Saturday, July 14, 2007

Redskins 14, Dolphins 10

OK, no it's NOT football season yet, though if you looked at the paper and saw that box score between the Washington Nationals and the Florida Marlins you probably would have thought that a football game had broken out. Of course you could have said the same thing about the Philadelphia Phillies game against the St. Louis Cardinals which turned out to be another football-like 13-3 outcome in favor of the Phillies...

The Nationals were actually never behind in winning their third straight game as All-Star Dmitri Young led the charge, driving in four runs including a bases loaded double in the top of the fourth inning to end Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis' night, giving the Nats a seemingly insurmountable 8-1 lead. Jason Bergmann though would struggle to hold the lead he had just been given, surrendering four runs including a three-run homer to Alfredo Amezaga. The Nats would score three more runs in the top of the fifth inning, so it looked like Bergmann would at least be able to get a win for his efforts, but it didn't work out that way as his night would be finished off by a three-run Josh Willingham homer with one out in the bottom of the frame. Amegaza would single in another run to make it 11-9, but that's as close as the Marlins would get... the Nats scored two more runs in the seventh and added one more in the ninth, while the Marlins added a run in the eighth. Chad Cordero pitched the final inning for the Nats to close out the 14-10 game.

In Oakland, it was just another day at the office for the great Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins. In seven innings, only Bobby Kielty, Jack Cust and Dan Johnson managed hits (all singles) off him. Kielty actually had two hits... Santana would strike out eight, while walking just one and did not allow a run, leaving with a 5-0 lead... Twins reliever Juan Rincon made things a little interesting, giving up three runs in the top of the 9th inning. Joe Nathan closed things out for his 17th save of the year. For Santana, it was his 11th win of the year, and he also lowered his ERA down to 2.60 and his WHIP to 1.02.

As for my local teams, they both got strong pitching efforts last night. In Anaheim, Kelvim Escobar of the Angels and Kevin Millwood of the Texas Rangers dueled to a draw for seven innings, each only allowing a run. Escobar would actually also pitch the eighth inning as well. Angels closer and All-Star Francisco Rodriguez would pitch the top of the ninth inning, striking out two and walking one... In the bottom of the ninth, the Angels would rally, with Gary Matthews, Jr. doubling to lead off the inning. Garret Anderson moved Matthews to third with an infield out and then Casey Kotchman would plate Matthews with an opposite field single to right to give K-Rod and the Angels a 2-1 win. In San Francisco, Chad Billingsley pitched a strong six shutout innings, while the Giants' Matt Cain struggled through his five innings, giving up three runs (one unearned), seven hits and two walks... the Dodgers took a 3-1 lead into the top of the ninth when everything just fell apart for the Giants. The Dodgers got five bloop singles - Juan Pierre, Jeff Kent, Olmedo Saenz and Nomar Garciaparra - along with doubles from Russell Martin and a bases clearing one from Andre Either to explode for six runs and take a 9-1 lead... Rudy Seanez pitched a scoreless ninth to give Chad Billingsley his sixth win of the year against no losses. With the San Diego Padres' 8-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers drew into a virtual tie with their rivals.


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