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Friday, June 29, 2007

Nats blow 2-run lead, lose to Pirates 3-2 OR "Pirates?!? Aargh!"

The Nationals rode 6 shutout innings from starter Matt Chico, and a 2-0 lead before giving up 2 runs in the 7th, and the winning run in the 9th. This was the Nats 4th straight loss.

Poor Matt Chico. What does this kid have to do to get a win? He's been pitching beyond all expectations for his age and experience, yet he rarely seems to get the run support to get the "W". He's had so many no-decisions, it's really unfortunate. When he left the game after the 6th inning, he was up to 94 pitches, and one wonders what might have happened had Chico been allowed to pitch one more inning.

Relief pitcher Saul Rivera began the 7th inning badly, by walking the leadoff batter. If I've heard Don Sutton and Bob Carpenter on MASN say it once, I've heard them say it a dozen times: NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS WHEN THE PITCHER WALKS THE LEADOFF BATTER FROM THE 7TH INNING ONWARD. As soon as Rivera did that, I could hear them say it again before they actually did. Sure enough, it spelled trouble, as the Pirates tied things up in the 7th inning. Even manager Manny Acta called it, "the curse of the leadoff walk". In the 9th inning, with the score tied and the bases loaded, reliever Jon Rauch struggled and couldn't get 3 outs.

Ryan Report: Almost terrible. Church and Zimmerman each 0 for 4, Langerhans went 1 for 3 with a homerun, and Austin Ryan Kearns went 1 for 3.

The Nats 5 hits came off of Langerhans, Kearns, Ronnie Belliard (1 for 4) and Dmitri Young (2 for 4).

Now the Nats must try again, and they might do so with fewer Pirates fans in attendance in Pittsburgh, as they are threatening to stage a walk-out. Could be interesting to watch. I'm hoping to see Jason Bergmann return to his pre-D/L form.

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