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Washington Nationals Win 5-3, John Lannan Beats NL West-Leading San Diego Padres.

Tonight's Top 5: 

5. LineupGATE: Adam Russell, a right-handed reliever who was demoted to Triple-A Portland on Friday to make room for the return from the DL of right-hander Sean Gallagher, was somehow listed as the San Diego Padres' starting pitcher on the lineup card turned in before last night's game against the visiting Washington Nationals instead of the actual starter, Clayton Richard, prompting Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman to file a protest once the Padres had realized their wouldn't be necessary...

4. Thank You For Blessing Me WIth A Mind To Rhyme And Two Hyped Feet: The Hammer, Josh Willingham takes a 91 mph first-pitch fastball deeeeep to center and GONE for a three-run HR off Padres' lefty Clayton Richard, who'd surrendered a leadoff single to Cristian Guzman and a one-out walk to Ryan Zimmerman before allowing Willingham's 10th HR of 2010. Washington takes a 3-0 lead with two out in the fourth. In his last 10 games, the 31-year-old Willingham is hitting .387 (12 for 31) with 4 HR's, 12 RBI's and 8 walks.

3. Desmond Goes Yard!! Makes Two Errors, Drops Important Bunt: With Washington up 3-1 after six, Ian Desmond gives the Nats some breathing room with a HR to left in the top of the seventh, that falls into the first row of stands, just out of reach of Padres' left fielder Oscar Salazar, who'd tracked Desmond's 4th HR of the year to the wall. In the bottom of the seventh, however, the 24-year-old Nats' infielder's charged with his 11th error of the year, when his throw on a grounder from Oscar Salazar pulls Adam Dunn off first, (though it looks to me like Dunn tagged Salazar). Then in the ninth, Desmond puts the Nats' closer in a tough spot when he attempts to turn a double play on a sharp grounder up the middle by Salazar (with whom Desmond was inextricably linked tonight), by flipping the ball he fields behind second to second baseman Cristian Guzman as he rushes to the bag, only to have the ball float by the Guzzzzzz leaving two on with no outs...Luckily, Desmond's bunt single (w/ Adam Kennedy on third running for Adam Dunn) scored the Nats' 5th run in the top of the ninth, so tonight's Matt Capps Experience isn't quite as stressful.. 

2. Riggleman's Choice? After Oscar Salazar reaches safely on Desmond's error in the seventh, and Chris Denorfia strokes a two-out single, Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman makes a trip to the mound to talk to his starter John Lannan, and leaves Lannan in to face right-handed hitter Nick Hundley.  Lannan gets a fly ball to left with the same change he shattered bats with all night on the first pitch to the over-eager pinch hitter. Lannan's done after 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 K, 88 pitches, 56 strikes, 12 groundouts and 7 flyouts...Tyler Clippard surrenders a one-out single, strikes out Adrian Gonzalez and basically thrills the DC Faithful with another fearless outing...setting up the Mad Capper (chills)....

1. 17 fo 18 And The DC Closer Tradition. Pirates' catcher Yorvit Torrealba (who ends the night 3 for 4), singles to start the ninth off Nats' closer Matt Capps, and reaches second safely on Oscar Salazar's grounder to second when Desmond makes the ill-advised glove flip on the DP attempt with the Guz, so it's first and second with no one out in the ninth and the Nats up 5-2. Jerry Hairston, Jr.'s weak grounder toward third dies in the grass, and Ryan Zimmerman pockets it, bases loaded. Capps gets behind Chris Denorfia and throws a 2-1 fastball that's lined to center to score Torrealba and make it 5-3. Matt Stairs stares a full-count slider into the zone for a called strike three, Will Venable K's swinging through a 95 mph fastball (95?) after he'd fouled two off at 96, and with the bases loaded and the Nats' hitting coach's brother at bat, Capps escapes trouble by popping up David Eckstein to preserve the Lannan's win and carry on the DC Closer Tradition of "Making It Interesting" while recording his 17th save in 18 opportunities.

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

Num Name - Comments
1 souldrummer - 134
2 LOUtheMETandNATSfan - 69
3 RoscoeNats - 59
4 RobBobS - 53
5 ryzim22 - 53
6 Dave at NNN - 25
7 Brenandukkah - 25
8 cat daddy3000 - 18
9 Nationalspasttime9 - 15
10 d_c_guy - 15


• Final Score:Nats 5, Padres 3. 

Nationals now 25-24.


1 - Clayton Richard beats Nyjer Morgan to first in spite of the Nats' leadoff man's headfirst slide into the bag on a weak grounder. Cristian Guzman grounds out to third, Chase Headley handles it. Adam Dunn flies to center where Oscar Salazar and Chris Denorfia almost collide...Nats' lefty John Lannan's on the mound. And a line drive from Will Venable to Ian Desmond starts the Padres' first. David Eckstein grounds to Guzman at second. Adrian Gonzalez grounds out to second and it's a 1-2-3 first for Lannan. 

