Soriano hit two homers, one for a GRAND freekin’ SLAM today in Miller Lite Park to complete the Nationals’ sweep of the Brewers series and end the game 8-4. I caught the game on my laptop sitting outside on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. I noticed some oddities about MASN and the scoring during the game. I also realized I forgot to include the most hilarious video clip from last night’s game, which I’m hoping to salvage. Today’s game also spelled a couple starters. Brendan Harris started at third base in place of Ryan Zimmerman who is suffering from mild back spasms (not a jammed finger, apparently). Robert Fick started at first base for Nick Johnson, who did come into the game later as Fick ohfered his at bats.
Nats started off with runners on base in the top of the first, but Soriano was handily caught stealing third. He would have scored easily when Vidro hit a double next. The opportunity was completely lost as Fick popped out and Harris struck out to end the half, leaving two on base. Soriano redeemed himself in the third inning by getting the run back with a solo home run.
In the top of the fourth with Brendan Harris up to bat first, an on-field crash between rookie-of-the-year competitor Prince Fielder at first base and right fielder Goeff Jenkins occurred while both chased a foul ball that neither caught. The collision ended up taking Jenkins out of the game after finishing the half in right field.
The Braves were chock full of fielding errors during this game. Harris was ultimately walked as was Damian Jackson. Brian Schneider reached first base on an error after executing a perfect bunt that pitcher De La Rosa threw to first, but was missed by Rickie Weeks. Harris scored, Jackson advanced to third, and Schneider took 2nd on the error. Later, Armas who also bunted, reached first on an error to the pitcher. However, with the bases loaded, Soriano shocked by grounding into a double play to end the opportunity and inning. I was really hoping for a grand slam there.
In the bottom of the fourth, Vidro caught a liner off Carlos Lee that would have allowed a run to score had it made it through the infield. Whew!
The score was never Nats 3 Brewers 0, however we did pile some on in the top of the 6th. That was one of the first mind boggling scoring errors I noted.
Damian Jackson did get a single with one out. Schneider grounded out for a sacrifice that advanced Jackson to second. Mike Vento was intentionally walked to get to Tony Armas Jr. The Brewers pulled their pitcher and put Winkelsas on the mound who immediately unintentionally walked Armas on five pitches. Oops! I’m not sure that’s in the guidebook. On a 2-2 count in his second bases loaded opportunity, Soriano came through and hocked up a grand slam to bring the score to 6-0. Woot! I’ve since forgiven him for being caught stealing and robbing the Nats of that initial run in the first inning.
The Brewers did attempt to battle back, and if you take away Soriano’s home runs, may have actually had a chance in this game. In the bottom of the 6th, Corey Hart managed to turn a double into a triple on a throwing error by Damian Jackson from center field. Hart was driven home for the Brewers first run on a sacrifice grounder. Bill Hall, already steaming from an earlier hard hit fly to right that Mike Vento managed to catch while everyone else was sure it would sail over the wall, struck out. If he was steamed then, he was downright pissed after the strikeout. He dropped his bat and turned his back on the ump to walk to the dugout. The home plate ump called him back to retrieve his bat and instructed the bat boy to leave it. Hall refused. A different bat boy scampered out to retrieve the bat while Ned Yost walked onto the field to argue with the ump. Pettiness is kinda funny when the opposing team’s manager gets ejected over it. See ya! Nats 6 Brewers 1
Schneiderman (that’s what the announcers were calling him – even going so far as to sing “Schneiderman, Schneiderman, does whatever a Schneider can”) hit a two out RBI by hitting a chopper to second and reaching safely on yet another Brewers throwing error. Armas was replaced in the bottom of the 7th by Majewski. I think they removed him from the game a little too early. He looked like he could have certainly pitched another inning and left the game having thrown only 84. Nats 7 Brewers 1
The Nationals added another run in the 8th after Marlon Anderson and Soriano were both walked and then took the extra base on a wild pitch. Clayton hit a sacrifice fly that scored Anderson. Nick Johnson faced new pitcher Shouse and struck out against his really whacky delivery.
Jon Rauch came in to pitch the 8th and issued a leadoff walk to Cirillo. A fielders choice got Cirillo out at second but put a runner on first. Damian Jackson caught the second out in the inning and MASN showed “End of 8th”. Too bad it wasn’t really the end there!
The real end of the eighth finished with a score of Nationals 8 Brewers 4 after Gabe Gross hit a two run home run.
Brewers closing pitcher, Zach Jackson, shut the Nats out, taking them down 1-2-3 in the 9th inning.
Frank Robinson let Bill Bray get his first real inning of work in at the major league level and close the game. He faced Prince Fielder as his first batter, just like last night. This time he got him out with more than one pitch when Fielder grounded out. Bray then struck out Corey Koskie and Chad Moeller flew out to Soriano to end the game. Awesome! Sweep sweep sweep. Hope you have a fantastic birthday celebration, Billy!
Well bummer. In prep for recording today’s game, I wiped out yesterday’s and cleared out my “trash” so I lost the best clip from last night because I didn’t realize what it was when I went back to piece together the saved clips. If you were watching the batter (like most would) you missed it, and that’s why I missed it when I started editing, assuming I exported erroneously. Behind the batter after the on field delay was a guy in the dugout with his pants undone while he tucked in his shirt (I think?). I mean really undone! It was hilarious! Dang. The answer, btw, was boxers ;-)
The article I linked to above is a write-up in NJ.com on Jon Rauch.
Jon Rauch is probably an innocuous middle reliever to most baseball fans, but the Washington Nationals’ right-hander has three claims to fame.
Those claims to fame are:
1. The tallest player in MLB history at 6’11″
2. He is one of two pitchers to homer off future Hall of Famer, Roger Clemens
3. He played for the USA in the Olympics and pitched one strikeout shy of an Olympic record
Rauch downplays his height as an intimidating factor. I laughed at the mention of his Olympic appearance as I had seen pictures of a Jon Rauch in a USA uniform while Googling images of him earlier, but I was so unsure the cleanshaven (head and face) good-looking guy in the photo was him that I never posted it for fear of looking like an idiot!