After a rough 1st, Atilano looked good through his 5 1/3 innings and got his 3rd win on the year to put the Nats at 18-14 and 1.5 games out of first place as the Phillies are playing in Colorado tonight and this blogger isn't staying up to wait.
Yet again, Ivan Rodriguez had a great, great night. He went 4 for 4 with an RBI single to put the Nats up 3-1 in the 8th, which ended up being the game winning hit. Pudge is now hitting .393 on the year. Wow.
Tyler Walker changed his number to 39, and it worked. Walked had solid outing to eat up an inning plus. Burnett had a bad outing again, and it was brief again. More on Sean Burnett's disappointing season in my next post. And then, there was Brian Bruney. Ugh. This guy hurts my life expectancy every time he comes in to pitch. Bruney is 18 BB on 14 Ks in 15 2/3 innings this season. That sucks. There's no way around it. He had an ugly wild pitch a mile over Pudge's head putting both runners that he inherited in scoring position with 2 outs. He got out of the jam. He's gotten better results in recent outings, although he's looked just as bad.
T. Plush had a great delayed steal in the top of the 9th. After Kennedy K'd and Zimm was walked intentionally, Taveras came in and hit a solid grounder up the middle that Alex Cora played brilliantly on a diving stop and a flip to 2nd to end the inning.
Miguel Batista came in to save the game, because the perfect save man Matt Capps needed a day off desperately. In the last 5 days, Capps has thrown 4 innings. He's been working hard. Back to Batista, he got a ground out to start the inning, then Angel Pagan (who?) hit a home run to deep center. Batista struck Castillo out looking and then gave up a single up the middle to Alex Cora, who was replacing the ejected Jose Reyes. Then he had to face Jason Bay who struck out swinging for Batista's 40th save on his career and first as a Nat.