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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Capuano, Brewers Blank Nats 3-0 OR Sadder Budweiser?

The Milwaukee Brewers are hotter than the sausages they serve at Miller Park. They've won 13 of 16 and have the best record in the National League, with a 5 1/2 game lead in the NL Central. Working on the theory that "On any given day, anybody can beat anybody" the Nationals brought modest hopes of a victory with them to Wisconsin.

They didn't get it.

The Brewers Chris Capuano threw 98 pitches in eight shutout innings, giving up only 7 hits, striking out 9 batters and not allowing any walks. Impressive work as the Brewers won 3-0.

The Nationals Matt Chico actually had a very good outing. In seven innings, he threw 93 pitches (68 strikes), giving up 8 hits, 3 earned runs, struck out 5 and walked only 1 batter. For Chico, that's quite an improvement. Look at that strike percentage: 73% . That's as respectable as you could want from a young pitcher. By contrast, Capuano's strike percentage was only slightly better, 75%. Maybe that's the difference in the margin of victory, but I'd take Nationals pitchers throwing 73% strikes all season long. Even after giving up a 3-run homer in the 3rd, Chico wasn't afraid to challenge the batters and go right at them. It was an impressive enough outing to earn kudos from MASN's Hall-of-Fame pitcher, Don Sutton. Chico took on the best team in the National League and didn't disgrace himself. I hope that he takes away many positives from last night and builds upon them.

This game marked the return of SS Christian Guzman and CF Nook Logan from the D/L where they've been since Opening Day. Logan went 0 for 3, Guzman went 1 for 4, but their defense was solid except for Guzman's one error on an infield hit. Guzman did tag out a stealing Bill Hall in the 3rd on a bang-bang throw from Brian Schneider, nailing Hall right at 2nd, which prevented the Brewers from scoring even more runs in the 3rd. It's good to have the speedy Logan at the #8 spot where he can provide a stealing threat when he gets on base.

Austin Kearns had the hot bat last night, going 3 for 4, but the rest of the order was, in a word, anemic. Sure Capuano had a very good night, but the Nats only managed 4 additional hits besides Kearn's. Tough to win that way.

Ryan Report: Zimmerman went 2 for 4 with a double, Church 1 for 4.

Jason Simontacchi gets the start tonight, taking the rotation spot yielded by Jerome Williams who is on the D/L.

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