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Isn't this the Grapefruit League?

So Darnell McDonald (remember him, Orioles fans?) hit a three-run homer to bring the Nationals within 6-5 in the eighth. Still, all the Mets had to do was retire the side in the ninth and they'd be headed back down I-95 to Port St. Lucie. The result wouldn't matter either way.

But apparently, here in the Grapefruit Chess League, everyone now plays to win. There is, after all, a large crowd of 6,464 on hand here at HSCS.

Nats ninth: Bernie Castro slap single to short, and a throwing error sends him to second.

Restovich hit by a pitch from Clint Nageotte (Who?).

Bunt from Jose Macias advances the runners, needing a nice play from catcher Mike DeFelice to retire Macias at first. Runners at second and third with one out.

And here we go: Acta pinch hits left-handed hitting Ryan Church for Honest Abraham Nunez. A shrewd move. But then, the counter: Mets Manager Wilie Randolph goes to the mound and replaces Nageotte (Who?) with lefty Eddie "Macho" Camacho. A tic-tac-toe game.

And then: Acta pinch hit for the pinch hitter Church, sending up Ronnie Belliard to hit from the right side.

(I did not realize I would be covering the seventh game of the National League Championship Series on a sunny Saturday in March, but whatever.)

Belliard hit into a sloppy fielder's choice that should've been a double-play ball. But it scored Castro with the tieing run. That brought up McDonald, who hit a bouncing ball up the middle. But Mets shortstop Anderson Hernandez smothered teh ball and got an out at second.

So ... Bonus Grapefruit League Baseball. And as we know, BGLB is good. In Viera, even better.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 10, 2007; 3:54 PM ET
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Ryan Church -- platooned with Landestoy in the Grapefruit League!

Posted by: Sam | March 10, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Sooo... I was driving back from a completely fruitless trip to Philly and listening to my favorite broadcasters on Washington Post radio AM (because XM was carrying the Mets away broadcast - poo!). Anyway, between innings this commercial came on for a Nats show Monday night at 7 PM on WaPo radio with an interview with Shawn Hill, stadium update from Stan Kasten, and they'll say hello to their blogger friends... Eh? I'm assuming they were referring to you and SteinBog?

Posted by: misschatter | March 10, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

No idea who the blogger friends they're referring to are. They're all our friends, obviously, but I guess there's a chance that the good folks at WaPo Radio like some more than others.

And I think our TV show, Washington Post Live (or some such thing) debuts on Comcast SportsNet sometime next week. Or maybe it's the week after. SteinBog's going to be all over that baby.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 11, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

So... what happened in extra innings???

Posted by: SilverSpringNatsFan | March 11, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

SilverSpring -- Nook with the 10th inning game winner.

Of course!

Posted by: Sam | March 11, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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