for Balester and he gets Troy Tulowitzki looking for the second out. Brad Hawpe takes a two-out walk, but Rivera gets a bases-loaded groundout from Ian Stewart to end a long top of the second...Elijah Dukes grounds out to third on the first pitch of the Nationals’ second. Ronnie Belliard grounds a 1-0 pitch to first for the second out. Josh Bard pulls a two-out single to right. Saul Rivera grounds back to the mound to end the inning.
Rivera puts down the bat and gets back on the mound. Clint Barmes doubles to left to start the third. Chris Iannetta grounds out to third, and Jason Marquis flies out unproductively to left. Rivera gives up a two-out single to Carlos Gonzalez. First and third for Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez gets picked off first and Barmes breaks for home from third and gets nailed at the plate. What?...Nyjer Morgan tries to bunt his way on, but gets thrown out by Marquis who’s quick off the mound. Cristian Guzman flies to deep center but Dexter Fowler gets there. Ryan Zimmerman K's chasing.
Ryan Zimmerman charges in, barehands and throws out Dexter Fowler on a bunt attempt. Saul Rivera walks Todd Helton. Troy Tulowitzki grounds to Guzman at short, to Belliard to Dunn, double play to end the Rockies’ fourth...Adam Dunn leads off the bottom of the frame. Adam Dunn grounds sharply into the shift and Troy Tulowitzki spins after fielding and sends a lob to first that almost causes a collision, Dunn’s safe. Josh Willingham and Dukes both ground out with Dunn taking second on Dukes’. Ronnie Belliard flies to center to end the fourth.
Saul Rivera gets Brad Hawpe swinging to start the fifth. Ronnie Belliard’s out on the grass where he fields a grounder from Ian Stewart. Clint Barmes hits a high fly that hugs the line and stays fair as it sails out. 4-1 Rockies. Chris Iannetta K’s looking...Josh Bard swings at the first pitch and grounds weakly to first. Jorge Padilla grounds out to short. Nyjer Morgan hits a two-out triple off the out-of-town scoreboard and barely beats Hawpe’s throw to third. Cristian Guzman rips a low fastball that falls into the center field grass for an RBI single. 4-2 Rockies. Marquis gives up a gapper to Zimmerman who hits it to right and to the wall, Guzman scores from first, 4-3 Rockies. Adam Dunn spins a single toward short where third baseman Ian Stewart dives and throws from his pants a second too late, Dunn’s safe. Willingham grounds back to the mound, 4-3 Colorado after five.
Jason Marquis leads off the sixth with a swinging K. Ron Villone hits Carlos Gonzalez in the hand. Dexter Fowler flies out to Nyjer Morgan in center. Todd Helton grounds off Villone’s glove and through second for a two-out single. Villone walks Troy Tulowitzki, testing Riggleman’s patience, but Villone gets Brad Hawpe swinging over an 0-2 curve to end the threat...Elijah Dukes sends a high fly to Carlos Gonzalez in left. Ronnie Belliard sends a roller out to third. Josh Bard grounds to second to end the Nationals’ sixth.
Ron Villone stays on for Ian Stewart, and walks him to start the seventh. Villone’s done. Jorge Sosa’s on against Clint Barmes. Sosa pops him up over home. Chris Iannetta pops out behind home. Jason Marquis flies to left and it’s still 4-3 in the middle of the seventh...Alberto Gonzalez reaches safely on an excuse-me-single toward third. Jason Marquis is done. Rockies’ lefty Franklin Morales comes on to face Nyjer Morgan. Sac bunt moves Gonzalez up. Cristian Guzman flies to right, Morgan takes third. Ryan Zimmerman gets the intentionals to bring up Adam Dunn. Dunn’s called out on strikes on a pitch that might have been low...
Carlos Gonzalez rips a fastball off the outside edge and into the right field stands for a 5-3 Rockies’ lead. Sosa throws a two-strike change by Dexter Fowler. Sosa walks Todd Helton, but gets a double play grounder out of Troy Tulowitzki to bring an end to the Rockies’ eighth...Rafael Betancourt on for Colorado. Josh Willingham flies out to right on an 0-2 pitch. Elijah Dukes pops out over second. Willie Harris K’s swinging through a two-strike fastball from Betancourt.
Brad Hawpe goes opposite field, pushing a double off the outside edge into the corner. Ian Stewart grounds to first. Hawpe takes third. Clint Barmes grounds to third, and Hawpe’s caught and tagged in a rundown between third and home. Two down. Chris Iannetta grounds out to end the top of the ninth...Josh Bard is first pitch swinging against Huston Street, and he takes it deeeeeeep to right over the out-of-town for a solo shot and a 5-4 game. Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to second. Nyjer Morgan grounds an 0-2 pitch out to second. Cristian Guzman grounds a 1-1 pitch to second to end the game. Rockies win, 5-4 final.
Nationals now 43-77.