After a two hour rain delay, and entering the 8th inning down one, Elijah Dukes gunned the last out at the plate to enter the 9th. Entering the 9th, Nick Johnson belted a double (albiet into the lights), followed by a Dukes single. After a Flores fly out and Gonzalez walk, Nieves worked the count full and stuck out (on an eye-ball high pitch). Then, Lastings Milledge lined a ball up the middle, glancing off the pitchers glove scoring Johnson. Just like that, the Nats put together their first game saving rally of 2009.
Unfortunately, by the time the game had gone to extra innings the Nationals bullpen was spent. Having to go to it early after a two-hour rain delay, come the bottom of the ninth only Beimel and Hanrahan were left. Beimel, throwing for a second straight inning the second time in two years, gave up a single to the young prospect Jordan Schafer and then a game ending single to infielder Kelly Johnson.
Before the Rain:
Shairon Martis pitched well, considering the elements. Facing a fairly steady downpour, Martis was in command of his pitches, with impressive stuff. Barring one 2-0 fast ball to Yunel Escobar in the third that resulted in a 3 run homer, Martis showed solid promise. It would have been very nice to see him continue.
The Nationals continue to inch closer to their first victory, but it’s still just out of reach. After a thrilling extra innings game, the Nationals simply blew too many opportunities to come out on top.
The Nats stranded the bases loaded 4 times. 32 total left on base.