Not sure what was wrong with NY Mets' left-hander Johan Santana, but the Washington Nationals took advantage of an unusually wild Mets' ace to put four runs on the board in the first when Josh Willingham took a bases loaded 1-2 change to the deepest part of the park and GONE, for a Grand Slam HR off the wall in center that had to go to the replay before it was official. The Ump could've saved Mets' catcher Rod Barajas from a collision at the plate with the Nats' big first baseman Adam Dunn, but at least Willingham wasn't out at home as he would have been if the call on the field hadn't been reversed.
It's all Livan from there on out. The Nationals add a fifth run in the third when Willingham doubles Cristian Guzman in from second for a 5-0 lead and his 5th RBI, but it's Livan Hernandez, the Nationals' 35-year-old right-hander who dominates today, giving up just 5 hits and 3 walks in 7.0 shutout innings over which Hernandez throws 88 pitches, 55 for strikes, with 7 groundouts and 13 fly balls from the 28 batters he faces before handing the ball to Nats' reliever Brian Bruney, who gives up a one-out walk to David Wright and a two-run blast to Mike Jacobs in the eighth to make it 5-2 and set closer Matt Capps up with the save situation, which Capps breezes through, popping up Rod Barajas and Angel Pagan before striking out Jose Reyes.
The only drama after Willingham's Grand Slam in the first first takes place in the ninth, when Mets' closer Francisco Rodriguez hits the Met-Killer Willie Harris in the forearm and then vociferously objects to the fact that Harris has the gall to say something to the pitcher on his way to first. Benches clear, tempers flare, but nothing happens, no one is ejected and after K-Rod closes out the top of the frame, Capps needs just 7 pitches in the Mets' ninth to end it.
• Nationals win, 5-2 final. Take 2 of 3 on the road.
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
• For The Completists, Full Game Report After The JUMP...
Nationals now 3-3.
FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - Nyjer Morgan triples to center over Gary Matthews Jr.'s head on a full-count fastball from Johan Santana. Willy Taveras walks to put two on early. Cristian Guzman grounds to third, David Wright looks Morgan back to the base and throws to first, in time. One down. Adam Dunn's up with two on, one out. Dunn takes a fastball high for the second walk of the first. Josh Willingham takes a 2-1 pitch deeeeep to center and GONE!!! No? The play continues, two runs score, Dunn plows Rod Barajas, the Mets recover and get Willingham on a play at the plate, but they're going to the replay??? Gone. Officially a grand slam, and officially 4-0 DC. David Wright dives to his left, fields and jumps up to throw out Ian Desmond. Wil Nieves flies out to center, 4-0 DC after a half...Livan Hernandez pops up Mets' leadoff hitter, Jose Reyes, Ian Desmond makes the catch. Alex Cora reaches down and lifts a low liner over Cristian Guzman's head at second. David Wright grounds to short, Desmond to Guzman to Dunn, double play.
2 - Adam Kennedy, today's Nats' third baseman, flies out to center to start the second. Livan Hernandez fouls strike three into Rod Barajas' glove. Nyjer Morgan up again. Line out to short, that's more Johanesque...Jason Bay lines to left center and Nyjer Morgan makes the catch at the track, one down. Mike Jacobs grounds out to Guzman at second. Jeff Francoeur hits a two-out triple off the wall in right center and takes third as it bounces around. Gary Matthews, Jr. lines to center, Morgan's catch ends the second.
3 - Willy Taveras starts the third by popping up and out on the first pitch. Cristian Guzman lines a single over second in front of Adam Dunn. Dunn takes a 3-1 changeup inside and takes a base. Two on for Willingham. Willingham doubles to right center, Guzman scores, Dunn to third. 5-0 Nationals. Ian Desmond flies out to right field, Francoeur catches and throws, Dunn doesn't slide and gets tagged out...Rod Barajas leads off the Mets' third. Johan Santana strokes a double down the right field line and comes in standing at second. Jose Reyes patiently works a one-out walk. Alex Cora flies out to left field. David Wright pops up the eephus, and it's 5-0 Nats after three.
4 - Gary Matthews, Jr. gets in under a fly ball from Wil Nieves to start the fourth. Adam Kennedy beats David Wright to the hole with a one-out single to left. Livan Hernandez moves Kennedy to second with a sac bunt. Nyjer Morgan swings through a 1-2 fastball to end the Nats' fourth...Jason Bay takes a fastball outside to left for a leadoff single. Willy Taveras charges in to catch a fly ball off Mike Jacob's bat. Jeff Francoeur grounds out to first, Bay takes second. Willy Taveras goes back to the wall and catches the final out of the frame off Gary Matthews, Jr.'s bat.
5 - Willy Taveras tries to bunt his way on, but Johan Santana makes the play. Guzman grounds back to the mound. Adam Dunn K's swinging through a fastball from Johan...5-0 Nats...Livan pops up Rod Barajas with a slow curve to start the bottom of the fifth. Luis Castillo grounds out to short for out no.2. Jose Reyes doubles down the right field line with two down. Alex Cora flies out to center to end Livan's 5th scoreless.
6 - Raul Valdes takes over on the mound for NY in the sixth. Josh Willingham grounds back to the mound for the first out of the sixth. Ian Desmond grounds out to Jose Reyes. Wil Nieves pops out to short to end the Nationals' sixth...Livan Hernandez is back out for another frame. David Wright takes a leadoff walk. Livan gets a pop fly to center from Jason Bay. Mike Jacobs hits a weak grounder to first, Dunn does it himself. Jeff Francoeur takes a two-out walk. Livan pops up Gary Matthews, Jr. for the final out of the frame.
7 - Adam Kennedy vs Valdes in the top of the seventh. Kennedy K's looking in front of Livan, who hits a one-out single to center. Nyjer Morgan rips a single over third base and moves Livan to second with one down. Willy Taveras K's swinging. Cristian Guzman flies out to center field to end the top of the seventh...Livan Hernandez is back out for more work. Rod Barajas pops out to first. Pinch hitter Frank Catalanotto grounds out to Ian Desmond at short. Livan Hernandez gets a swinging K from Jose Reyes and he's got himself another scoreless frame.
8 - Ryota Igarashi starts the eighth for NY against Adam Dunn, who pops out to Alex Cora for the first out of the inning. Ian Desmond flies out to right on a broken bat fly. Wil Nieves flies to right to end the top of the frame...Brian Bruney takes over for Livan Hernandez after the seventh. Alex Cora grounds out to short to start the frame. David Wright walks with one down. Wright steals second with Bay at bat. Bay flies out to Taveras in right. Mike Jacobs battles Bruney and eventually wins, HR to right, two-run blast, 5-2 Mets. Jeff Francoeur rips a low liner to third, Alberto Gonzalez dives, stabs it, throws to first, but it gets by defensive replacement Adam Kennedy, Frenchy takes second. Bruney done. Jason Bergmann on his way out. Gary Matthews, Jr. goes down chasing, 5-2 Nats after eight innings.
9 - Francisco Rodriguez out to get some work. Adam Kennedy grounds out to first on the first pitch he sees. Willie Harris gets hit, and says something to K-Rod on his way to first that draws the pitcher down off the mound and the relievers out of the bullpen...Nothing Happens. Nyjer Morgan battles K-Rod and works a one-out walk in front of Willy Taveras, who pops out to Mike Jacobs foul of first. Cristian Guzman with two on and two out. Guzman K's chasing a fastball outside...Matt Capps pops up Rod Barajas, Nyjer Morgan charges in to make the catch. Angel Pagan flies out to center. Jose Reyes goes down swinging, and it's over, 5-2 Nats win.
Nats now 3-3.