Saturday, September 20, 2008
This One Is All About The Numbers
Our Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres played for 5 Hours Tonight beginning on September 19th, 2008.
For 14 Innings they competed.
48 Players would partake in the game.
18 of which took the ball on the mound.
125 Batters stepped to the plate.
526 Pitches were thrown.
Not ONE SINGLE ERROR!!
And Ryan Zimmerman was Zero for Seven in the batter's box. Not one single hit.
There were Two Seventh Inning Stretches.
There were Two GEICO Presidents Races.
Two Tee-Shirt Tosses.
And 28,600 in attendance to witness--at least some of it.
All on a cool early fall chill in the air evening that required a sweater, if not a jacket, by time this marathon ended.
But not before Washington rapped out 10 hits and a REMARKABLE 12 Walks--and only scored six runs.
Even more amazing was San Diego slapping out 20 Hits. Yes, 20 Hits, managing 7 walks, and still they could not take control of this game until Friday Night became Saturday Morning.
On and on and on they played, neither team taking full advantage of the other. Each leaving 15 runners in scoring position.
A game no one seemed able to win. Did each have plenty of chances.
Finally, it came down to who was left in Washington's Bullpen--Fresh. That person became Levale Speigner. And when Our Number 37 was sent out for his second inning of relief in the 14th--this long and enduring affair quickly ended. Thanks to 4 hits, two walks and one hit by pitch allowed. The Padres would send 10 batters to the plate and San Diego would Batter Speigner for five runs. Our Manager Manny Acta deciding to let Speigner finish what harm he began and not waste any more arms out of his bullpen.
Just like that--this game was over.
The Time was 12:36AM and the date was now September 20, 2008.
A calendar day had passed and Our Washington Nationals had lost--Number 96 of 2008.
Final Score from a "Friends & Family Affair" as the Midnight Hour Struck--The San Diego Padres 11 and Our Washington Nationals 6 in 14 very tiring innings. Yes, this one was all about The Numbers. And yes, you can bet on the very fact that The African Queen and I were two of those that lasted until the very final out. We did not leave early.
Game Notes & Highlights
Collin Balester would go five innings and give up 5 runs and 2 Home Runs. He wasn't overly sharp. Although, Our Bullpen was able to keep The Padres off the board and give Washington the chance to comeback and win--at least until the pivotal 14th frame. Sadly, Washington simply continued to fail with runners in scoring position throughout the evening.
Emilio Bonifacio and Roger Bernadina both were close to being stars of the game before failing late with runners in scoring position tonight--but these youngsters also did some nice work at the plate and on the bases most all evening. Bonifacio with three walks, one with the bases loaded, two RBI and a fine game in the field at second base. Bernadina with three hits, one RBI and one nice tag up from third to score on Our Number 7's short fly to leftfield in the 6th. Both have the raw skills, both need to develop more--but at least for one night--they showed promise of what they can deliver if they continue improving their skills.
San Diego ran on Lastings Milledge's arm all night. One good example: Edgar Gonzalez for The Padres singled up the middle to short left center. Then, with the ball IN FRONT of Milledge--still was able to race to second base for a double in the top of the 12th. Our Washington Nationals need to work on this issue. More and more teams are going to continue to put pressure on Lastings' Arm--because they know now they can run on him.
Also--speaking of Milledge--I have not seen the replay, but in the 6th inning from my angle it sure looked like Our Number 44 misplayed a deep fly ball off the right centerfield wall hit by Chase Headley. It looked like Milledge miss-timed his jump to catch the ball. If he did, he needs to continue to work on his defensive skills as well.
To his credit--Lastings did have three hits and a run scored this evening.
Collin Balester had a wonderful full count bases loaded seeing eye single that just worked its way through the right side of the infield in the 4th. Important because his first career RBI tied this game up at four and set up Bonifacio's bases loaded RBI walk as the very next hitter for Washington.
There was plenty of action before this game began as well. The only thing we missed out on--due to running out of time--was the Adopt A Pet Promotion outside The Center Field Gates. Our Washington Nationals, in partnership with The Washington Humane Society had Dogs and Cats looking for New Homes on site--waiting for your love. If you are interested and did not have the opportunity to see the animals this evening--click on the link above for full details.
Our Manager Manny Acta made a Team Store Appearance to promote his impACTA Kids Foundation. Foundation Tee-Shirts and Polos are now available for sale at New Nationals Park. All proceeds go towards Manny's effort to help deserving and needy Kids in Washington, DC and his Native Dominican Republic.
A few Players for Our Washington Nationals greeted fans at the gates while handing out tonight's Giveaway Item--a camouflaged Curly "W" Floppy Hat. Elijah Dukes, John Lannan, Tim Redding, Shairon Martis, Alberto Gonzalez, Anderson Hernandez, Levale Speigner and Jesus Flores were all spotted at entrances around New Nationals Park.
Apparently, over the last six home games, various players will appear before most games to greet fans for about 15 to 20 minutes--approximately 45 to 50 minutes before game start.
In Club Level tonight--Chateau St. Jean Wines were being tasted in Presidents Club, Diamond Club and Stars & Stripes Club. The Cabernet was quite the excellent full bodied wine. Their lighter Pinot Noir had a nice finish to it. Sohna and I enjoy the Red Wines, much more so than Whites.
Finally--George won both President Races this evening. In the 14th inning event--GW ran virtually uncontested. Teddy, Abe and Tom all stopped running along the outfield warning track and slowly walked back to the centerfield gate--conceding to George the victory.
PS--Here a couple of pictures from Today's ESPN Zone Jim Bowden/Mike Rizzo Appearance. A full transcript coming later.
Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Luis M. Alvarez
All Other Photos--Nats320 (All Rights Reserved)