Houston Astros

Good, Bad & Ugly: Nationals and Astros Finish Tied in 11th Inning

WASHINGTON - APRIL 13:  Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals bats against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on April 13, 2009 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Dave NicholsSenior Analyst IMay 6, 2009
NATIONALS' THIRD BASEMAN ZIMMERMAN EXTENDS MAJOR'S LONGEST HITTING STREAK TO 23 GAMES
THE RESULT: The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros finished Tuesday's game tied at 10 in the bottom of the 11th inning with one out, Elijah Dukes on first base and Josh Willingham hitting against LaTroy Hawkins.
Rain washed over Nationals Park in the 11th inning after neither team grasped ample opportunity to end the game in regulation.

The box score for this thing is a mess. Houston got up 5-2 in the top of the fifth, partly in thanks to no one covering second on a sacrifice bunt attempt and a bases loaded double by Miguel Tejada.

Then in the sixth, the Nats put up a six-spot on three different Houston pitchers on two hits, five walks, one hit-by-pitch, an error by Tejada and a wild pitch.

Not to be outdone, Julian Tavarez and Garrett Mock gave the tying runs right back in the seventh on a bunt single, a walk, a couple more singles and an error by Cristian Guzman.

Guzman got two back with a homer in the eighth, but Kip Wells gave up a double to Hunter Pence, who took third on a ground out and scored on a sac fly in the top of the ninth.

The game would remain tied at 10 until the suspension.

THE TAKEAWAY: Geez, where to begin. Both starters, Scott Olsen and Roy Oswalt, were ineffective, but at least competent. But the bullpens? Atrocious. The Nats pen gave up five earned in five innings on eight hits and three walks. Houston? Five and one-third innings, four earned on six hits and six walks. Pathetic.

THE GOOD: Cristian Guzman went 3-for-6 and with what should have been the game-winning home run.

THE BAD: Julian Tavarez. One-third of an inning, two hits, one walk, all three scored.

THE UGLY: Adam Dunn. 0-for-5, three Ks, five left on. Mama told me there would be days like these.

NEXT GAME: Tonight from Chavez Ravine. The first left coast road trip of the season for the Nats starts with Daniel Cabrera (0-2, 4.42) facing Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 7.29) for the Los Angeles Dodgers. As Vin Scully would say, "Sit back and pull up a chair, it's time for Dodger Baseball."

NOTES: Ryan Zimmerman continued his hot streak. He went 2-for-6, extending his consecutive games hit streak to 23 games.
The Nats activated Joe Beimel for the game and according to Manager Manny Acta will be given a shot to earn the full-time closer's role.  Reliever Saul Rivera was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to open a roster spot for Beimel.

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