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Washington Nationals Win It In The Eighth, 5-3 Over The Milwaukee Brewers.

QUICK RECAP: After Nats' left-hander John Lannan gives up a solo HR to Milwaukee third baseman Casey McGehee in the second on a 2-1 changeup that's high and out over the plate and ends up pushed out to right and into the stands, Washington ties it up in the third when Nyjer Morgan triples to score Wil Nieves from first after the backup backstop's leadoff single. 1-1 ballgame through four. Groundouts no. 10 and 11 of the game for the Nationals' Opening Day starter get Lannan two-thirds of the way through the fifth when an 0-1 fastball to Brewers' second baseman Rickie Weeks gets drilled to center field for a two-out double in front of Corey Hart, who lines to center so hard it catchers Nyjer Morgan off guard and knocks the Nats' center fielder down as he fields it, making any chance of catching Weeks at home an impossibility as the Brewers jump ahead 2-1. 

Stop! Hammer TimeJosh Willingham ties it up with one swing, tossing his bat after destroying a 93 mph 2-2 fastball, before he realizes a strong wind in from left might keep it in the park and starts to turn it on around first as it lands into the first row of stands. Lannan gets groundouts no.'s 13 and 14 from Weeks and Hart, but gives up a sharp line drive single to Ryan Braun. Prince Fielder fouls off a curve then two fastballs all outside and up and then chases an 0-2 curve out of the zone with an ugly looking swinging K to end the Brewers' seventh. Brian Bruney starts the eighth with a fastball over the plate, catcher and Ump and all the way to the backstop, and throws five more fastballs to McGehee, who finally straightens one out and singles to center for his third hit of the game. Nats' third baseman Alberto Gonzalez charges on sac bunt by MIlwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez, and throws it by first to put men on second and third with no outs, and veteran catcher Gregg Zaun silences the DC Faithful with a sac fly to left that makes it 3-2 Brew Crew after seven and half...(cont.)...

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


• The Comeback Kids Strike Again. 

• Full Game Report. For The Completists. 

• Riggleman Post Game. 


• The Comeback Kids Strike Again. 

Nats' eighth, veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins takes over on the mound for Milwaukee, and Alberto Gonzalez seeks redemption for the costly error, beating out a grounder to third, just ahead of Casey McGehee's throw. Hawkins hits the Hammer and sets the home team up with two on and no outs. The bunt sign's on, and Ian Desmond lays a perfect sac down on the grass in front of home plate. Adam Kennedy's looking first-pitch fastball and he gets one that comes in at 94 and goes out even faster and under Prince Fielder's glove for a "clutch" (if there was such a thing) two-run single and a 4-3 DC lead, then Kennedy steals second on what we'll call frustrated indifference, and scores the third run of the frame on Wil Nieves' single before Ryan Zimmerman's inning-ending pinch hit DP. Left-hander Sean Burnett works Brewers' pinch hitter Craig Counsell outside for six straight pitches, then jams the professional hitter and induces a weak groundout to second for the first out of the ninth, and even though he threw 33 pitches in 1.2 IP last night against Philadelphia, Matt Capps comes out to close it. Rickie Weeks pops up behind the plate, Wil Nieves has it. The DC Faithful are up and into it, and Capps repays their faith, striking Corey Hart out with a 1-2 fastball inside that ends it for the Nats' fifth win and Capps' fifth save. 5-3 final. 

Nationals now 5-5. 

Game Notes: 

- Lannan's Line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K's, 1 HR, 102 pitches, 67 strikes, 14 GO, 2 FO. 

- Adam Kennedy goes 2 for 3 with 2 RBI's and a walk and knocks in the game-winner.

- Adam Dunn's tossed helmet gets him tossed from the game, forcing Kennedy from third to first, and inserting Alberto Gonzalez, whose pinch runner scores the tying run in the eighth, into the cleanup spot in the order. 

- Ian Desmond's 0 for 3 at the plate, but makes several stellar defensive plays and contributes the sac bunt that sets up the winning run. Not bad, rook. 

- Did I mention Lannan's 14 groundouts.


1 - Ian Desmond's strong throw from short got Rickie Weeks for the first out of the evening. John Lannan on the hill against Corey Hart, who grounds out to second on a 1-0 pitch. Two down. Ryan Braun drops a weak fly into short right for a two-out single in front of Prince Fielder. Braun steals second to get into scoring position for the big man, who goes down chasing a full-count curve. No score after a half...Nyjer Morgan rolls the first out to second, Weeks makes the play. Willie Harris (42) is called out on strikes, taking a 93 mph fastball from Yovoni Gallardo. Cristian Guzman sneaks a two-out single by first to get Adam Dunn up early. Dunn thinks he's held up on a full-count pitch inside from Gallardo, and takes off for first, but the third base ump rings Dunn up and a tossed helmet ends Dunn's night after one AB. 

2 - John Lannan throws the second change in a row to Casey McGehee and gives up a long fly ball to right, Willie Harris tracks it and leaps into the wall, but crashes and comes up empty. 1-0 Brewers. Carlos Gomez sends a weak grounder to short, Ian Desmond's got it. Gregg Zaun goes down swinging. Alcides Escobar grounds back to the mound, three outs...Josh Willingham takes a pitch inside for ball four and a leadoff walk which Ian Desmond erases with a DP grounder to short. Adam Kennedy skies a sliced fly to left and it's 1-0 Brewers after two. 

