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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Nats take rubber game, beat Indians 3-1 OR Tribe trumped

Well, THIS was much more like it.

Just as last night, the score in the top of the 9th inning was Nats 3, Indians 1, and closer Chad Cordero was on the mound. Only this afternoon, the outcome was what every Nats fan hoped for and expected, as Cordero closed out the inning and preserved the Nats win.

I'm proud of Chad, I really am. It takes strong character and mental toughness to take the kind of beating that he did last night and then, only 18 hours later, be in the exact same situation and bounce right back and persevere. I'm not surprised that Chad did this, not at all, just pleased that he put Saturday night behind him and got the job done today.

Starter Jason Simontacchi pitched a really good game today, and he, too, showed the same kind of mental toughness and resiliency as Chad Cordero, as he overcame the brutal beating he took from the Detroit Tigers last week. Simontacchi pitched 6 innings, throwing 64 strikes on 95 pitches (67%) allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 6. Ray King and Saul Rivera took care of the 7th and Jon Rauch the 8th, all with no hits or runs.

Ryan Report: Church had the day off, sort-of, but he went 0 for 1 in a pinch-hitting appearance. I've noticed recently that the stadium folks have played a tape of ringing church bells when he comes to the plate. I heartily approve and endorse this idea and, in fact, I suggested it to the team months ago, perhaps when he belts a homerun. Maybe they listened to me, maybe not, but I'm taking full credit for this obviously brilliant idea. Zimmerman went 1 for 4, Langerhans 0 for 1 with an R.B.I. and Austin Ryan Kearns went 0 for 3. I'll bet the "R Squad" is glad to be rid of the Tribe.

Jesus Flores went 1 for 3 with 2 R.B.I.'s and Dmitri Young went 2 for 3 with a double, Ronnie Belliard had the hot bat, going 3 for 3 with a double, and Brandon Watson went 1 for 4.

Funny President's Race today as "Teddy" helped "Tom" limp along. "Tom" took 2 head dives yesterday, so today he had a bandage on his nose and an arm in a sling. Hilarious.

I'm still on the beef brisket kick these days. A few bread and butter pickles, some sauce and that's good eatin', I tells ya.

Hot, sunny day at R.F.K. but not brutally hot. Glad I had my sunblock, though. It was tolerable in the sun with some nice, cold water to keep me going.

I met a nice married couple, Nora and David, in my section. They are from Venezuela and enjoy baseball quite a bit, and brought a friend of theirs from Spain along to see their first major league game. I quickly went through my official media guide to show them who all of our players from Venezuela are, and I indicated that Jesus Flores was from there. They cheered loudly and were a lot of fun to talk to.

So the Nats took their first home series since they beat Atlanta on May 17th. That's a long time , but it sure felt worth it. They finish the month of June at home with a 4-8 record, but more importantly, they finish their Interleague season with a 9-9 record. Nice to see them playing .500 ball at one level, now to focus on the National League.

*Late Note: Shortstop Cristian Guzman and reliever Jesus Colome are both going on the disabled list, Guzman for the 2nd time this year. (story here) Hopefully, he won't be out as long as expected. Colome's injury requires surgery, but it has nothing to do with his arm, so who knows, he might be back within a month, but I'm just speculating here. In the meantime, the Nats are calling up D'Angelo Jimenez and Chris Schroeder from AAA Columbus.

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