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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Nats blow lead, lose 14-inning marathon 7-5 OR strangeness in the night

I started watching this game, but due to the hard day at work that I had, I was utterly exhausted and fell asleep somewhere around the 5th or 6th inning. When I woke up, the game was over, so I went to bed. Little did I know that the Nats made things so exciting at the end of regulation and almost managed a win against these Pfightin' Phillies, falling instead 7-5.

Starter Matt Chico lasted only 4.2 innings, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits, walking 3 and striking out 2. He threw 60 strikes on 95 pitches (63%). The bullpen of Chris Schroeder, Ray King, Luis Ayala and Chad Cordero were almost perfect in the regulation innings, with only Ayala and Cordero surrendering a hit and Cordero allowing a run, but it tied the game up and he had a blown save, but it really wasn't his fault, inasmuch as a bizarre set of circumstances where both Ryan Church and Ryan Langerhans went after the ball in left center and couldn't hear each other call for it, with 44,000 screaming Phillies fans making that almost impossible, and Church had it in his glove but lost it as he and Langerhans almost collided, then Church had ti dig for the ball and threw it to shortstop Felipe Lopez, bouncing it to him badly, which caused the Phillies Jimmy Rollins to pause momentarily at 3rd, only to then dash home, as Felipe Lopez fired the ball to catcher Brian Schneider, who wasn't able to snag the ball cleanly, and Rollins was safe at home. As Manager Manny Acta said later (I'm paraphrasing, but I'm close here) "Five things went wrong on that play. We get one of them right, we win the game."

In extra innings, Jon Rauch allowed 2 walks but no hits, Saul Rivera allowed 2 hits and 3 walks but no runs, but Chris Booker took the loss in the 14th, allowing 2 runs on 1 hit.

Ryan Report: Church 1 for 4 with 2 walks and a double, Zimmerman 2 for 7, Langerhans 0 for 2, and Austin Ryan Kearns went 2 for 6.

The Nats big hits came from Felipe Lopez (2 for 7 with an R.B.I.), Ronnie Belliard (2 for 7 with an R.B.I.), Nook Logan (2 for 3), Tony Batista (1 for 2 with an R.B.I. double), and Jesus Flores (1 for 2 with 2 R.B.I.'s)

A tough loss to a division rival, you really hate to lose such a close one after almost 5 hours, but given how offensively tough the Phillies are, it's encouraging to take them for so many innings. Still to be so close to victory only to give it away is one of the bitterest of sports experiences.

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