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Saturday, August 19, 2006


Nationals defeat Phillies 6-4 in Game 1 of the 4 game series

The Nationals jumped to an early lead off of a Soriano lead-off home-run, single by Lopez, and then a two run home-run by Zimmerman. Armas kept the Phillies off the board until the 6th, and meanwhile the Nationals added to their run total with two more runs in the second, and one more in the fourth. Entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Nationals lead 6-0. That would be the extent of the Nationals scoring, and the start of the Phillies scoring. The Nationals needed three innings to put up 6 runs, and the Phillies ran out of innings. They scored 4 runs in two different innings, but were not able to tie the game.

Highlights: Armas picked up 8th win, now 8-8, but gives up 3 runs and pitches only 5.1 innings (giving up 6 hits, 2 walks and striking out 2 in 88 pitches). Soriano went 4 for six with his 39th home-run (which the radio mentioned match's Soriano's career high), 79 RBI, and 30th stolen base (and was caught stealing for the 13th time). Soriano is once again a 30-30 player (for fourth time). Lopez went 2 for 4 and scored 3 times (plus 19th double). Zimmerman went 3 for 5 and knocked in 5 RBI off of his 38th double and 17th home-run. Johnson went 2 for 4 and stole his 10th base. Vidro rejoined the team and went 2 for 5. Church and Escobar both started (Kearns sat) and all three went hitless (Kearns in a PH for Church). Schneider faced 5 straight balls before his first strike and walked three times (went 1 for 2; did not score). Cordero picked up 23rd save.

box score

Washington times recap
Alfonso Soriano put on a clinic and reached two milestones last night against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Rookie Ryan Zimmerman offered a strong supporting role and the Nationals beat the Phillies 6-4 in front of 30,123 at Citizens Bank Park.
- Soriano joins Vladimir Guerrero as only 30-30 man for Expos/Nationals franchise. Needs just 1 more home-run and 10 more stolen bases to reach "exclusive 40/40 club" that includes "Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez."

AP recap

"It is good, but I'm working hard to get better in the field and to make my team better," Soriano said. "So whatever number that I put (up) this year, maybe I want to enjoy after the season, but not now. It is more important for me to win and make the team better."

Washington Post recap.
Ryan Zimmerman was in the dugout preparing for his first at-bat Friday night when Alfonso Soriano blasted a gargantuan home run on to the concourse in center field at Citizens Bank Park. "He's an amazing player," Zimmerman said hours later.

Soriano had barely settled back into the dugout himself when Zimmerman laid into a fastball from Philadelphia's Brett Myers, a two-run shot to left, and the Washington Nationals were rolling. "He's unbelievable," Soriano said.

Article about off-season/roster. - Nationals have some flexibility/choice in the Soriano part of their off-season action, but "[a]t second base and shortstop, though, the Nationals have what could be two anchors weighing down their goal of payroll flexibility." Expensive Vidro "coming back from injury" at 2B, and "not-so-feared shortstop, Cristian Guzman." Vidro was praised for his committment to the franchise when he signed the 4 year deal for $30 million, but is now seen as a liability.

$23 million in salary locked up in players who no one would really like to see out there next year. Add in newly acquired shortstop Felipe Lopez, who appears to be a flawed player but a better option than either Guzman at short or Vidro at second, and you have a problem that is harder to fix than the uncertainty over Soriano.
- what to do? Read that article.

Today: 4:00 pm in Washington DC, RFK stadium:
The first place DC United squad (13-2-7) host the last place Colorado Rapids (9-8-4). The game takes place at RFK stadium and will be televised on ESPN2.

The United enter the contest in a slump. They are the league leaders in goals and assists, and have three of the top 8 scorers, b ut enter today's contest in a three match slump - having scored just two goals in those three matchs and having "to settle for a pair of ties and a loss."

Read more about it in the Washington Post article.

Tonight: 7:05pm in Philly
RhP Ramon Ortiz (9-10, 4.88) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (5-6, 4.50)
Ramon Ortiz pitches to FinleyHamels pitches to Guillen 2

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