3 - Ian Desmond's throws a little high and it pulls Adam Kennedy off the bag, but he makes the tag on the opposing pitcher, one down. Lannan walks Weeks, and then gets a DP grounder that would've been a DP if Guzman hadn't dropped the ball on the exchange. Hart safe at first, but Ryan Braun's fly to right ends the Brewers' third...Wil Nieves leads off the Nats' third with a soft liner to right for a single. John Lannan tries to lay down the sac bunt, but pops out foul of third instead. One out, Nieves still at first. Nyjer Morgan splits the gap with a run-scoring triple that ties it when Nieves beats the throw home, 1-1 ballgame in the third. Willie Harris works a one-out walk, but gets caught stealing and tagged out in a rundown. Yes, he fell for the old first-to-third, ugly. Two outs. Guzman hacks one out to second, Morgan stranded on third. 

4 - Prince Fielder beats out a ground ball to second, just ahead of Guzman's throw. Carlos Gomez grounds to short, Desmond to Guzman, but the throw to first is late. Gregg Zaun grounds out to first to end the Milwaukee fourth...Alberto Gonzalez in the leadoff spot to start the Nats' fourth. Braun throws to first on a weak grounder from Gonzalez. Josh Willingham dumps a one-out single into left. Ian Desmond lines to right, but a sliding Corey Hart makes the grab and almost doubles Hammer up at first. Adam Kennedy lines a two-out single to right field in front of Wil Nieves. Nieves sends a dribbler toward third for the final out of the fourth. 

5 - Alcides Escobar checks Ian Desmond's range with a grounder to short, but Desmond's got it, one down. Yovoni Gallardo grounds to third, Alberto Gonzalez fields and throws. Rickie Weeks spits the gap in right center with a two-out double and scores on a single to center by Corey Hart, 2-1 Brewers. Ryan Braun walks in front of Fielder, but Lannan gets a grounder to second out of the big man, 2-1 Milwaukee after four and a half...John Lannan K's trying to bunt with two strikes. Nyjer Morgan walks with one down, and immediately gets a throw over from Gallardo. Willie Harris flies out to left center. Cristian Guzman up, Morgan takes second. 2-2 pitch to Guzman, low, full count. Guzman K's on a curve from Gallardo, 2-1 Brewers after five. 

6 - Casey McGehee singles up the middle to start the sixth. Carlos Gomez flies out to left. Gregg Zaun's called out when he interferes with Nieves' attempts to field his weak grounder. Lannan issues a two-out walk to Alcides Escobar, but gets the pitcher swinging to end the sixth...Alberto Gonzalez flies out to right field. Josh Willingham gets a 2-2 fastball and it's GONE!! Just over the wall in left, 2-2 ballgame. Ian Desmond flies out to right. Adam Kennedy takes a two-out walk, but Wil Nieves K's to end the sixth. 

7 - Ian Desmond handles a bad hop and gets Rickie Weeks at first on a sharp grounder to short. Alberto Gonzalez fields a short hop grounder from Corey Hart and throws to first, in time. Ryan Braun rips a two-out single through short into left. Prince Fielder gets an 0-2 curve in the dirt and K's swinging to end Milwaukee's seventh...Lannan's out for a pinch hitter, Justin Maxwell. Maxwell K's. Nyjer Morgan takes one on the jersey and takes first. Willie Harris follows with a single through second, Morgan takes third. First and third, one out for Guzman. Claudio Vargas on in relief. Guz is first-pitch swinging and he rolls one right to second for Alcides Escobar who steps on the bag and throws to first for the inning-ending DP. 

8 - Brian Bruney starts the eighth on the mound for DC. Casey McGehee singles to center to start the top of the inning. Carlos Gomez gets a sac bunt down and throws it by first. McGehee takes third, Gomez to second. Gregg Zaun has to work for it, but he gets the sac fly to left to score McGehee. 3-2 Brewers. Alcides Escobar lines to left, Willingham makes a sliding catch no one thought he'd get to, least of all Gomez who gets doubled off second, 3-2 Brewers after the top of the eighth...LaTroy Hawkins takes over for Vargas. Alberto Gonzalez beats out an infield single to start the Nats eighth. Willy Taveras on to run for Gonzalez. Willingham gets hit, two on for Desmond. Desmond bunts both runners over and Adam Kennedy rips a grounder to first and under Fielder's glove, two runs score, 4-3 Nats. Kennedy swipes second, and scores on Wil Nieves' line drive single to left. 5-3 Nats. Ryan Zimmerman grounds into the inning-ending DP. 

9 - Sean Burnett vs Craig Counsell to start the ninth. Groundout to second, and here comes Matt Capps. Rickie Weeks pops up to the catcher, Wil Nieves. Corey Hart goes down swinging. Ballgame. 5-3 final. Nats Win!! Nats Win!!!

• Riggleman Post Game 

Nats' skipper Jim Riggleman on...

Ian Desmond's bunt?: "Their bunt was a big play for them, and Desmond's bunt was a big play for us. It's a part of the game, and he executed it very well, saw three or four pitches, took a couple, got one that he could put down there and did a great job of it. And you know, nice to have a good at from Kennedy there, and the threat of Ryan Zimmerman [on deck] being there helped Kennedy get pitched to. So, you know, you like to have Ryan in the lineup all the time, but where you can pick a spot to use him, it can put a little pressure on the other club. 

Zimmerman running out DP grounder in the ninth? Is he OK? "He was fine. I really didn't want him to go like that down the line, but adrenaline takes over and he's trying to beat it out, I really would have rather he just took it easy down the line and gave up the double play there, but no harm done, so he's OK. 

Dunn's Ejection? "I think if you throw the equiptment, you got a chance you're going to get thrown out...If he had kind of spun the helmet around close to him, I think [3rd Base Ump] Andy [Fletcher] would've let him got on it, but he fired it pretty good, so I knew he was going to get ejected."