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Friday, May 18, 2007

Nats rally again, beat Braves 4-3, take 3 of 4 in series OR Bye, bye Braves, hello O's

This Nationals team has been really fun to watch this past week.

After that brutal 1-8 away trip, the Nats have come home to win 6 of 7, including 4 in a row, to even their standings against the rest of their N.L. East opponents, and improve their record to 15-26.

I've been lucky enough to attend all of the games on this homestand except for today's contest (just couldn't get out of work) and I'm sorry that I couldn't, for the Nats had their 2nd consecutive come-from-behind rally against division rival Atlanta, and having watched my DVR recording of the game, I realize that I missed a good one.

Nats starter Matt Chico had a high-quality outing, working 6 innings and throwing 89 pitches (59 strikes, 67%) but allowed 5 hits, 3 runs and 2 walks, striking out 1 batter. Chico picked up his 3rd win. Congratulations, Matt!

The bullpen, led by southpaw Billy Traber, Jesus Colome and Jon Rauch, worked 3 innings and allowed no hits. Rauch collected his 3rd save. Can't ask for much better than that!

One of the funniest things that I've seen happen in a ballgame occured in the top of the 5th inning with 2 outs as Atlanta batter Edgar Renteria swung at a Matt Chico pitch which went almost straight down and landed in front of the plate. FAIR BALL! Nats catcher Jesus Flores had the presence of mind to snag the ball and tag out Renteria, who simply stood there looking positively gobsmacked. What a way to end an inning!

The President's Race took an interesting turn today as the four "Rushmores" began passing around a rather large cell phone which finally landed in "Teddy's" hand, slowing him down and causing him to lose once again. The camera managed to catch the front part of the "cell phone" and on the front it read, "Stan Kasten" (the Nats team president). I thought that was a complete hoot.

Ryan Report: Not too shabby. Church went 1 for 3 with a double and got walked once. Zimmerman went 1 for 4 with a run, Austin Ryan Kearns went 1 for 3 with an R.B.I. and a walk. Langerhans did not bat today.

Who had the hot bat for the Nats today? Felipe Lopez! After having yesterday off to clear his head and get some rest, Lopez returned today with a vengeance. He broke an 0 for 13 drought, and went 3 for 4 today with a run and an R.B.I. including the game-typing triple. He was a home run away from a natural cycle, too. This team has some base speed, I've seen at least 4 triples this week than I can remember, from Guzman, Logan and Lopez. Very nice to see!

Dmitri Young provided the game-tying single R.B.I., he's very good coming off of the bench.
All told, the Nats had 11 hits today, to the Braves' 5. Excellent work! Other hits came from Cristian Guzman, Jesus Flores, Matt Chico and Tony Batista. Guzman even had his first stolen base of the season. A lot to see on the field today.

Some unfortunate news today happened when the Nats announced that pitcher Jason Bergmann, who had the best outing of any Nats pitcher so far this season earlier in the week, will miss his scheduled start this Saturday due to some pain and stiffness in his right elbow. His MRI today was negative, so let's hope that he just misses the one start and comes back strong.

Now the up-the-highway regional-rival, the Baltimore Orioles, come to town for a 3 game weekend inter-league series. Let's hope the Nats can keep the winning streak alive!


kristen23 said...

I always look forward to the Ryan report! Very creative.

Perhaps we'll run into you sometime this weekend for the O's series.

Joe Riley said...

Come say "hi!", I'm in section #223, row 6. I'll be the guy in the red Nationals cap (ha!)

Tonight, I'll definitely have my red Nationals jacket on, and since the team is requesting that all Nats fans wear red, I'll have to wear my red Nats polo shirts tomorrow and Sunday.

Hope to see you there!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm guilty of posting this link...
... to a bunch of different Nats blogs. But i read it a few days ago, and it seems like a proposal that's worth supporting. (It's an open letter to Nats owner Ted Lerner.)

And no, this isn't guerrila marketing by the Nats or anyone else who could make a buck off this. I'm just a fan who stumbled on what looks like a good idea.

Thanks for whatever you can do to talk this up!

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