Saturday, July 31, 2010
Before Nyjer Morgan stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 1st inning for Our Washington Nationals and before Roy Oswalt threw his very first pitch in a uniform of The Philadelphia Phillies, Let's Go Phillies!! was heard throughout Nationals Park. One pitch later Morgan was standing on third base with a triple. Two pitches after that--Adam Kennedy knocked Nyjer home with an rbi ground out.
Let's Go Phillies!! mostly silenced the rest of this evening.
America's Worst Fans again invaded South Capitol Street, but on this night their theatrics were short-lived. In fact, they were shutdown, and their team nearly shutout.
Philly fans mad their newly acquired ace pitcher, Oswalt, was anything but this evening.
They became incensed after their catcher, Carlos Ruiz, fielded a routine bunt laid down by Adam Kennedy in the bottom of the 3rd with Craig Stammen on 2nd and Morgan on first, then watched in amazement as Ruiz threw the ball to third base to retire the lead runner. The only problem was that not a single Philadelphia infielder was manning the bag. A critical error that allowed Stammen to score easily for Washington's second run while setting up Our Number 1 to score moments later on a sacrifice fly stroked by Ryan Zimmmerman to right.
An early 3-0 Washington advantage that left this Philly Fan sitting directly to The African Queen's right pissed. This young man so steamed, thankfully, he moved further away because things never really got better for The Philadelphia Phillies or their fans tonight. Craig Stammen pitched his most efficient game of the season while Roy Oswalt certainly didn't. Josh Willingham's double down the right line off Oswalt,acquired by Philadelphia from The Houston Astros on Thursday, sent both of Washington's Adams--Kennedy & Dunn--home for runs number four and five on the evening for D.C.'s team that began the slow streaming of Philly Fans getting up out of their seats and leaving Nationals Park.
A march out to their cars and buses quickened once Our Washington Nationals struck for three mores runs, this time off Chad Durbin in the bottom of the 7th making the score 8-1, thanks to a bases loaded double down the right field line laced by Roger Bernadina scoring Kennedy & Zimmerman, and an Ian Desmond sacrifice fly scoring Willingham for the final tally of the evening. Mostly Washington fans on hand at the conclusion. A top of the 9th thrown by Collin Balester where "BallyStar" looked impressive throwing nothing but heat--95 & 96 MPH fastballs. And pretty confident too, against the reigning two-time National League Champions.
Mettle shown all night long by D.C.'s Team in defeating The Philadelphia Phillies and their fans in game one of this three game series on South Capitol Street this weekend. Their fans didn't take over the park and their chanting of "Let's Go Phillies!!" was mostly silenced.
Final Score from Nationals Park where the 32,590 in the announced crowd was probably split down the middle evenly as to who they were supporting: Our Washington Nationals 8 and The Philadelphia Phillies 1. Curly "W" Number 45 gave Washington their third victory in their last four days against a contender in The National League East. Again, D.C.'s Team played the better baseball against a supposedly finer team. And The Bang!! Zoom!! Of The Fireworks!! signaling the end to a beautiful night on South Capitol Street. Wonderfully cool summer temperatures were enjoyed along with strong starting pitching, good defense and timely hitting by Washington--all three facets of the game combining to silence the usual vocal throng of Philadelphia Phillie supporters.
Game Notes & Highlights
Craig Stammen lasted into the 7th inning and was only touched for one run. A solo shot off the bat of Jayson Werth shortly before he was removed by Our Manager Jim Riggleman. Stammen allowed five hits, walked one and struck out five. Until the 7th when he tired after reaching 80 pitches, Craig had thrown a pretty wonderful game and received a standing ovation from Washington's fans upon his exit from this game.
Tyler Clippard again strong in relief of Stammen, shutting down The Phillies in the 7th when Craig got into trouble and pitching through the 8th with more shutout ball before handing the game over to Collin Balester for the final three outs.
Oswalt wasn't helped by his defense but still got hit pretty hard. Not many cheap hits among the seven he gave up to Washington batters, but he still managed to throw six complete in the very first game in The Major Leagues he's ever pitched not wearing a uniform of The Houston Astros.
Adam Kennedy played his finest game in a Nationals uniform. With Cristian Guzman now traded to Texas, Kennedy and Alberto Gonzalez will receive more playing time at second base. An opportunity Kennedy took advantage of this evening by going four for five at the plate, scoring two runs, knocking in one and stealing his 12th base of the season. Roger Bernadina also a major contributor, his double down the right field line in the bottom of the 7th was the frosting on the cake tonight, but his real baking skills shown in the top of the 3rd when Bernadina performed The Defensive Play Of This Game.
With one out, Roy Oswalt laced a sharply hit baseball to right field between Adam Kennedy and Adam Dunn. Running in hard all the way to scoop up the baseball, Roger Bernadina didn't hesitate. He quickly transferred the baseball to his left throwing hand and immediately threw the ball right back into the infield, to 1st base, where Dunn caught the ball while standing on the bag--to retire Oswalt for out number two. A rare 9-3 putout that found Oswalt dropping his head in disgust, bringing moans from The Phillie Faithful and giving Washington's Fans the opportunity to give Roger Bernadina a standing ovation for The Defensive Play Of This Game.
George won the 4th inning Presidents Race as Teddy, leading all the way, stopped to hand flowers to Miss Iowa. Katherine Connors getting some serious P.R. Mileage out of Miguel Batista's comments from earlier this week after his emergency start for Stephen Strasburg. Miss Iowa invited to throw out the first pitch tonight, meet Batista and have a good time at Nationals Park.
The HDTV Scoreboard this evening put up the first picture of the Beer & Pitcher Set to be given out on August 13th when The Arizona Diamondbacks are in town.
Continuing his tour of all 30 Major League Ballpark, Captain Morgan was on hand with his ladies to promote: Drink Responsibly, Captain's Orders. That guy was all over the place tonight.
And finally, while leaving the park tonight, Sohna and I happen to exit alongside Danys Baez, Brad Lidge and a third Phillies Player. We struck up a conversation with Baez about Philadelphia's latest loss. And Baez comes up with this winning quote: "All games are important, but 10 minutes after it's over you have to forget about it, otherwise you will never be successful in this sport dwelling on the negative."
P.S. Friday July 30th was also The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation's NatsTown Green-Up Day in the SE/SW Community surrounding Nationals Park. Complete details and story to come, but here are a few pictures from the event where Nationals Staff were joined by nearly 100 volunteers and pitchers Collin Balester & Doug Slaten to clean up the neighborhood.
Tonight's In-Game Photos Nick Wass (AP) and Greg Fiume (Getty Images)
All Other Photos--Nats320--All Rights Reserved