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Monday, May 14, 2007

Nats sweep Marlins 6-4 for memorable Mother's Day OR "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!"

James Cagney's Cody Jarrett couldn't have said it any better today.

If Saturday night was for mops, then Sunday was for brooms. On a stunningly-gorgeous Mother's Day, the Nats completed their first series sweep of the season by beating the Florida Marlins 6-4. It was their first series sweep since beating the Arizona Diamondbacks September 2nd and 3rd last season.

I've heard MASN's Don Sutton refer to the Sunday players as the "shock troops" and with Saturday night's game going 6+ hours, the relief players were sorely needed.

Jason Simontacchi pitched 5 shutout innings before giving up 3 earned runs in the 6th. He walked and struckout 4 on 80 pitches (58 strikes, 73%). He also had another pick-off at 2nd base, this time Dan Uggla, his second in the past 5 days (remember, he did the same thing to Johnny Estrada in Milwaukee?) He just wheels and throws, with a very fluid motion. Runners at 2nd had better beware.

The 2nd inning was the fun one, with the Nats getting 5 runs on 4 hits. The Marlin's Miguel Cabrera helped by committing an error with his glove. Cabrera has had 6 errors so far in this young season, with 3 this series. Here's how it broke down, courtesy of Stats, LLC:

Church grounded out, pitcher Obermueller to first baseman Jacobs. Kearns singled to left. Fick singled to right, Kearns to third. J.Flores singled to center, Kearns scored, Fick to second. Langerhans walked on a full count, Fick to third, J.Flores to second. Simontacchi safe at first on fielding error by third baseman Mi.Cabrera, Fick scored, J.Flores to third, Langerhans to second. F.Lopez grounded into fielder's choice, shortstop H.Ramirez to second baseman Uggla, J.Flores scored, Langerhans to third, F.Lopez to first, Simontacchi out. C.Guzman tripled to right, Langerhans scored, F.Lopez scored. Zimmerman flied out to center fielder Amezaga.

It looked like a blowout, but the Marlins battled back to get within one and keep things interesting, though the Nats took care of business and kept them at bay.

The hot bats today? Christian Guzman, who went 2 for 4 with a 2-run triple, and Jesus Flores, who went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI's.

Oh, and the "Jesus battery" seems to be very effective, Colome to Flores. They work very well together. Made me want to shout "Jesus on Sunday!" today.

Ryan Report: Church 1 for 4, Zimmerman 0 for 4, and Langerhans 0 for 2 but he got a walk. With last night's inside-the-park home run, I'm going to start including Austin Ryan Kearns in my daily Ryan Report since, yes, that's really his middle name. Austin went 1 for 4. A happy anecdote to mention is that after the game, I was proud to be introduced to Gary and Karen Church, Ryan's parents, by Screech's Best Friend and the African Queen, and they were such wonderful people to meet, I was so very pleased to meet them and have the opportunity to tell them how highly I think of their talented son. They told me that they were familiar with the "Ryan Report" and that just tickled me to death! I regret that I didn't have the presence of mind to ask them about Ryan's younger brother, Matthew, who is serving with the army Rangers in Iraq. I'll bet that Karen Church's fondest Mother's Day wish would be to have Matthew come home, and I'm sure that I speak for Nationals fans everywhere when I wish them the very best and hope that he does come home safely and soon.

Speaking of player parents, I happened to run into Ed Rauch, too, and I complemented him on Jon's play. I also got to ask him if Jon likes closing and he essentially said, sure, he's happy doing whatever the club asks of him, and I enjoyed hearing that. It's really great to see the parents of the players at the home games, I'm sure it means the world to both the players and their parents, especially when the parents can catch their sons doing well, and enjoy a victory.

In the Nats President's Race, "George" also completed a weekend sweep.

The Nats gave away some very cute card packs at the gate: 9 cards depicting players with their mothers: Church, Logan, Cordero, Schneider, Patterson, Johnson, Zimmerman, Kearns and Rauch.

If this posting seems a bit abbreviated, I apologize, but I'm just way too tired to get any deeper tonight. I'm beat!

Catch you at the Braves games!

*EDIT: I would be remiss if I didn't mention that our Nats seem to have great success swinging the special pink Mother's Day bats which raise awareness for breast cancer research. From

Six members of the Nationals swung pink bats during the Mother's Day game against the Marlins at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Ryan Church, Robert Fick, Jesus Flores, Cristian Guzman, Austin Kearns and Ryan Zimmerman used the bats and went a combined 7-for-22 (.318) with four RBIs. Flores and Guzman drove in two runs apiece to help the Nationals win, 6-4.

The players helped raise awareness for breast cancer using pink Louisville Slugger bats. More than 200 Major League players signed up to use a pink bat, which is more than twice the participation in 2006."

I'm proud to say that I, too, bought a pink bat for a female Nats fan friend of mine who couldn't attend today's game. During the rain delays on Saturday night, I used it to rest my chin upon, it came in very handy.

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