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Washington Nationals Try Everything, Still Lose 4-3 To Milwaukee Brewers On Ryan Braun Walk-Off Hit.

Tonight's Top 5: 

5. The Unexpected Return Of @BallyStar40!!!: Called up for a day to take Luis Atilano's spot on the roster until Ross Detwiler's called up on Sunday make the start in game three with Milwaukee, Collin Balester's the surprise fill-in when J.D. Martin appears injured and is ineffective in 2.1 IP in which he gives up 3 hits, 3 walks, 1 HR and 1 ER and throws 56 pitches, 30 for strikes. (Martin's problem a lower back strain). Martin gives up a leadoff triple to Joe Inglett and one-out intentional walk to Prince Fielder, so Balester enters the game with runners on first and third and one out and the Brewers already up 1-0 on a Ryan Braun two-out solo HR in the Brewers' first. Casey McGehee grounds to third on a 2-2 bender from Balester, and Ryan Zimmerman, Cristian Guzman and Alberto Gonzalez complete the inning-ending DP. Balester gives up an opposite field HR to Jim Edmonds in the third to make it 2-0 Milwaukee, hits Rickie Weeks in the head to start the fourth, and is lifted soon thereafter when he's unable to regain his control...2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 HBP, 1 ER, 2 K's, 1 HR...and back to Syracuse for Bally, who knew it was a one-day stint in the majors...(ed. note - "The late reports are that Balester stays with J.D. Martin now on the DL with the lower back strain, bulging discs...")

4. The Run That Almost Wasn't: - The Scene: First and third for the Nats in the fifth with one out. Josh Willingham on third after walking and moving to second on a Michael Morse single and a sac fly by Pudge Rodriguez. Brewers' lefty Manny Parra gets help from center fielder Jim Edmonds on a line drive to center by Ian Desmond. Edmonds dives to make one of many spectular catches in his career. Hammer tags and scores, but Morse is between second and third when the catch is made and he's doubled up at first...? Does the run count? Not at first, but the umpire confers with the scorekeeper, and an inning later, the run is added to the board, 2-1 Milwaukee, but only officially an inning after the run scores.

The Rule: 4.09: Approved Ruling: "One out, Jones on third, Smith on first, and Brown flies out to right field. Two outs. Jones tags up and scores after the catch. Smith attempted to return to first but the right fielder’s throw beat him to the base. three outs. But Jones scored before the throw to catch Smith reached first base, hence Jones’ run counts. It was not a force play."

3. Bernie vs A Lefty?: In a rare start against a left-handed pitcher, in place of Nyjer Morgan, Roger Bernadina, (who's hitting 286/.348/.619 against LHP in 21 AB's this year and .290/.353/.516 against LHP in 31 AB's in his career as opposed to Morgan's .243/.322/.301 line this year in 103 AB's and career .217/.310/.291 line in 258 at bats), gets the nod in center from Jim Riggleman. Roger Bernadina K's swinging over a nasty splitter from Manny Parra in his first at bat, flies out to left in his second trip to the plate, then hits a sac fly to left to tie the game at 2-2 in the sixth, a half inning before Miguel Batista gives the Brewers back their one-run lead when he allows three-straight hits to start the sixth and make it 3-2 Milwaukee. 

2. Lineup Madness, Riggles Gone Wild: Ready? 1) Bottom of the 3rd Inning: One Out - Collin Balester in for J.D. Martin. 2) Bottom 5th Inning: One out - Doug Slaten replaces Balester. 3) Bottom of the 5th Inning: Two Outs - Guzman moves to short from second, 4) Bottom of the 5th Inning: Two Outs - Miguel Batista replaces Doug Slaten, batting 7th. 5) Bottom of the 5th Inning: Two Outs - Adam Kennedy in for Slaten, Batting 9th. 6) Top of the 7th Inning: One Out - Willie Harris hits for Batista. 7) Bottom of the 7th Inning: 0 Outs - Tyler Clippard replaces Batista. 8) Top if the  9th: 0 outs, 2 on, Nyjer Morgan replaces Michael Morse. 9) Top of the 9th: Bases Loaded, 0 outs - Adam Dunn replaces Pudge Rodriguez. 10) Top of the 9th: 2 On, 1 Out - Wil Nieves replaces Tyler Clippard. 11) Bottom of the 9th: 0 Outs - Roger Bernadina moves from CF to RF. 12) Bottom of the 9th: 0 Outs - Nyjer Morgan remains in game in center, 12) Bottom of the 9th: 0 Outs - Adam Dunn remains in game at first, 14) Bottom of the 9th: 0 Outs - Wil Nieves remains in game as C. 15) Bottom of the 9th: 0 Outs - Drew Storen replaces Tyler Clippard...

1. Axford Blows Save, Gets Win: Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman pitches a quick scoreless eighth to preserve the Brewers' 3-2 lead and it's John Axford on in the ninth looking for his 15th save in 15 opportunities. Back-to-back singles by Zimmerman and Willingham, a bunt single by Nyjer Morgan and a pinch hit RBI sac fly by Adam Dunn later it's a 3-3 tie in the ninth...Wil Nieves and Alberto Gonzalez fail to drive in the go-ahead run and Drew Storen gives up a one-out single to Rickie Weeks, one out walk to Joe Inglett and a walk-off line drive winner to Ryan Braun for the Brewers' second-straight win over Washington. 4-3 final. 

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

Num Name - Comments
1 souldrummer - 156
2 Allen J. Kha - 156
3 The Herndon Kid - 74
4 Jorgath - 60
5 Miss B - 36
6 cat daddy3000 - 23
7 grizzy - 16
8 RobBobS - 16
9 philc78 - 10


• Final Score: Brewers 4, Nationals 3. 

