GB&U GAME 119: Late Home Runs Spark Rox Over Nats, 4-3

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | , , , , | 0 comments »

THE RESULTS: Carlos Gonzalez homered in the eighth inning off Sean Burnett and Clint Barmes took Tyler Clippard deep in the ninth, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals before 18,192 at Nationals Park.

The loss drops the Nats to 43-76 for the season, and breaks a three-game winning streak.

Burnett (2-3, 3.22) took the loss, getting just one out while walking one and allowing the home run to the Rockies' lead-off hitter.

Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez (W, 11-9, 3.41) held the Nats down all night. He went eight innings, allowing seven hits and one walk, allowing just two earned runs. Both came in a two-out rally in the second inning by the bottom of the order.

With one out, Elijah Dukes beat out an infield single on a broken bat that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had to avoid on his route to the grounder. Alberto Gonzalez hit a roller that forced Dukes at second to go to two outs.

Catcher Wil Nieves got hit in the elbow with a pitch, putting runners at first and second. Pitcher Craig Stammen the helped his own cause, with a double to right field that scored Gonzalez. Nyjer Morgan followed with a ground ball past third baseman Garrett Atkins that brought in Nieves.

That's the last the Nats would score until the ninth inning.

Cristian Guzman's RBI single cut the lead to 4-3 with two outs, but on the next pitch, Ryan Zimmerman flew out to left to end the game, and the winning streak.

Stammen deserved a better fate. He went five and one-third innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and two walks, striking out three. He got into trouble loading the bases in the sixth, and interim manager Jim Riggleman brought in Ron Villone to face Brad Hawpe.

Hawpe grounded out, but Dexter Fowler carried the tying run home. Jason Bergmann came in to snuff the rally, and pitched the seventh without incident before Burnett and Clippard gave up their respective home runs.

THE TAKEAWAY: Well, it's hard to complain about a loss on a couple of solo home runs in an otherwise well played game.

The big story on Tuesday, of course, was the signing of Stephen Strasburg to his first professional contract.

During the game, news came out that Strasburg would probably travel to D.C. Thursday and be introduced as the Nationals newest savior, uh, I mean, starting pitcher at a press conference on Friday.

Also, according to Nats Journal, it sounds like Strasburg will most likely not pitch in Washington this year. He will likely be evaluated in D.C.,then sent to the minor league training facility in Viera, Fl, then assigned to an Arizona Fall League team.

THE GOOD: Nyjer Morgan. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base.

THE BAD: Adam Dunn. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

THE UGLY: Bottom of the first, Morgan led off with a single and stole second. With no outs, he stood there as Guzman struck out looking, Zimmerman flied out, and Dunn whiffed to end the frame.

NEXT GAME: Wednesday at 7:05 pm. Collin Balester (1-2, 6.00) hosts All-Star Jason Marquis (13-8, 3.55).

NOTES: Mike Morse, recalled to take the roster spot of Logan Kensing, who was DFA'd Monday, dressed and wore No. 28. He did not play.