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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nats, Lopez, Slam Reds 8-4 OR FLop to the rescue!

I don't know what Felipe Lopez is eating these days, but I'll have what he's having.

Lopez, the former Cincinnati Red, stuck a knife in his old team last night with a 1-out Grand Slam in the 8th inning to break a tie game and put the Nats up 8-4 over the Reds.

The 8 runs marked the Nationals highest offensive output of the season, and broke a 9 game road losing streak.

Nats starter Matt Chico pitched 5.2 innings, throwing 95 pitches for 60 strikes (63%) allowing 4 runs on 3 hits, including 2 home runs, striking out 3 and walking 2. Not a brilliant outing but not a disaster either. I have to give him some slack for working in one of the best hitters parks in baseball. Speaking of hitting, Chico also went 1 for 1 and had a run, both major league first for him, I believe. The bullpen of Ray King, Jesus Colome and closer Chad Cordero allowed only 2 hits and 0 runs. Colome got the win, lifting his record to 4-0 on the season - Congratulations, Jesus!

Nats hot bats for the night? Well, Felipe Lopez led the pack, going 3 for 5, with 2 doubles and the Grand Slam, giving him 6 RBI's (matching his career high) and 8 total bases for the evening, and Cristian Guzman went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI's. 7 other Nats each had one hit so, all in all, a good night at the plate for them.

Ryan Report: *Sigh* Church sat out another night, but did make a pinch-running appearance. Zimmerman went 0 for 4, but had another brilliant night defensively. If he keeps this up, there's a Gold Glove with his name on it in the near future. Langerhans went 1 for 3 and had a run, and Austin Ryan Kearns went 0 for 5. Guys, guys, guys.... why don't you join Felipe for a meal or two while you're in Cincy, or at least rub his head for luck?

As I'm sure you two or three Nationals Power readers have noticed by now, I usually don't write much about the opposition, but attention must be paid to Cincinnati's Ken Griffey Jr, whose 573rd home run last night tied him with Hall-of-Famer Harmon Killebrew for 8th on the all-time list, 10 behind Mark McGwire, and he also overtook Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks for 19th on the all-time list for RBI's with 1,637.

It was kind of nice to see Cincinnati reliever Mike Stanton on the mound. The 2-time former National was something of a fan favorite in his time here, and last year MASN's Bob Carpenter and Tom Paciorek used to joke that a game wasn't "official" until Mike Stanton made an appearance. He gets credited with a blown save, his second of the season.

I didn't get to watch the game live, but I recorded it as always, thus the lateness of this post. I worked some overtime and my boss was kind enough to have the radio broadcast on, and I had the gameday feed from MLB on my computer to keep up with the action. I was in our warehouse when Felipe Lopez hit his Grand Slam, and my boss came running into the warehouse to find me, shouting, "Lopez just hit a Grand Slam!" I quickly fist-bumped him and ran to hear Charlie and Dave discuss the situation. With the team on the road, I'm trying to catch up on some much-needed overtime (leaving early to take in all those home games and the subsequent costs involved therein - parking, dinner, beer - takes a toll on the wallet, after all) Tonight, though, I'll be home to watch Jason Simontacchi try to make it two in a row.

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