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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Nats top Peavey, Sledge(hammer) OR Staying Classy in San Diego

What would Ron Burgundy say? Perhaps "Great Odin's raven!" Who knows what that faux San Diegan would've said, but one thing's for certain - no exclamation can adequately capture the feeling of tonight's wonderful Nats win in San Diego, 3-2.

This wasn't a spectacular win, but it was a solid one. It shows character that the team was able to bounce back after Sunday's tough 1-0 loss to the Mets and go right out and take on the Padres, who always seem to play the Nationals tough, and bedevil them a little. The Nats played errorless ball, and excellent defense, and had just enough offense to win. This was a game that reminded me of the "One-run Wonders" games of 2005.

John Patterson notched his first win of the season in fine fashion. His arm is obviously stronger, as he managed to get his velocity into the low 90's from his recent high 80's. He has an impressively soft curve ball that floats in around 74 mph and bites. I worried recently that perhaps Patterson had peaked and wasn't destined to improve, and I've happily been proven wrong, no fan was as pleased as I was to see him excel tonight. He threw 77 pitches in 6 innings, 44 of them for strikes, and allowed 4 hits and one earned run. Congratulations, John!

The bullpen did fine, except for Ray King allowing a home run. King wasn't as sharp as he should've been, but the poor guy just came back from being on the D/L. In the postgame show, MASN's Ray Knight opined that specialists like King tend to do well when inserted into their specific situations, but if you leave them in much longer than that, they tend to falter. An interesting theory, which I'm certainly not expert enough to comment upon, but it would seem to point the finger at Manny Acta or Randy St. Claire, rather than at King.

It was a pleasure to see San Diego's Termell Sledge, even if he did hit a home run against the Nats. His being an Original National, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the guy. After being injured for almost all of 2005, being traded to the Texas Rangers, who traded him to San Diego, who sent him down to AAA at least once, it's nice to see him back with his big club, as long as he doesn't hit any more homers against the Nats! I wish the guy well.

Kory Casto, just called up from AAA Columbus, went 1 for 4 but he got a double and an RBI, his first at the major league level, I believe. Congratulations, Kory!

Austin Kearns and Dmitri Young provided the other two RBIs.

Ryan Report: Church went 1 for 3 with a double, and a stolen base off of Jake Peavy which approached Grand Larceny, it was so bold. Zimmerman went 1 for 4, but his defense was fine.

The Chief got his 4th save of the season on 16 pitches, allowing no hits, and managed to keep my heart from palpitating. Bravo, Chad!

Let's hope that they can make it two in a row.

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