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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Nats crush Reds 7-2, win series OR Lannan is The Man

The Nats made short work of Bronson Arroyo and the Cincinnati Reds last night, jumping onto a 4-0 lead in the 1st inning, and improving that to a 7-0 lead by the end of the 2nd. They held on to win 7-2 before 28,944.

Nats starter John Lannan, making his 2nd major league appearance and home debut, got his first win, going 5 2/3 innings and throwing 54 strikes on 98 pitches (55%). He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 1. He even got a nice pickoff at 2B. He received a very nice standing ovation from the home crowd, too. The kid can pitch, and the good news is, he's only going to get better. Congratulations, John!

The bullpen of Chris Schroeder, Ray King, Jon Rauch and Luis Ayala allowed 3 hits and no runs. It is worth noting that, in the month of July, the bullpen had the best E.R.A. in the National League.

Ryan Report: Lots to enjoy. Church went 2 for 4 with 2 R.B.I.'s, Zimmerman went 1 for 3 and was walked once, Langerhans did not bat, and Austin Ryan Kearns went 2 for 4 with 3 R.B.I.'s, most impressively on his 2-run homer in the 2nd inning. I'll bet Kearns was happy to show his former team just why they should miss him. Zimmerman had some adventures on the basepaths on defense, as he tried to run down Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, who successfully executed a double-steal. Phillips raced from 1st to 2nd, and 1B Dmitri Young threw the ball on the fly to Zimmerman, almost as though Zimmerman was a wide-receiver going on a side-pattern, and Zimmerman raced from the shortstop position (where he was playing on a shift) and almost beat Phillips to 3rd base. It didn't amount to much as the inning ended on the next at-bat, but it was impressive to watch. Unfortunately, Zimmerman also had 2 errors, raising his season total to 17.

The other Nats action came from Felipe Lopez (1 for 4, with a double and a walk), Ronnie Belliard (1 for 3 with an R.B.I. double and a walk), Dmitri Young (2 for 4 with an R.B.I.), Brian Schneider (1 for 4 with a double) and Nook Logan (2 for 4).

I got to the park early, even beating some of the parking lot attendants. My buddy Myron joined me and we went in at 5:30, said "hello" to Rico, and headed down to the field for autographs. I missed Zimmerman by seconds, and Luis Ayala moments later, but I did get D'Angelo Jimenez, so I was 1 for 3. Bumped into MASN's Bob Carpenter (who is getting over a summer cold) as well as Jim Bowden's wonderful assistant Harolyn, and also principal team owner Mark Lerner. I got to tell them how much I enjoyed the Nationals documentary on WETA (channel 26) the previous night (after the game, of course). We said hi to several people who I saw in that documentary, including "Coach" Ron Simms, and fans Biff and Iris. Then we went over to section #301 (by the Diamond Club) to pick up my free (for being a season ticket holder) Washington Nationals 2007 Yearbook (a $15 value). It is quite nice, but I haven't had time to really look at it yet. Saw Ellie's husband, Roy, by the Diamond Club then went upstairs to see Ellie and Jonathan by the press cafeteria. Got myself my Capital Q barbecue, and we went down to our seats to settle in.

We spoke with several ushers that Myron and I know, and saw several friends and had a great evening. Howard and Neil were hilarious, needling each other over beer sales. I got my Bud from Howard, and the evening was complete.

Nothing beats a night at the ballpark with a buddy, especially when your team wins.

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