Let's give three cheers and a round of huzzahs as the Nationals are "off the schnide" as Chris Berman liked to say. The former Expos won their first game of 2009 in their eighth try. The lineup was shaken up a bit, they got some good pitching and beat the world champion Phillies. Good for them!
The Nationals, who demoted Lastings Milledge on Wednesday, moved little known Anderson Hernandez to the leadoff spot (where Milledge had been flailing) and provided two hits in four at bats and also walked. Nick Johnson, who has looked finished about ten times in his career, but when he plays, he gets on base, was moved to the number two spot and did his best on base thing with three hits and a walk in five plate appearances. Zimmerman remained third and responded with two hits and a walk of his own and Donkey Dunn killed a pitch for a three run homer.
Elijah Dukes, now starting in center instead of Milledge added a homer and Alberto Gonzalez also homered for the Nationals. The team even got a pinch hit homer from Willingham, who has started the season in a terrible slump.
Shairon Martis had a quality start and a trio of relievers, Hinkley, Beimel and Hanrahan threw two and two thirds innings without giving up a base runner.
All in all, it was a fun game for the Nationals who threw a bunch of kids out there and they all did great and at least their winning percentage got off the dreaded .000.
One last note about the game: Why a contender didn't scoop up Adam Dunn is beyond the Fan. The guy is in the best shape of his life and looks fantastic. He sure could have helped somebody.