2 - Ryan Zimmerman takes an 0-2 pitch inside for a called strike three from Clayton Richard. Josh Willingham grounds one off Richard on the mound to David Eckstein at second and he throws to first, two down. Ian Desmond grounds back to the mound, 0-0 after one and a half...Chase Headley grounds to Desmond at short for the first out and third groundout of the game for Lannan. Yorvit Torrealba doubles to the corner in right and beats Justin Maxwell's throw in. Oscar Salazar pops a change up to short, Desmond has it. Jerry Hairston Jr. grounds out to third and Lannan's through two. 

3 - Clayton Richard gets the first out with one pitch, popping up Justin Maxwell. Wil Nieves singles to right with one down and Lannan bunts into the double play to end the Nats' third...Chris Denorfia pops out to Justin Maxwell in right, one down. Clayton Richard grounds out to the mound. Will Venable lifts a two-out single over second, but gets picked off and tagged at second to end the third.

4 - Nyjer Morgan grounds out to second to start the fourth, Clayton Richard gives up an infield single to Cristian Guzman who gets hit by Hairston's throw from short. Adam Dunn pops to center, two down. Zimmerman takes a two-out walk and Josh Willingham launches a first-pitch fastball to deeeeeep center and GONE!!! Three-run HR for the Hammer and 3-0 Nationals in the fourth. Ian Desmond's groundout ends the frame...David Eckstein hugs the line in left with a double off Lannan to leadoff the Padres' fourth. Adrian Gonzalez rips a line drive single to right center to score Eckstein from second, 3-1 Nats. Chase Headley grounds to Lannan, to Guzman at second, to Dunn, double play. Yorvit Torrealba singles to center with two down in the fourth. Oscar Salazar grounds sharply to third, Zim backhands and throws off-balance to first, Dunn's pulled off the bag. Jerry Hairston, Jr. has his bat shattered as he grounds to the mound, 3-1 Nats after four. 

5 - Clayton Richard busts Justin Maxwell inside and low for a swinging K. Wil Nieves grounds back to the mound. John Lannan grounds out to second, 3-1 Nats in the fifth...Lannan gets Denorfia swinging. Lannan shatters Clayton Richard's bat. Will Venable flies out to Nyjer Morgan in center.

6 - Nyjer Morgan grounds out on the first pitch from Richard. Cristian Guzman stares at strike three, two down. Adam Dunn K's swinging and Richard's through the sixth in a hurry...David Eckstein grounds out to second, Guzman guns him down. Adrian Gonzalez lines out to the Hammer in left. Chase Headley grounds to short to end the Padres' sixth.

7 - Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to Jerry Hairston, Jr. at short. Josh Willingham K's swinging, two down quickly. Ian Desmond waits on a 1-0 offspeed pitch upstairs and launches it to left and just over the wall, 4-1 Nats!!! Justin Maxwell flies to center, three outs...Lannan gets a grounder to short from Yorvit Torrealba. Oscar Salazar reaches on a throwing error on Desmond, when his throw pulls Dunn off the bag. Hairston's groundout moves Salazar to second, and he scores on Chris Denorfia's single, 4-2 Nats. Lannan gets a visit, but he's left in to face pinch hitter Nick Hundley, who pops the first pitch out to right. 4-2 Nats after seven. 

8 - Joe Thatcher, Padres' lefty starts the eighth. Wil Nieves K's swinging and has to run it out when Torrealba misses the pitch. Mike Morse grounds to David Eckstein at second. Nyjer Morgan K's chasing Joe Thatcher's junk....Tyler Clippard takes over for the Nats. Will Venable K's looking, one down. David Eckstein battles Clippard and eventually singles to right on a one-hopper in front of Maxwell. Clippard gets Adrian Gonzalez swinging at a 95 mph 2-2 fastball upstairs. Chase Headley flies out to center, 4-2 Nats after eight.

9 - Cristian Guzman grounds out to second, Ryan Webb's got one out in the ninth. Adam Dunn doubles off his own face on the right field wall's scoreboard. Adrian Gonzalez stretches for the throw from Hairston on Zim's groundout. Josh Willingham gets the intentionals to bring up Desmond, who drops a perfect bunt down on the infield grass to score Adam Kennedy, who's running on the play. 5-2 Nats. Maxwell grounds to short...Matt Capps on to close it, and he gives up a leadoff single to Torrealba. Oscar Salazar grounds behind the second base bag, Desmond gets there and tries a glove flip to Guzman but it goes wide of the bag. Two on for Hairston. Weak grounder to third, Zimmerman barehands and holds it, bases loaded. Chris Denorfia singles to center on a line drive that scores one, 5-3 Nats. Capps gets Matt Stairs looking with a 3-2 slider. One down. WIll Venable K's swinging through an 0-2 fastball. Two down. Rick Eckstein grounds to third, Zimmerman's throw ends the tension. 

Nats now 25-24.