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Monday, April 21, 2008

Beating a Dead Horse

Cristian Guzman thrown out at home from right field in the first inning with two outs. Felipe Lopez thrown out at home from shortstop in the fifth inning with one out. Aaron Boone thrown out at second trying to advance on a throwing error by Chipper Jones in the seventh with two outs. And in each circumstance, there were additional runners on base at the time.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is called over-compensating. In each instance, had the base runner (or coach) played it safe there would have been two on base, giving the Nats another chance to score. But when you're bad, and this team is going bad right now, these are the things that happen. You start to press. Try to do more than you can. You want to hit the five-run home run.

This is how the Nationals lost for the 15th time this season, falling to the Braves 7-3.

The game tonight in Atlanta showed some promise. The Nats pounded out 13 hits. Guzman was 3-for-5. Kearns was 2-for-3 and a walk. Zimmerman was 2-for-5,including finally pulling a ball for a hit. Johnny Estrada was even 2-for-4. Aaron Boone, Rob Mackowiak and Willie Harris all had pinch hits.

But the Nats left alot of runners out on the basepaths. And had three runners thown out trying to force things. It's the only way you turn 13 hits into three runs.

Matt Chico (0-4) got hammered again. He threw four innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits and three walks, including walking the pitcher with the bases loaded. Joel Hanrahan gave up one earned on four hits in two innings with three strikeouts. Jesus Colome threw a shutout inning striking out the side and Chad Cordero threw a scoreless inning, hitting 86 MPH on the radar gun with some movement.

The Nats go back at it Tuesday night, with John Lannan facing John Smoltz.

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