(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
"I think we're just feeling that this is what we could have been doing all along."
— Jim Riggleman, July 28, 2009.THE RESULT
: Home runs from Nyjer Morgan, Adam Dunn, and Cristian Guzman led the Washington Nationals
to a 8-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night, before 36,502 at Miller Park.
Dunn's blast, estimated at 445 feet, was the first ball in Miller Park history to leave the stadium, escaping through a window on the concourse above right center field, flying high above an advertisement for a pickup truck.
"That ball was crushed. Once he hit it everyone was screaming in the dugout, I look up and it's going over the truck," Nats starting pitcher Collin Balester said. "That's one of the farthest balls I've seen."
Balester (W, 1-1, 4.00) did his part as well. He went six innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits. He walked no one and struck out three. He allowed a solo home run to all-star Ryan Braun.
Jason Bergmann and Logan Kensing both pitched a scoreless inning in relief, and Ron Villone gave up a single run in the bottom of the ninth but held on.
Morgan led the game off with his third home run of the season, prompting the quote in the headline. He's hitting .389 in 22 games in July. He finished with two hits, three RBI, a run and an steal, his 31st of the season.
Guzman's shot—his fifth of the season—sealed the deal in the top of the eighth inning.
Washington has won six of its last eight, and are 6-7 under "interim" manager Jim Riggleman since he took over for Manny Acta after the All-Star break.
THE TAKEAWAY: The Nats are getting it done at the plate here lately, looking much like the offense in April and early May. The team rapped 12 hits and drew eight walks against Milwaukee pitching.
The Brewers have given up 12 homers in the last five games, and eight runs or more in six of the last eight.
THE GOOD: The Offense. Morgan, Guzman and Willingham all had multiple hit games. Dunn had his titanic blast. Even Wil Nieves had an RBI.
THE BAD: Alberto Gonzalez. 0-for-5. Was the only starter, including the pitcher, that did not register a hit.
THE UGLY: Milwaukee's playoff hopes. They entered this series at .500, within hailing distance of the wild card in the National League. Losing two straight to the Nats will make you re-organize your priorities pretty quickly.
The Brewers are 2-7 in their last nine games.
NEXT GAME: Tonight for the series finale. Garrett Mock (0-4, 7.06) takes on Manny Parra (4-8, 6.42) at 8:05 PM EDT.