Nationals now 42-56.



1 - Ryan Braun has to run but he gets to Cristian Guzman's fly ball to left center and gets Brewers' left-hander Manny Parra the first out of the night. Roger Bernadina K's swinging over a sinking fastball inside for the second out of the inning. Rickie Weeks throws out Ryan Zimmerman and Parra's through the first...J.D. Martin throws a fastball by Weeks for a called strike three. Joe Inglett flies out to right for out no.2. Martin leaves a fastball up for Ryan Braun who sends it out to deep center for a two-out solo HR. 1-0 Brewers. Prince Fielder K's looking to end the first. 

2 - Josh Willingham grounds out to Alcides Escobar at short. Manny Parra gives up a one-out single to the hard-hitting Michael Morse, who grounds sharply to center. Pudge Rodriguez grounds into another DP...J.D. Martin gets a grounder back to the mound from Casey McGehee. Martin walks Jim Edmonds with one down. Alcides Escobar K's swinging at a two-strike curve outside. Jonathan Lucroy hits a two-out single to center. Martin walks the opposing pitcher to load the bases, but pops up Rickie Weeks to end the second. 

3 - Ian Desmond K's swinging at a nasty splitter by Parra. Jim Edmonds charges and makes the catch on a pop fly by Alberto Gonzalez. J.D. Martin K's looking at a 93 mph called strike three...Joe Inglett triples by first and into the right field corner. After Ryan Braun grounds out to first, Martin walks Prince Fielder intentionally and is done for the night, with Collin Balester called in to replace him. Casey McGehee grounds to third, Zimmerman to Guzman to Alberto Gonzalez at first, double play to end the third. 

4 - Cristian Guzman pops out to second to start the fourth. Parra gets a fly ball to left from Bernadina and a groundout to short from Zimmerman to Alcides Escobar to end the Brewers' fourth...Jim Edmonds leads off the Brewers' fourth with a solo HR to left center. 2-0 Milwaukee. Alcides Escobar grounds out to Guzman at second. Balester gets Jonathan Lucroy swinging at an 0-2 curve outside and gets the opposing pitcher looking at a 2-2 bender.

5 - Josh Willingham walks to start the Nats' fifth. Michael Morse singles up the middle to put two on for Pudge Rodriguez, who flies out to center on the first pitch he sees. Ian Desmond flies to center, Jim Edmonds makes a ridiculous diving play and doubles Morse up way off first (This run will later count, 2-1 Milwaukee)...Collin Balester loses a fastball and hits Rickie Weeks in the head. Joe Inglett singles Weeks over to second. Ryan Braun grounds back to the mound, Balester fires low to second and Guzman's throw to first is late. First and third, one down. Slaten vs Fielder. Soft liner to Desmond at short, two down. Slaten's out. Miguel Batista comes on to face McGehee grounds out to Adam Kennedy at second to end the fifth.

6 - Alberto Gonzalez and Adam Kennedy hit back-to-back singles to start the Nats' sixth. Cristian Guzman grounds into a force at second, first and third for Bernadina. Roger Bernadina sends a sac fly to left to tie the game at 2-2 when Gonzalez scores. Ryan Zimmerman walks to put two on for Josh Willingham, who walks to load the bases with two down and Morse at the plate. Morse K's swinging over a nasty Parra splitter to end the Nats' sixth...Jim Edmonds singles to center off Miguel Batista. Edmonds goes first to third on a line drive to left by Alcides Escobar, who gets thrown out by Willingham trying for second. Jonathan Lucroy battles with Batista and gets a hanging slider on the eight pitch he sees, and sends out to center and off the wall for an RBI double. 3-2 Brewers. Carlos Gomez bats for Parra and pops out. Rickie Weeks lines out to Bernadina to end the sixth. 

7 - Pudge Rodriguez grounds out to Casey McGehee at third. Willie Harris hits for Miguel Batista, or more accurately K's. Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to third to end the Nats' seventh...Joe Inglett leads off the Brewers' seventh against Tyler Clippard. Swinging K on a two-strike change from Clippard. Ryan Braun swings through a fastball. Two down. Prince Fielder singles to the right-center gap. Casey McGehee flies out to right to end the seventh. 3-2 Milwaukee.

8 - Trevor Hoffman vs Adam Kennedy. Kennedy K's way out in front of a two-strike change. Cristian Guzman K's swinging through a fastball. Roger Bernadina flies to deep center, but not deep enough, Carlos Gomez tracks it down to end the Nats' eighth...Clippard pops Craig Counsill up behind the plate, Pudge makes the grab. Roger Bernadina catches Alcides Escobar's fly ball to center. Jonathan Lucroy fouls strike three into Pudge's mitt. 

9 - John Axford on to close out the second win of the series for Milwaukee. Ryan Zimmerman singles to center to start the frame. Josh Willingham singles to left and Nyjer Morgan hits for Michael Morse with a bunt in mind. Morgan bunts for a single to load the bases. Adam Dunn flies to right-center, Carlos Gomez catches and throws, too late, Zimmerman just slides by. 3-3 game. Wil Nieves flies to short right, Hammer stays at third. Two down. Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to second, 3-3 game...Drew Storen vs Carlos Gomez. Storen gets the backwards K with a nasty two-strike bender. Ryan Braun's up with two on after a one-out walk to Joe Inglett. 1-0 fastball to Braun, and he lines it off the left field wall to win it for Milwaukee.