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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Nats/Marlins weekend wrapup

The weekend certainly started off well, didn't it? Too bad it had to end the way that it did.
I decided to encapsulate this weekend's games rather than post separately about each one.

Nats pound Marlins 14-10 OR a Freaky Friday the 13th

In their first game since the All-Star break, the Nats went on an offensive blitz, thrashing the Marlins 14-10, thanks in great part to the Marlin's starter, Dontrelle Willis, who had a terrible outing, giving up 8 runs on 8 hits to the Nats in his 3.2 innings. This was the Nationals greatest offensive performance in their 3 seasons here, and the one thing that really impressed me about it was, they did it completely with small-ball, there hit no homeruns. Except for a Dmitri Young bases-clearing double, they had no "big" plays, just 2 triples and several doubles. The Nats seemed to hit everything to the gaps and the corners, it was really fun to watch.

Nats starter Jason Bergmann, unfortunately, did not have a good game. He gave up 8 runs as well, 3 of them homeruns, on 7 hits in his 4.1 innings. He also walked 4. Manager Manny Acta came out to the mound in the 5th and spoke to him, giving him every opportunity to right his outing and get some outs, but he simply couldn't. The bullpen of Saul Rivera, Ray King, Jon Rauch and Chad Cordero all allowed hits (Rivera 3) but only 2 runs. Rivera got the win.

Ryan Report: Church went 2 for 5 with a double, Zimmerman went 1 for 3 with an R.B.I. but was walked 3 times, Langerhans went 1 for 1 with a triple, and Austin Ryan Kearns went 2 for 5 with 3 R.B.I.s.

Almost every other Nats batter got a hit as well, even one of the pitchers . Nook Logan (2 for 4, walked once, and a triple), Ronnie Belliard (3 for 6, with 2 R.B.I.'s and a double), Dmitri Young (1 for 4, with 4 R.B.I.'s and walked once, and that bases-clearing double), Robert Fick (1 for 1), Felipe Lopez (2 for 5, with 2 R.B.I.'s), Brian Schneider (1 for 3 with an R.B.I. and a walk), and Jesus Flores (1 for 2).

The Nats batted around twice this game, marking the 3rd straight game in which they'd batted around at least once.

This was a VERY fun game to watch if you were a Nats fan. Friday the 13th be damned, it was lucky for the Nationals and kicked-off the so-called "second half" of the baseball season, and the weekend in exciting fashion.

However, that would be the high point of the Nats weekend.

Nats fall to Marlins 2-5, OR Euphoria ends on sorry Saturday.

Starter Matt Chico had a rough outing, and the Nats fell behind early and only threatened in the late innings, trying to rally from a 5-0 deficit only to fall 5-2. He allowed 5 runs on 7 hits, including 3 homeruns, striking out 5, but walking 3 in his 6 innings of work. Chris Schroeder and Billy Traber were fine in relief, allowing no hits.

Marlins starter Sergio Mitre, unlike his teammate Dontrelle Willis, was in control of his pitches and gave the Nats fits, allowing no runs through 6 innings, by which time the Marlins had the game in the bag, and only allowed 2 runs total.

Ryan Report: Church 0 for 4, Zimmerman 2 for 4, Langerhans 0 for 4, and Austin Ryan Kearns 1 for 3 with an R.B.I. Congratulations, Sergio Mitre.

The Nats only other offensive production came from Ronnie Belliard (1 for 4 with an R.B.I.), Robert Fick (1 for 1), and Dmitri Young (1 for 4).

Tough night, and I hoped that the Nats would take the rubber game, but...

Nats dropped by Marlins 5-3, OR Simontacchi's sad Sunday sinks D.C. sluggers

Sunday was almost a repeat performance of Saturday night, as the Marlins again went long 3 times and rocked the Nats starter early and often.

Jason Simontacchi had a less-than-fortunate outing, giving up 3 homeruns and 5 runs total on 9 hits in his 4.2 innings. He also walked 4 and struck out 4. He DID get his 5th out of the year at 2nd, doing his patented spin-throw to nail the base runner. That's always an exciting play. Ray King, Chris Schroeder, Luis Ayala and Saul Rivera allowed no runs in relief, and only Chris Schroeder gave up a single hit.

Ryan Report: Church went 2 for 3 with a walk, Zimmerman went 1 for 5, Langerhans never batted, and Austin Ryan Kearns went 0 for 3 with a walk.

Ronnie Belliard had a pretty good day, going 2 for 3 with 2 walks and a double, Dmitri Young went 1 for 4 with 2 R.B.I.'s, Nook Logan went 1 for 3 with a walk, Felipe Lopez 1 for 3 with a walk and an R.B.I., and even Jason Simontacchi went 1 for 2.

Not a memorable game, not a memorable series. The Nats offense looked a little moribund the last 2 games, and the starting pitching wasn't sharp. Perhaps the All-Star break threw some of the players off of any kind of rhythm or "sync" that the were in? Tough to say, but all I can do is hope that they get it together now that they are back home at R.F.K. for a 3-game series with the Houston Astros and a 4-game series with the Colorado Rockies.

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