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Friday, April 20, 2007

Nats rescue victory from Marlins in marathon 14-inning battle

They might be Marlins, but they were as tenacious as Great White Sharks tonight. To further belabor the fishing metaphor, they were like the shark in "Jaws", which just kept fighting even when, by any measure, it should have rolled over and died. ("He can't stay down with three barrels on him, not with three barrels he can't.")

I had to work overtime tonight, and when I left work, the score was 5-0 Nats in the 6th inning. I got home in time to see them fail to deliver the coup de grace in the 7th when they had the bases loaded with no outs and things just went downhill from there as the Marlins just kept getting runs.

Poor Chad. Manny Acta brought him in early, in the 8th inning to rescue a faltering Jon Rauch and put things away, but he blew the save in the 9th.

But who got the winning RBI, after exactly four and a half hours of grueling play? You guessed it - CHRIS SNELLING! Even Restovich went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Despite leaving what seemed like a battalion of men on base, the Nationals once again showed guts, determination and character in outlasting an equally determined opponent into late frames. That's twice in three days. Say what you will about these 2007 Nats, they are tough!

Ryan Report: The most exciting Nationals defensive play of the evening. In the 8th inning, Ryan Church putting absolutely everything into a throw to third base where the ball bounced once and right into Ryan Zimmerman's glove to get Aaron Boone out by a hair. That was "Sports Center"-type stuff. Church went 2 for 6 with an RBI, Zimmerman went 2 for 7. Church even had an incredibly stylish RBI when he beat a juggled tag at the plate and got the plate with a back-door, sliding touch. Oh, and he also stole a base.

Shawn Hill seemed to give another high-quality outing, throwing only 88 pitches, because he sprained his shoulder on a bizarre play in the 5th when the bases were loaded and he was on 3rd, and a passed-ball bounced off of the backstop, right back to the catcher, and Hill froze while trying to run home and got caught in a rundown.

The bullpen gets kudos for stamina. This was a group effort. Jesus Colome pitched almost half a games worth of pitches, I think. Micah Bowie, Ryan Wagner, and Saul Rivera (who gets the win) did a great job.

Here's the sort of thing that annoys the heck out of me, though. The Washington Post Game-Day feature seemed to conk-out after 12 innings, and then, rather bizarrely, it went from registering a 5-5 game to awarding Florida a run and the FINAL, when in actual game time, the game was still tied (!!!!) take a look for yourself:
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