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Thursday, August 10, 2006


Nationals defeat Marlins 5-2; Now it's Astacio's turn

Both teams end up with 9 hits and 1 error, but Nationals win 5-2. The game started off with the Marlins in the lead, worrying to fans. Amezaga lead off with a single, and moves to second base during wild pitch by Ortiz. Uggla out - strike-out. 1 out, runner on second. Jacobs singles, Amezaga scores from second. 1 out, runner on first, Marlins ahead by 1 run. Two straight outs and top half of the inning over.

Soriano doubles in the 3rd inning - Soriano doubles (July 26th game) to lead off the game.
Bottom half of the first inning. Marlins leading 1-0, will the Nationals lose again? Soriano leads off with a double, but Lopez strikes out. Zimmerman singles, Soriano to third base, and Zimmerman to second off of a wild pitch by Willis. Johnson then walked. Bases loaded, 1 out. Kearns up. Wild pitch - Soriano scores and Zimmerman moves to third. Tie game, 1 out, runners at third and first. Kearns still up - hits into a fielder's choice (Johnson out at second), but Zimmerman scores on the play. Kearns then caught stealing - inning over. Nationals up 2-1. Nationals will lead the rest of the way and win 5-2. Nationals will add another run in the third (sac fly by Escobar allows Zimmerman to score), fifth (Zimmerman scores while Jackson grounds out to pitcher), and 8th innings (Escober gets another RBI off of another sac fly, this time Lopez is the runner that scores), while the Marlins will make it slightly more interesting with a scoring run added to their total in the top of the 7th inning (error by Lopez (fielding Jacobs hit) - Olivo scores).
Alfonso Soriano scores on a wild pitch - Soriano scores during wild pitch (July 21st game).

Ortiz pitches 6.2 very solid innings (as the headline for the Times recap puts it Nats find new 'ace' as Ortiz delivers", giving up just 1 earned run (2 total) off of 8 hits and zero walks while also striking out six. Bowie picks up hold (fifth) for his 0.1 innings of work in the seventh (allowed just 1 walk, ERA now 1.37). Rauch picked up 10th hold for his work in the 8th, and Cordero picked up his 20th save for his work in the ninth inning (1 hit, 2 strike-outs).

Highlights: Escobar's 2 RBI's off of sac flys, Ortiz's 6.2 solid innings of pitching (now 9-9 with an era of 4.60), and Brandon Harper's MLB debut (at least Nationals.com doesn't have any other career stats for him). Harper went 1 for 2 (double first time up, hit by pitch second time up and left 2 runners on base on third time up). Oh, and for some reason they had Jackson and his .207 batting average (that's after going 0 for 3 and leaving 4 runners on base) starting and playing second base.

From that earlier linked Times article:
He's the closest thing the Washington Nationals have to an ace right now. With Livan Hernandez gone and John Patterson on the disabled list, Ramon Ortiz finds himself in the unusual position of being manager Frank Robinson's most accomplished and most trusted starter. . . . "He's not my best pitcher," the manager insisted. "He's my most effective pitcher right now."
- Ortiz, Nationals Ace.

ESPN play by play. Nationals.com box score. Florida's take on the game: "
Awash in wildness, Willis plain woeful"
The Marlins are supposedly battling for a wild-card spot.

Wednesday they lost a game that dropped them within two games of the National League East basement. . . . It was a game as ugly as the RFK Stadium it was played in,
- them's fighting words

Examiner's take on the game: "When it was over, the Nats somehow emerged 5-2 victors in front of a home crowd of 21,390."

RHP Anibal Sanchez (4-2, 4.27) vs. RHP Pedro Astacio (2-2, 5.49)
Astacio throws the first pitch
Rookie Sanchez has faced the Nationals twice in his short (7 GS) major league level career. His first start wasn't pretty - at RFK, on July 6, Sanchez gave up 5 total runs (4 earned) in 105 pitches (5 IP; 58 strikes) off of 6 hits, 5 walks, and 1 strike-out. Sanchez dominated the Nationals in his second appearance against them in Florida on July 19th (aren't pitchers supposed to do great in their first go-around and then get slammed in their second - haven't faced that pitcher before, then they have and know what he is like). Sanchez pitched 7 innings and pitched 1 extra pitch than his last Nationals appearance (106 pitches, 64 strikes), giving up 1 hits, 5 walks and zero runs, while striking out 5 (back-to-back 7 inning shut-outs).

Astacio has pitched 6.2 innings so far in August in 1 start, but gave up 5 runs in that start and picked up his second loss of the year (ERA of 6.75 for that game and for August). Astacio's first start of the year came on July third against the Marlins. He lasted 5 innings and gave up 1 run off of 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2 in 71 pitches (45 strikes).

Weather: tonight: 71° F; 30% chance for rain (day: 84° F with an 60% chance for rain; currently: raining and 72°F).

Starting pitchers:
Probable pitchers still has Bergmann penciled in for tomorrows start but he still hasn't joined the team, and the club still has just 4 pitchers on the depth chart.

Update: Still 4 pitchers on the depth chart, but probable pitchers changed, Traber now scheduled for Friday and Bergmann scheduled for Saturday.

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