Good, Bad & Ugly: Nats Pound 'Stros 9-4

Dave Nichols@@DaveNicholsDSPSenior Analyst IMay 5, 2009

WASHINGTON - APRIL 12:  John Lannan #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Atlanta Braves April 12, 2008 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON'S OPENING DAY STARTER WINS FIRST OF THE SEASON
THE RESULT: Ryan Zimmerman went four-for-four and Elijah Dukes had three RBIs as the Washington Nationals took control of the game in the middle innings and shut down the Houston Astros 9-4 before 14,115 soggy fans at Nationals Park.

John Lannan went six innings, giving up all four runsjust three earnedon nine hits and two walks. He did not strike out a batter. Lannan definitely was not sharp, but he fought hard to limit Houston when they looked like they would blow the Nats out.

Lannan left after retiring the Astros in the sixth, trailing 4-2. But the Nats would come to bat for their de facto "ace." Washington pushed five across in the bottom of the sixth on three singles, four walks, and one hit by pitch.

Ryan Zimmerman's second career four-hit night stretched his Nationals record hitting streak to 22 games, the longest in the major leagues this season.

Washington had five players with multiple hits in the game.

Joel Hanrahan and Garrett Mock combined for three scoreless innings in relief.

THE TAKEAWAY: In addition to the nine runs, DC also left 14 men on base. Fifteen hits and eight walks is really getting it done on offense. It's encouraging that the Nats put nine up on the board without the benefit of a home run.

Nice to see them finally score some run for Lannan, picking up his first win of the season.

THE GOOD: Ryan Zimmerman. 4-for-4, two doubles, three runs, two RBIs, and a walk.

THE BAD: Nick Johnson, 0-for-4 with another throwing error.

THE UGLY: Jesus Flores. He had a double in five trips to the plate, but he left eight runners on base tonight.

Honorable mention to Ronnie Belliard, making two outs in the sixth inning.

NEXT GAME: The Nats wrap up this abbreviated two-game set with the Astros tomorrow matinee at 12:35 p.m. Scott Olsen (0-3, 7.29) faces Roy Oswalt (0-2, 3.94).

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