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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Church, Nats, blast Reds 12-7 OR Ryan Rains "Ribbies" on Reds

I think that Ryan Church's forearm contusion has healed.

The 28 year-old left-fielder, slightly frustrated by having to sit out two consecutive games due to an injury suffered Sunday, took out those frustrations on the Cincinnati Reds tonight, scoring 6 of the teams 12 RBI's with two home runs and a double as the Nats beat the Reds 12-7. Say "AMEN!", somebody!

Starter Jason Simontacchi had puh-LENTY of run support tonight, and he held the Reds to just 1 run off of an early home run. Simontacchi threw 91 pitches for 59 strikes in 5 1/3 innings (65%), allowing just that 1 run off of 4 hits, striking out 4 and walking 3. He got the win, too.

This was a fun game to watch if you were a Nationals fan, though it was pretty long - At 3 hours, 38 minutes, it was the longest 9-inning game the Nats have been involved in so far this season. The heavy artillery came out early, and often.

Brian Schneider had a double and also homered!

Cristian Guzman got yet another triple! Nice way to mark your 1,000th major league game, Cristian, congratulations!

Dmitri Young went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and an RBI.

Ryan Report: RAISE THE ROOF! It gives me GREAT pleasure to report that Church had a career night, going 3 for 5 with 2 home runs and a bases-clearing double, driving in a career-high 6 runs and having 10 total bases. Zimmerman went long, too, going 1 for 4, with a solo shot, Langerhans went 0-1 and Austin Ryan Kearns went 2 for 4.

The only down note was the bullpen tonight. Saul Rivera, who has had an otherwise excellent spring, has stumbled a bit of late, tonight allowing 2 hits and 2 walks and being charged with 4 earned runs. His ERA has jumped recently from .180 to .386. Jon Rauch also allowed 3 hits and 2 earned runs. Ray King only threw 6 pitches and was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with the umpire. Winston Abreau and Jesus Colome each allowed 1 hit and did fine in relief.

Being ever the glass half-full kind of guy, I'm relieved that the Nats can't LOSE this series and now have an opportunity to win it tomorrow, as erstwhile-starter Mike Bacsik makes his second start. I hope he does as good a job as he did last week when he allowed no runs.

Lopez last night, Church tonight. Who will be the Nats hero Thursday night? Find out beginning at 7:10 EDT.

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