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Washington Nationals Win Three Straight, Sweep Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-2 Final.

Tonight's Top 5: 

5. SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!! Three straight days, three straight home runs!! The sleeping Donkey has awoken. Adam Dunn goes deeep to right and into the corner off Pirates' right-hander Zach Duke, who shakes his head in wonder trying to understand how Dunn hit a hanging curve inside that far out. 1-0 Nats on Dunn's 13th. Stop!! RED PORCH TIME!! One out later and against the wind, Josh Willingham goes deep and into the Red Porch seats just left of center for his 12th and a 2-0 Nats' lead. 

4. Mr. National Himself: Livan Hernandez throws 5.0 scoreless before back-to-back doubles by Zach Duke and Jose Tabata get the Bucs on the board, then a single and sac fly get the Pirates within one of Washington with two on and two-out in the sixth and the Nats' 3-2 lead still intact. Livan Hernandez vs Bobby Crosby with runners on first and second and Hernandez gets Crosby swinging through a two-strike "fast"ball outside for the final out of the frame and Livan's evening. Livan's Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K's, 98 pitches, 58 strikes, 5 groundouts, 9 flyouts...and his 5th win of 2010.

3. Bases Loaded No Outs = Nothing? It wasn't all good...With a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth, the Nats' load the bases when Pudge Rodriguez walks and Mike Morse and Roger Bernadina follow with back-to-back singles that chase Pirates' right-hander Zach Duke. Evan Meek comes on against pinch hitter Willie Harris who lines to second for Neil Walker to Bobby Crosby, who steps on second to double up Morse, double play. Cristian Guzman grounds out, bases loaded, no outs = 0 runs, 3 outs = Not Good. But Mike Michael Morse gets the Nats the insurance run they wanted, with a one-out solo shot to center in the Nats' eighth, 4-2 Nats. 

2. Bernadina, Roger Bernadina: With Nyjer Morgan getting a day off, (Riggleman says don't read into it.) Roger Bernadina gets a start in center in place of the struggling Morgan. With a runner on in the Pirates' eighth and the Nats, at the time, just up by one run at 3-2, Bernadina makes a catch on a fly from Ryan Doumit while pressed up against the scoreboard in right center with the tying run on and two out in the eighth, and a few folks in the gamethread started to wonder....that's all I'm saying...Bernadina's 1 for 2 with 2 walks.

1. Clippard's A Closer Not A Vulture!!: Called on to pitch the top of the ninth with Nats' closer Matt Capps unavailable, Tyler Clippard gets Delwyn Young with a 95mph 1-2 fastball that rises out of the zone. Akinori Iwamura flies out to left, popping a 1-2 change up for an easy out. Clippard then gets behind the Pirates' catcher, Jason Jaramillo, and gives up a two-out single before overpowering former Nats' outfielder Ryan Church with a 1-1 fastball and gets him looking with a 1-2 heater that catches the outside corner. It takes Clippard 20 pitches, 14 strikes, to earn his first career save after having blown the previous six opportunities to close out games in his career. (ed. note - "BTW, Hanny was throwing heat for the Bucs.")

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

Num Name - Comments
1 souldrummer - 139
2 grizzy - 74
3 MissB - 68
4 ryzim - 44
5 TJL - 33
6 LOUtheMETandNATSfan - 25
7 cat daddy3000 - 20
8 PerryMason - 17
9 Potomac Fan - 14
10 RoscoeNats - 13
11 Nationalpastime9 - 13


• Final Score: Nats 4, Pirates 2. Nats Sweep!!!

Nationals now 30-31.


1 - Livan Hernandez drops a 63mph two-strike bender on Jose Tabata to start the game with the swinging K. Neil Walker grounds out to second, but Livan issues a two-out walk to Andrew McCutchen to extend the top of the first. Garrett Jones flies to center where today's center fielder, Roger Bernadina, makes the catch...Cristian Guzman K's looking at a low two-strike fastball that's called strike three. Ian Desmond grounds out to second, Zach Dukes' got two down. Adam Dunn lines to right, but Garrett Jones robs him with a diving play on the track. 

 2 - Ryan Doumit pops up high over left, Josh Willingham hustles to get under it, one down. 1-2 fastball outside breaks back in for a called strike three on Bobby Crosby. Andy LaRoche grounds weakly to second and Guzman throws weakly to first, bouncing it to Dunn...Ryan Zimmerman flies out to G.Jones in right. One down. Josh Willingham grounds out to Crosby at short, and Zach Duke gets Pudge swinging to ends the second. 

