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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nats fall to Phillies, 4-2, lose series OR Hamels hammers Hanrahan & Co.

In the "better late than never" department, I give you my post about the Thursday night Phillies/Nationals game.

The Nats rallied briefly in the 8th inning from a 4-0 deficit to get to 4-2, but they simply could not contain the Phillies pitching and get any hits.

Starter Joel "The Hammer" Hanrahan pitched well enough, even though he only went 5 innings. He gave up 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 4 but struck out 8. He threw 51 strikes on 101 pitches. Hanrahan was 0 for 1 at the plate, a disappointment, considering that in each of his previous 3 starts, he'd gotten an extra base hit. Still, he's a pitcher, we should be grateful that he can do more than just bunt, and I am grateful.

The bullpen of Chris Schroeder, Mike Bacsik, Saul Rivera and Jon Rauch did pretty well, though both Schroder and Rivera gave up 1 run on 2 hits.

Ryan Report: All afternoon, I feared that Church might have worn out his arm signing autographs at the ESPN Zone (I'm blogging about that separately, stay tuned), but he did manage a single, going 1 for 4. Zimmerman went 0 for 4, Langerhans didn't bat, but Austin Ryan Kearns was 2 for 2 with a double and was walked twice, and Joel Ryan Hanrahan went 0 for 1.

The Nats bats came alive with Ronnie Belliard (2 for 4 with a double, and an R.B.I.), Dmitri Young (1 for 4 with an R.B.I.), and Nook Logan (1 for 4).

A tough loss to a strong division opponent, but one to take away some good things from.

It was an ugly night, 88 degrees, cloudy and humid as all get-out. I got to the park early (see my next post about this day) and was there right when the gates opened. I saw Rico and went right down to try my luck at autograph hunting. Luis Ayala kindly signed my ball, and I got a smile out of him when I referred to him as "the best guy in our bullpen" (hey, what's a little flattery between fan and player?). I also managed to get another player's autograph (again, see that post). I had my Capital Q barbecue beef brisket sandwich and a beer from Howard and I was all set. Saw several familiar faces around the ballpark and I enjoyed myself, despite the loss.

Those Phillies fans have a bizarre ritual after a win - they roam around singing the Philadelphia Eagles fight song (?!?!?). How unbelievably odd. Perhaps they forgot where they were, or were too inebriated to see that R.F.K. was in a baseball configuration, not a football one. Who knows? All I DO know is, if after a Nats victory, we roamed around singing "Hail to the Redskins", they'd call out all of St. Elizabeth's to lock us up.

Ah, well. Don't have to see them again for a little while. Now we have to concentrate on trying to take some from the Mets.

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