Sunday, July 03, 2005

Lean On Me

Nats 5, Cubs 4 (12 inn.)



All year long, Chad Cordero had been picking up the Nats. He had blown only 2 saves all year, and in only two of those situations the Nats actually lost. Today, "Chief" blew another save. And like he had been doing for the rest of the team, today, the team picked up the "Chief".

Leading 2-0 in the ninth, Chief got two quick outs on deep fly balls to Wilkerson. Burnitz blooped a single, and Aramis Ramirez drilled an inside pitch into the left field bleachers. Tie game.

The Nats went quietly in the 10th, but in the bottom of the inning, Brian Schneider came up absolutely huge, gunning down Corey Patterson stealing second for his second caught stealing of the game. In both instances, only a perfect throw could nab the runner, and Schneides stepped it up again. Humongous plays by the rock solid catcher.

In the top of the 11th, Wilkerson doubled in two runs, adding a couple RBIs to two spectacular catches in the outfield.

But Carrasco also blew the save, allowing two runs in the bottom of the inning. By this point, the Wrigley faithful had predictibly worked themselves into a frenzy. Only some clutch pitching by Joey "Suck On It" Eischen got the Nats out of the inning with only a tie 4-4 score.

But with two outs in the top of the 12th, Schneides drilled a pitch into the stands to put the Nats ahead to stay. Eischen got the Cubs in order to cement the win.

This was a tremendous game, rivaling the pine tar game in Anaheim for excitement. I'm running out of clich├ęs to describe this team. But that's exactly what they are, a team. No one guy carries the club. Chad Cordero has been tremendous, but he doesn't have to be. Today he wasn't, and Brian Schneider and Brad Wilkerson stepped up. An ability to scratch out wins is what makes me so confident about the Nats, and it's what makes them so fun to watch.

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