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Washington Nationals Avoid Second Shutout, Still Lose 4-2 To The Arizona Diamondbacks And Daniel Hudson.

• Slow Pitch Top 5: 

5. Mr. National: Livan Hernandez gives up back-to-back singles to start the top of the first, the second a bunt single by Gerardo Parra on which Michael Morse fails to get his back foot all the way over to first base on what would've been an out/close play. D-Backs' outfielder Justin Upton goes down swinging after battling in a nine-pitch at bat and Miguel Montero grounds into an inning-ending 3-6-1 DP. Morse to Desi to Livan covering. 13-pitch frame for the Nats' soft-tossing right-hander/majician. After the Nats waste a leadoff single off by Ian Desmond in the first, Livan retires the D-Backs in a 9-pitch 1-2-3 frame in which he collects his second K. The Nats gets the first two runners on in the second with both Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa singling, but Arizona righty Daniel Hudson gets the next three Nationals in order to end second, still no score...After going 0 for 7 with RISP and 8 left on base last night, 0 for 3 with RISP is not a good start...

4. Under A Diving Morse: Livan Hernandez needs just six pitches to retire the 8, 9 and no.1 hitters in Arizona's lineup and the Washington right-hander's up to 28 pitches after three scoreless innings pitched. Ian Desmond's stranded after a one-out single in the top of the third and Livan's back on the mound, surrendering a one-out single to Justin Upton and a two-out single to left by Chris Young that Jonny Gomes bobbles in the corner allowing Upton to score from first and put the D-Backs up 1-0 in the top of the fourth. Lyle Overbay follows with an RBI single under a diving Morse at first and it's 2-0 Arizona before Livan finishes the inning. 

3. 17, 18 Scoreless Innings: The Nats send Michael Morse, Danny Espinosa and Laynce Nix up in the bottom of the fourth and D-Backs' starter Daniel Hudson sits all three down in a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 frame. That's nine of the last ten batters set down, and the Nationals fail to score for the seventeenth straight inning going back to the fourth inning of the first game of this series with Arizona. Livan Hernandez throws a 13-pitch scoreless fifth to keep the Nats close, still 2-0 Arizona, but Daniel Hudson retires the eighth straight batter and twelfth of the last thirteen in an eight-pitch frame that has the right-hander at 56 pitches through five scoreless innings. 18.0 scoreless overall for the Nats. 

2. MOARUNZ!!!!: Livan Hernandez gets Chris Young looking at a 68 mph 1-2 curve to end the top of the sixth. Daniel Hudson gets Ryan Zimmerman looking with a 90 mph 2-2 slider to end the bottom of the inning, retiring the eleventh-straight batter in the Nationals' 19th-straight scoreless. Livan Hernandez retires the D-Backs in order on seven pitches in the seventh, and the Nationals send Michael Morse, Danny Espinosa and Laynce Nix up looking for the first hit off Hudson since Ian Desmond's one-out single in the third. Eleven straight batters retired, by the 24-year-old one time White Sox' prospect acquired in the deal that sent Edwin Jackson to Chicago in what was thought by some to be a prelude to an Adam Dunn trade at the 2010 Trade Deadline. [Ken Williams is still mad.]

1. 13 Then Nix: Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa go down for no.'s 12 and 13 in a row retired by the D-Backs' Hudson, but Laynce Nix doubles with two down to break up that streak. But their scoreless inning streak is preserved by Jonny Gomes, who K's looking to strand Nix at second and end the seventh in Nats Park. Still 2-0 Arizona. 20 scoreless by the Nats, who are six outs away from getting shut out in back-to-back games. Livan Hernandez walks Justin Upton to load the bases after back-to-back one-out singles by Ryan Roberts and Gerardo Parra, and Nats' Skipper Davey Johnson turns to Henry Rodriguez, who surrenders a two-run single on the second pitch he throws to Miguel Montero, 4-0 D-Backs.

0. 21 Without A Run: Wilson Ramos singles to put the leadoff runner on in the Nats' eighth. After Alex Cora flies out to center, Ian Desmond doubles to move Ramos around to third, but Rick Ankiel lines out to first and Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to short and the Nats are scoreless in twenty-one straight innings. Ryan Mattheus throws a scoreless top of the ninth and the D-Backs' Daniel Hudson's back out looking for a complete game. Michael Morse grounds weakly to second. Danny Espinosa K's chasing a high heater from Hudson, and Laynce Nix goes dow--I mean deeeeeep to right and just over the out-of-town scoreboard. HR by Nix. 4-1 D-Backs! Jonny Gomes is first pitch swinging and he jacks one to left! Back-to-back jacks on two-straight pitches. Hudson's done. 4-2 D-Backs. 8.2 IP, 9 H, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 walks, 6 K's, 102 pitches, 69 strikes. J.J. Putz vs Wilson Ramos. The Nats' backstop pops up foul of first to end the Diamondbacks' second-straight win. 4-2 final in Nats Park.

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

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1 dc Roach - 178
2 cat daddy3000 - 64
3 MissB - 60
4 Ed Chigliak - 52
5 jbg2772 - 22
6 Brotato - 18
7 mstomper - 14
8 RobBobS - 12
9 hscer - 11
10 CapsFan75 - 6


• Doghouse's Verizon-Strike-WPA GRAPH: "Untitled":

Diamondbacks @ Nationals - Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nationals now 62-66.