3 - Jason Jaramillo reaches down for a low fastball and lines it out to right on one hop. Ground rule double. Zach Dukes is bunting and he moves his catcher over to third, where he's stranded when Jose Tabata grounds out to third and Neil Walker flies out to left...Mike Morse rips a single to right to start the Nats' third. Roger Bernadina flies out to Jose Tabata in left, and that leaves it up to Livan to lay down the sac bunt. Andy LaRoche throws out Guzman, 0-0 after three. 

4 - Andrew McCutchen singles on a sharp grounder through short to lead off the fourth. Pudge Rodriguez guns Andrew McCutchen when he tries to take second. One down. Garrett Jones flies out to right. Ryan Doumit skies one to center, Bernadina's there...Ian Desmond flies out to left and a twisting Tabata gets under it. Adam Dunn powers a curve from Zach Duke over the wall in  right and into the bullpen. 1-0 Nats. SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!! Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to second. STOP!! RED PORCH TIME!!! Josh Willingham hammers a 3-2 pitch out to center and into the Red Porch seats. 2-0 Nats. Pudge rips a single to center. Michael Morse walks on a 3-1 pitch from Duke that misses. Bernadina walks to load the bases, but Livan's groundout to short ends the fourth. 

5 - Bobby Crosby flies to left, one down when Hammer grabs it. Mike Morse hustles to get to LaRoche's fly ball. Jason Jaramillo grounds out to second, Guzman to first. 5.0 scoreless for Livan...Cristian Guzman and Ian Desmond both ground out to third, two down quickly. Adam Dunn lines to right to beat the shift for a two-out single. Balk on Duke and Dunn takes second. Ryan Zimmerman grounds sharply to third and Andy LaRoche backhands it and throws it away, Dunn scores, Zim takes second on the error, 3-0 Nats. Josh Willingham takes a two-strike fastball inside for a called strike three.

6 - Zach Duke doubles to center off Livan to leadoff the sixth. Tabata slices a line drive to right for the second-straight double off Livan. Duke scores, 3-1 Nats. Neil Walker singles by Desmond at short to for the third straight hit and runners on first and third. Andrew McCutchen flies out to right, Tabata tags and scores. One-out walk to Garret Jones. Ryan Doumit flies to left two down. Livan gets Bobby Crosby swinging through a 1-2 fastball for the final out of the frame...Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez isn't taking Dukes' junk. Leadoff walk. Mike Morse goes back up the middle with a single to center. Roger Bernadina singles through second to load the bases with no outs. Evan Meek up against WIllie Harris, who lines to second, Walker makes the grab, tosses to the bag and Crosby steps on second for the double play. Cristian Guzman grounds out to second, Nats waste bases loaded chance. 

7 - Andy LaRoche reaches on a grounder that bounces off Sean Burnett's glove and gets away from Desmond at short. Jason Jaramillo K's trying to bunt with two strikes. Lastings Milledge flies out to right. Jose Tabata grounds up the middle, Desmond gets there, throws to first, three outs...Ian Desmond doubles to right off Joel Hanrahan!! Adam Dunn flies to center, Desmond takes third. Ryan Zimmerman swings through a 98mph two-strike fastball. Josh Willingham stares a slider in for strike three. 

8 - Mike Morse makes the grab on a fly ball to right from Neil Walker. Andrew McCutchen pops up behind second, two down. Garrett Jones keeps the eighth alive with a sliced line drive to left, but Burnett gets a fly ball to right center from Ryan Doumit that Roger Bernadina catches at the scoreboard wall...Ivan Rodriguez grounds out to start the Nats' eighth. Mike Michael Morse goes deeeeeeeep to center and GONE!! Michael Morse hits his first HR of the year off Brendan Donnelly. 4-2 Nats. Bernadina works a walk. Nyjer Morgan flies out to center. 

9 - Tyler Clippard gets Delwyn Young swinging to start the ninth. One down. Akinori Iwamura flies out to left, Hammer has it. Jason Jaramillo flies to short center and it drops in in front of a sliding Nyjer Morgan. Ryan Church takes a 94 mph fastball for a called strike three!! Nats win!! 4-2 final. Clippard earns his first major league save!!!