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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Nats rally to beat Giants 8-6 OR Team win trumps celebration of 1 individual

In the immortal words of the late President Gerald Ford, "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over." Alleged steroids-abuser Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants has finally hit career homerun #756 off of Washington Nationals starter Mike Bacsik to pass Hall-of-Famer Henry "Hank" Aaron for the lead on the all-time major league list.

Poor Mike Bacsik. It fell to him to give up one of baseball's most famous homeruns. As a Nationals fan, I'm kind of glad that it fell to him to give it up, rather than one of the young guys, like Matt Chico or John Lannan, because this sort of thing could shake their confidence. Bacsik is also quite likeable and quotable, and MASN's Bob Carpenter hit it right on the head when he mentioned that soon the entire world would know just how quotable Mike Bacsik truly is. Bacsik isn't a bad pitcher, he's simply a decent journeyman, who has his good days and his bad days, and would probably have a better record this season with a touch more run support. As nice a guy as I think that he is, I have to believe that he isn't a part of the National's future beyond this season, there are simply too many hot young pitching prospects coming up in the Nationals minor league ranks. He'll probably be traded or go back down to AAA Columbus and be fondly remembered by the veterans of this club as a great teammate and classy guy. The way he handled his post-game news conference was masterful, he was honest, forthright, and extraordinarily well-spoken for a professional athlete. He took to it as though he was born to it. I congratulate him, and I'm proud that he wears the Nationals uniform.

I'll tell you what's scary - go to and check out the entries for Barry Bonds and Mike Bacsik. They were updated withing minutes of the famous homerun, I checked. Wow. I wonder if there were users logged-in and just sitting there waiting for this to happen?

The best part for me was, of course, the Nationals won, 8-6, so at least we have that going for us, which is nice. That is certainly what mattered to me the most.

(Oh, and to the Pittsburgh Pirates: You're welcome.)

Let the record show that the Nationals, at least for 1 day, are TIED FOR 4TH PLACE in the National League East, with the Florida Marlins. We're no longer undefeated in August, but we're back on the streak! Time to grab 4th place for ourselves and keep winning!

I'll add to this post later in the morning. Right now, I just want to go to bed. These west-coast games are murder on my sleep cycle.

*EDIT Okay, where was I? Oh, yes. My first question of the day is, how many people returned their tickets to the San Francisco Giants for the Wednesday night game, and for the Pittsburgh series? (Bonds won't play Thursday, so that was an odd day out anyway).

Now, onto the actual game results.

Starter Mike Bacsik lasted 5 innings, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, walking 1 and striking out 5. Oh, and he also allowed 2 homeruns. After allowing Barry Bond's #756, Bacsik had to leave the game, as the mid-game ceremony would interfere with his rhythm and his arm. He didn't get the win, but at least Bacsik didn't get the loss.

The bullpen did their damndest to hold the Giants down and get the win, and they performed beautifully, with Chris Schroeder going 2 innings, and throwing 21 strikes on 32 pitches (66%), allowing 1 run on 2 hits, and striking out 2. Schroeder got the win, too, his very first major league win. Jon Rauch allowed 1 hit in the 8th, and Chad Cordero allowed no hits, getting his 24th save of the season.

Ryan Report: Church 0 for 3 with a walk, Zimmerman 1 for 4 with a sacrifice R.B.I. and a triple, Langerhans 0 for 1, and Austin Ryan Kearns the big hero of the night for Nats fans, going 2 for 4 with a walk and 2 R.B.I.'s and a homerun.

The other big hits for the Nats came from Felipe Lopez, who was 3 for 4 with a walk, a double, a homerun and 2 R.B.I.'s, Ronnie Belliard (1 for 3), Brian Schneider (1 for 4) with a homerun and a walk, Nook Logan (1 for 4) with an R.B.I. and Tony Batista, (1 for 1) with an R.B.I.

I love how the attendance was reported at AT&T Park:
Attendance: 43,154 (103.8% full)
Game Time: 3:12, weather: 62 degrees, clear, wind: 18 mph, out to center.

I watched the entire game and all of the post-game coverage, including the Bonds interview. He said some nice things about our Nationals, he was gracious, even a little bit humble, I'll give him that.

An interesting game, a memorable spectacle. One that I know I'll always remember watching.

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