Post by Cheryl Nichols

"“The story of the day was Sanchez.”--Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman.

Today might have been the best weather for baseball in the district all summer. Simply a gorgeous early fall day.  Unfortunately, only 17, 941 got to experience it.

The Washington National lost another game to the  Florida Marlins.  Anibal Sanchez is undefeated against the Nationals.  In 13 career starts with 79 innings pitched, he is 5-0 with a 2.28 ERA.  

Jim Riggleman recognizes that the Nats need to find a way to beat him since the Marlins are in the same division and will continue to face him. "“He’s been good every time we’ve seen him. I don’t really feel like we’ve gotten him yet.”

Nationals starter Jason Marquis put up a strong performance today and matched Sanchez for the first few innings as both had a no hitter after four. Marquis only allowed two runs in six innings, struck out eight and only walked one. Riggleman thought that the unusually high number of strikeouts were just sinkers that had too much depth to them. "I really like to see the ground balls."

Sanchez and Marquis had similar pitch counts today, however, Sanchez threw 100 pitches/68 strikes in 7.2 innings and Marquis threw 99 pitches/67 strikes in six innings.

Nationals offense was pretty scarce. Ryan Zimmerman got two hits and Morse, Morgan and Ramos each had one hit. Wilson Ramos had the Nats only RBI of the day scoring Morgan on long ball to the CF warning track. [video]

There were highlights in the Nats defense today.  Danny Espinosa came up through the minors as a shortstop and moved to second base in Triple-A Syracuse.  You wouldn't know it by watching him today.  Espinosa has only been in the big leagues for eleven days, however, he is making plays that most second baseman could not make.

In the top of the fifth, Logan Morrison connected and most likely thought the ball would go right up the middle. Not with Danny Espinosa playing second base! Espinosa read the ball and quickly moved to his right, dove and made a backhanded stop. Somehow he was able to jump to his feet and threw a bullet to Adam Dunn at first get the Nats out of the long half inning. [video]

"That was a great play" said Riggleman in the post-game press conference. "The range to get it and then the arm to finish the play off was a tremendous play. I don't know what more you can do there. You see highlight films and all that stuff, but I don't know how much further anybody can go to get a ball and then to throw it the way he did was tremendous."

The other defense highlight is something I wouldn't have believed if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.  The rare 5-3-6 double play. [video]

“Zimmerman made a great recovery on a play, threw it across to Adam Dunn, Dunn throws back to third. I haven’t seen that double play all year from anybody. Adam has no fear about throwing the ball. He made a great throw across the diamond. Two good base runners involved in that play that we got. A lot of good stuff happened" said Jim Riggleman. 

During the pre-game presser, Jim Riggleman confirmed that there are no plans to call up any additional position players from the minor leagues.

Nationals honored 9/11 in a pre-game ceremony and "Heroes Day. The DC Fire Department recognized GM Mike Rizzo and Catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez with Honorary Fire Chief Helmets.  Here are few photos to show the highlights.

Rizzo and Riggleman wearing special 9/11 hats for batting practice

Photos 2010 © Cheryl Nichols Photography/
Nats News Network. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Bob71142 // September 11, 2010 at 11:42 PM  

    Regarding HEROES Day in connection with 9/11 memorial events, the Nat's honored the Fire Deparmtent in Washington, DC. The men and women of this department are truly heores everyday by placing themselves in harms way. But did I miss any mention of the men and wormen of the Arlington County Emergency Services who along with the Pentagon Police were the first responders when the third hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon. If they were on included as HEROES by the Nat's management that would be a horrible injustice.