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Nats 6, Mets 5

Whew, that was close. The surgeon general does not recommend Mike MacDougal ninth innings. They're bad for your heart and blood pressure. This was a 6-2 game -- a cruise-to-the-finish-line Nats' victory -- until Mr. MacFastball ratcheted up the tension. Back-to-back walks. (Uh oh.) Two singles. (Oh boy.) A would-be double play that Carlos Beltran beat out at first. An Ian Desmond throwing error. (Are they actually gonna blow it!?)

They didn't, because MacDougal finished things off just in time. With two outs, the tying run on third, the winning run on second, Jeff Francoeur bashed a comebacker to the mound. It knocked MacDougal's glove off. But the closer recovered, picked up the ball and threw to first. Game over. Final score: Washington 6, Mets 5.

"I'm a little frustrated that I didn't make it easier than I did," MacDougal said, "but we came out with a win, and that's the ultimate goal."

Before the ninth inning craziness, there was plenty to like in this ballgame. Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Bard and Josh Willingham all homered. Willingham also contributed a terrific against-the-wall catch in the third ("I felt like I ran two miles for that ball," he said), and he helped the Nats escape in the bottom of the sixth by snagging a lineout and throwing a tagging Carlos Beltran out at the plate.

As a result of all the help, J.D. Martin picked up yet another win. Yes, his fifth of the season. On a team that's used 30 pitchers this year -- 19 with ERAs above 5.00 -- Martin (4.21 ERA) is one of four with a winning record. Martin's five wins are tied for second on the team. And with whom is Martin tied, you might be wondering? Shairon Martis, who picked up his fifth and final win on May 13.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 18, 2009; 10:54 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Get Your Catcher's Mitt, Pete Orr
Next: Josh Willingham's Left Field Power


Maybe Mac gets a cut of The local rosary bead sales? Just sayin'

Posted by: TimDz | September 18, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

" Jeff Francoeur bashed a comebacker to the mound. It knocked MacDougal's glove off. But the closer recovered, picked up the ball and threw to first. Game over. Final score: Washington 6, Mets 5."

The word "threw" is debatable here....

Posted by: TimDz | September 18, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

On another note, did those giveaway batting helmets look goofy, or what? The kids looked fine but the adults...ummm...

Note to self: Should the Nats ever have a batting helmet giveaway, do not, under any circumstances, don one for public consumption.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 18, 2009 10:47 PM

Kinda reminds me of the short bus kids...

Posted by: TimDz | September 18, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Happy New Year!! And check for a blue moon, because the Nats won a baseball game.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | September 18, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse


After the previous post do you still hate Pete Orr. He brings a lot with his attitude and versatility. I keep telling you don't pay attention to AAA stats. He has a fairly long history in MLB to look at. AA is the last league of importance in the minors. AAA is only a holding pen.

Posted by: WashOut | September 19, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Pete Orr is a mudder. He just plays the game hard. Not the most talented guy, but a versatile one. He has a Jamie Carrol type attitude and hustle mentality. Every team can use a couple like that.

Posted by: cokedispatch | September 19, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Having spent my days in wilderness with no Washington baseball as a Mets fan, I can tell you that my broken toe and several broken pieces of furniture are the whole responsibility of a closer who was much like MacDougal: John Franco. Truth be told, a lot of closer are like that.

Posted by: nats24 | September 19, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Orr catching, that's fine. Good luck to him, but the Nats have a player who got to majors as a catcher: Willingham. Is he is too afraid to get behind the plate in an emergency? I wouldn't think so.

Posted by: nats24 | September 19, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

There can only be ONE '09 bullpen member to make it onto the '10 Nats bullpen roster and that's Sean Burnett. All of the rest, repeat: ALL of the restonly get one-way bus fare out of town.
NO lead is ever safe! Literally, what a bunch of losers!!!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | September 19, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Coach: I thought we won that won, did I miss something?

We've gotten a chance to see the real Ian Desmond on display now. Takes and easy 8-2 win against the Phils and sets up a heart-pounder by making an error with 1 out and nobody on in the ninth which opens the doors to a grand slam and a one-run win. Makes an error last night that made the ending much harder than it needed to be. He's going to be very hard to take with all of those errors. He has a long history of doing that in the minors.

Posted by: Section314 | September 19, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Good for Orr (and I loved Jamey). With Willingham's history of back issues, I wouldn't think it would be wise to put him behind the dish these days.

Speaking of gamers, and of catchers, I was dubious about Bard early in the year. His defense wasn't great, and his bat was in the doldrums. However, I've really come to appreciate him for the effort he's given us despite being injured for much of the year (and it didn't hurt when his bat heated up, either ;-)). He also seems to work well with the young pitchers. I wouldn't be surprised to see him managing for someone one day.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 19, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Chico, what a great opening paragraph to this post. Laughing hard here...

Posted by: NatsNut | September 19, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

It *was* a funny opener.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 19, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Appropos of nothing...last night I listened to the WFAN/Mets feed and announcers Wayne Hagin and Ed Coleman were highly complimentary of the Nats' offense. Hagin says the consensus around the league is that the Nats have the offense in place but needs to shore up the defense and bring in some veteran pitchers - starters and relievers - to help balance the pitching staff. Coleman alluded to the Mets' "Generation K" starters in 1996 - Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen, and Paul Wilson - as to what a crapshoot it is for a team to too heavily rely on young, unproven pitchers. Both Hagin and Coleman had raves about Ian Desmond and his athleticism, even after the heave that may have cost the Nats last night's win.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 19, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Dibble was saying much the same thing last night. I turned to my husband and said, so, to summarize, "This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 19, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse


I have to admit that even though I have cable, I have NEVER listened to the MASN guys. I usually listen to Charlie and Dave with the sound down. And with the delay between radio and TV, I can look up and catch any interesting plays after the radio call. To me Charlie and Dave are the Nationals Treasures.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 19, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I love Charlie and Dave, leetee, and before we got cable and the radio signal became so crappy in my region, they were my go-to team. Now I can barely pick them up in the daytime, let alone at night. My computer resides a couple of floors above my tv, so picking them up that way is a non-starter. That said, I've come to Dibbs and Carpenter as a team. They work well together, IMO, and I like the insights that and Dibble adds into the mix. Also, he makes me laugh out loud at least once per series. (Example: last night's musings about the natural life of Screech and whether, as an eagle, he would be inclined to eat a gecko.)

BTW, new post up, with charts and everything.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 19, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The missing link = "appreciate"

That said, I've come to Dibbs and Carpenter as a team.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 19, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse


Willingham has a herniated disk. That is why the Marlins put him in the outfield several years ago. He could probably hang in there at 1B in a pinch but CA wouldn't be an option. If you have ever experienced the pain of a bad disk you'll know that bending is not an option.

Posted by: WashOut | September 19, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

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