THE RESULT: The tying and go-ahead runs were on base with one out in the top of the ninth, but Florida Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom buckled down and retired Josh Willingham and Austin Kearns to preserve a 6-4 win, and three game sweep of the Washington Nationals (0-3).

The Nationals finally had a starting pitcher get past the third inning, as Daniel Cabrera tried to play stopper for the young Nats. But his promising start fell apart in the fifth inning, as the Marlins pushed four across against the former Baltimore Oriole making his National League debut.

Washington would claw back withing striking distance, with a run in the eighth courtesy of Alberto Gonzalez' RBI double, and a run in the ninth when Lindstrom walked Adam Dunn with the bases loaded. But that's where the fun ended, as Lindstrom struck out Willingham and got Kearns to hit a sinking line drive that Brett Carroll caught off his shoe tops for the final out.

THE GOOD: The middle of the order. Dunn, Willingham, and Kearns reached base a total of eight times in the game, only to score one run between them. They took seven walks combined for a team that had taken one walk in the first two games of the season.

THE BAD: Ryan Zimmerman. He's really scuffling at the plate right now. The FOF (Face of the Franchise) went 1-for-5, bringing his season totals to 2-for-14 with four strikeouts, no walks and no RBIs.

THE UGLY: Cabrera's fifth inning. Leadoff hitter Ross Gload singled to start the inning, then pitcher Chris Volstad sacrificed Gload to second and Emilio Bonifacio grounded out, pushing Gload to third. That's where the wheels fell off. The next four batters reached, going: Single, Single, HBP, Double. Vintage Cabrera to mix in the HBP.

NEXT GAME: Nats (thankfully) off today. Shairon Martis (1-3, 5.66 in 20.2 IP in 2008) faces Derek Lowe (1-0 with four Ks in 8 IP on Opening Day) and the Atlanta Braves at 7:35 from Turner Field Friday night.

NOTES: Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed early this morning, with two others, the result of a hit-and-run car accident. Adenhart was a promising pitcher and a local product, out of Williamsport High School in Williamsport, MD. WHS was a rival of my hometown high school, Boonsboro High School in Boonsboro, MD and as such I have watched his career since he was drafted.

Nats News Network offers its thoughts and condolences to the Adenhart family, the Angels organization and Williamsport, Maryland in this difficult time.

Photo courtesy of http://www.halosheaven.com, a member of SB Nation.

4 comments

  1. Cheryl Nichols // April 9, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

    It is such a tragedy.

    From ESPN -
    The Minnesota Twins held moment of silence before their game against the Seattle Mariners Thursday afternoon. Also, there was to be a moment of silence before the start of the Texas Rangers' home game against the Cleveland Indians.

    There was no word on whether the Angels' Thursday night game against the Athletics will still take place.

  2. natsfan1a // April 9, 2009 at 1:35 PM  

    Condolences to the young man's family and to all who were affected by this tragic loss.

  3. Cheryl Nichols // April 9, 2009 at 1:39 PM  

    I just heard that Torii Hunter is on MLB Network talking about it now.

    Angels Statement -

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20090409&content_id=4187606&vkey=pr_ana&fext=.jsp&c_id=ana

  4. Cheryl Nichols // April 9, 2009 at 3:22 PM  

    Tonight's scheduled game between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has been postponed.

    MLB teams and fans everywhere are showing so much class and heart by reaching out and remembering Nick Adenhart.