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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hill handily masters Mets OR Sound shelling at Shea!

Holy mackerel! Talk about bouncing back from a tough loss!

At Shea Stadium yesterday afternoon, Nats pitcher Shawn Hill was simply masterful, throwing 97 pitches through 7 innings on his way to out-dueling Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez and the defending NL East champions New York Mets, winning 6-2 in the Nationals third, and most commanding, win of the young season. It was Hill's first road-win in his major league career, and what a place to get it.

Having lost a very close 3-2 game to the Mets the previous evening, where the Nats pitching, batting and fielding were showing signs of greater discipline, yesterday's game seemed to come out of, well, left-field.

In yesterday's broadcast, MASN's Bob Carpenter quoted legendary St. Louis Cardinals Manager, Whitey Herzog, who once said, "I can wait for offense, I can't wait for defense." and the Nationals defense deserves tremendous credit for keeping the Nats in the game, with Jon Rauch and Austin Kearns and Brian Schneider making key plays.

But the offense had their best game so far this April, too, getting three home runs from Ryan Church (who extended his hitting streak to 11 games), Matt Snelling and Dmitri Young.

You know who I am most happy for? Well, of course, I'm happy for Shawn Hill, but I'm most happy for Manager Manny Acta. For him to come home to Shea Stadium and beat his previous team and boss Willie Randolph, must have been incredibly satisfying.

What a shame that today's rubber game is canceled due to weather, I'm sure that Manny Acta would MUCH prefer to go right into the next game immediately with their new level of confidence and emotions running high. It's almost enough to make you wish for a domed stadium, but let's not get carried away.

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