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Sunday, September 03, 2006


Nationals win three come-from-beyond games in a row, Sweep Diamondbacks; Sept. call-ups greatly help team

As mentioned, Friday's game postponed to Saturday.

Saturday: Game 1:
Arizona took early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, and Nationals responded with 1 run in the bottom of the inning. Diamondbacks pull into 6-1 lead after end of top half of 8th inning (Nationals run: Castro singled in Church in 2nd inning). Diamondbacks will obviously win leading 6-1 in top of 8th, right? Wrong.

Bottom of 8th inning:
Pena pitching for Arizona. Lopez strikes out to lead off inning. Zimmerman then strikes out. Looking bad. Johnson up, doubles with 2 outs against Nationals chances. Kearns walks. Church up. Church hits 8th home-run of the year. Three runs score. Schneider strikes out to end inning. End of 8: Arizona 6, Nationals 4.

Rauch pitches 9th inning, does not allow a runner to score (also, no runners on base).

Bottom of 9th. Old Orioles closer Jorge Julio enters the game. Castro walks. Fick strikes out for Rauch. Soriano hits his 44th home-run. 2 runs score. Game tied. 1 out. Will Nationals use last 2 outs to win? No. Lopez walks, Vizcaino relieves Julio, Zimmerman grounds out (FC), Johnson strikes out.

Bottom of 11th:
Castro walks, Fick sac hit - Castro to second. Soriano IBB, Lopez unintentionally walks. Basses loaded for Zimmerman with 1 out. Zimmerman walks, Castro scores, game over score 7-6 Nationals.

Box Score

Saturday: Night game: The Return of Hernandez:
Jason Bergmann vs. Livan Hernandez.
Bergmann pitches 7 very solid innings, giving up just 3 runs off of 4 hits (1 HR) and 2 walks (4 Ks). Lowers ERA to 6.24. Unforunately, Bergmann leaves game before Nationals win, and Rivera picks up his second career victory. Cordero saves his 24th game. Hernandez went 7.2 innings, giving up 11 hits (2 HR), 4 runs, 1 walk and striking out 7.

Arizona lead 3-1 until bottom of 8th inning when Nationals scored 3 more runs to win game (Save by Cordero in top of 9th). Fick started at catcher, lowered average to .220. Schneider enters mid-inning as catcher as Cordero didn't want to pitch to Fick anymore. Dorta started at SS, goes 2 for 4, average now .400. Nook Logan started in CF - makes good defensive play, gets two hits in 4 plate appearances, leaves with .400 average. Johnson hit 40th double of year. Zimmerman hit 18th home-run. Kearns hit 21st home-run. Soriano stole his 35th base, and Dorta caught stealing for 2nd time this year.

Box Score

Today's (Sunday) win:
Armas pitched 6.1 innings, gave up 3 runs off off 4 hits (1 HR), and 4 walks (plus struck out 2). Wagner pitched rest of 7th, and all of 8th inning, picked up his 3rd win of season (now 3-2, ERA of 4.00). Rauch picked up his first save of his career by pitching 9th inning.

Washington got the early lead in the first inning scoring 1 run. Kept that lead until the 5th when the Diamondbacks tied the game off of home-run by Tracy (16th). Diamondbacks add two more runs, take 3-1 lead, but Nationals respond in bottom of 8th inning with 4 runs, take 5-3 win from Diamondbacks, and sweep them. Nationals managed just 7 hits with their 5 runs, plus just 3 walks. Still left 11 base runners on base. Kearns hit his 30th double of the year, Soriano stole his 36th base of year. Soriano needs just 4 more stolen bases for magical 40 (SB) - 40 (HR) season. Needs 6 HR and 14 SB for even more magical 50-50 season.

Sorry for bad recap for today's game - did not see nor watch - family affair, then watched movie "The Illusionist" (though I did watch Saturday games, and provided bad recap). Good movie.

Box Score

Call-ups help:
Some guy named Chris Booker with a career era of 29.25 pitches 5th inning in Saturday day game (Traber pitched only 4 innings). Booker struck out 1 and gave up zero runs/hits/walks. Ended up with an era of 27 for his efforts (according to box score, stats page lists his era as 0.00 for 2006). Some guy named Beltran Perez made his major league debut (according to stats), and pitched 6th and 7th innings, giving up just 1 hit. Logan PH in day game, started night game, went 2 for 5 for day (and started today, went 1 for 3 with 1 run scored, average dropped to .375). Dorta went 2 for 4 in Saturday night game. Some guy named George Lombard pinch hit in 7th inning of Saturday night game, struck out (did not help).

Barry Svrluga's National Pastime book:
Much better book than expected, really gives a deeper connection and feeling to the names and people that I either have seen used, or never knew existed.

Covers first season, and return to Washington, D.C. of baseball. Recommend this book. I'm not a book reviewer, just a fan, so take this comment as it stands. Sorry can't provide a "book review" for the readers. I haven't done a review in more than a year.

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