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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The first game with extra frames OR 11th hour win in 13

CHRIS SNELLING! My favorite new position player scored the winning run on a Felipe Lopez fly-out to left-field in the 13th inning, putting a nice ending to four hours and sixteen minutes worth of pretty evenly-matched baseball.

Oh, and welcome to Washington, D.C. Michael Restovich! The rookie right-fielder made it to town in time to contribute a couple of big base hits and an important defensive play in right field. Due to a blunder on the part of the Phillies in the 7th inning (which will be better explained by more knowledgeable bloggers than myself) Restovich was available in the later innings when he should not have been, and I'll bet the Philadelphia press will be howling mad about that. I sure wouldn't want to have to talk to Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel about that tonight. It was, at least as implied by Ray Knight on "Nats Xtra" a blunder of impatience, for if Manuel had waited a moment longer at that point in the 7th inning before announcing his pitching change, Restovich (who was in the on-deck circle) would have been "burned", or wasted by the Nats. Instead, he was available later and it cost the Phillies dearly.

The man who should NOT be overlooked in tonight's victory is Jason Bergmann. Sadly, he doesn't get the win, but everyone knows that he deserves it. He did an outstanding job in his 6 1/3 innings throwing 108 pitches and allowing only 5 hits. He gave the Nats every opportunity to stay in the game.

The "Sports Center" moment came courtesy of Brian Schneider, who shot the Nats ahead of the Phillies with his 3-run homer, going 2 for 6.

The unsung slugger of the Nats tonight was Austin Kearns, who went 3 for 6 with a run and he made a great catch at the wall (practically IN the wall). "Bluegrass" is easy for the casual fan to overlook because he isn't "flashy", he just plays his position really well.

Not everything was sunshine and blue skies for the Nats, though. They stranded a LOT of guys on base and blew plenty of chances to really put the game away. Closer Chad Cordero was not on form tonight and the only explanation that I can glean is that he's got rust, he hasn't had to pitch as much as he probably should, and he's from Southern California and been forced to pitch in mostly pretty cold weather the last couple of weeks. He'll deny that it makes any difference, but I'm willing to bet that once the temperatures heat up, then so will Chad. If he keeps letting guys get on base the way that he has been, I don't know if my heart can take it. I'll have to petition the team to change his nickname to "The Chief...of Cardiology"

Bob Carpenter finally put voice to something that I'd been thinking for over a week now, namely that Micah Bowie is our new Mike Stanton. A game just isn't "official" until Micah Bowie comes into the game. He continues to impress.

Jon Rauch positively bamboozled the Phillies hitters in his one inning pitched. I'm telling you, other teams really ought to be fearing the idea of seeing him on the mound in the 7th or 8th inning. The way he struck out Ryan Howard was a thing of beauty.

I think that everyone will agree that the only thing worse than having to play so many extra innings is when you lose such a game. A win forgives many sins.

Ryan Report: Zimmerman 1 for 6, Church 0 for 5. "Calling Dr. Page, calling Dr. Page...."

I'm probably forgetting all sorts of interesting details, but at this point I don't care because I'm too tired and need to go to bed. Goodnight!

*EDIT: One last thing - I believe this was an R.F.K. first: a SECOND President's Race! George won the first one, but in the 13th inning, they ran a second one, which was won by Tom. Tom will thereby carry an asterisk ("*") to designate an additional win so as to not throw-off anyone keeping score (such as myself). If they do this again, I'll have to improvise.

1 comment:

Keithstg said...

Bergmann did pitch well, especially to make it deeper in the game than his early pitch count would have suggested. If I remember, he was up over 40 after two innings. Way to stick it out.

Zimmerman is in tough shape at the plate - I think we saw a bit of his frustration last night with his attempt at a bunt single. With any luck the momentum from tonight's win will get him going.

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