GBU GAME 157: Nats Turn Tables on Mets, Win 4-3

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, September 29, 2009 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Elijah Dukes crashes into scoreboard in RF after catching David Wright's line drive to end the game.
Photo © 2009 C. Nichols. All Rights Reserved.

THE RESULT:  The Washington Nationals turned two errors by the New York Mets middle infield into a run in the bottom of the eighth, pulling out a 4-3 victory before 19,614 at Nationals Park.

With the score tied at three, Mike Morse drew a walk against Sean Green (L, 1-4, 4.72), and interim manager Jim Riggleman sent Justin Maxwell to run for him.  Pinch-hitting for Tyler Clippard (W, 3-2, 2.91), Cristian Guzman grounded to shortstop Anderson Hernandez. 

The former Nat tried to feed second baseman Luis Castillo to turn a double play, but led Castillo too far across the bag, and all hands were safe.

Ian Desmond, who hit a two-run home run earlier, then grounded to short himself.  Hernandez made an excellent diving play, going headlong to his left to snare the sharply hit grounder, and this time made a perfect flip to Castillo.  But the second baseman should have just put the ball in his pocket at that point.

Instead, he tried -- vainly -- to complete a double play, but ended up throwing the ball into the Nationals' dugout.  Maxwell cruised home with the tiebreaking -- and eventual winning -- run.

Starter J.D. Martin had trouble early, giving up three runs in the first two innings.  BU the settled down nicely from there, completing six innings, allowing just those three runs on seven hits and two walks.  He did not strike out a batter.

Clippard pitched two scoreless innings, and Mike MacDougal struck out two in his inning of work for his 18th save of the season.

THE TAKEAWAY:  It's good to see that some players are still really trying to make a difference.  Desmond, Maxwell and Morse are all young guys trying to prove themselves to the Nats and are working hard as the games dwindle away.

THE GOOD:  Elijah Dukes.  He went 2-for-4 in the two-hole, but more importantly, he made an excellent catch, crashing into the fenced scoreboard in right field, for the final out of the game.  Hustle and sacrifice like that is always good to see, but especially good from a team trying to avoid loss 104.

THE BAD:  Adam Dunn.  He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, reducing the number of games he has to hit his 39th and 40th home runs of the season.

THE UGLY:  The Mets middle infield in the eighth.  Nats fans certainly can empathize with their Mets counterparts after watching the debacle unfold in front of them.

NEXT GAME:  The final home game of the season.  Wednesday at 4:35, for the finale with the Mets.  John Lannan (9-23, 3.93) faces golfing buddy Tim Redding (3-6, 5.29).