Dateline: Crabtree Field
The Nationals took the field for a home game against the Blue Jays on a near perfect evening at the ball field.
Top of the first and Shane looked sharp. The leadoff man grounded out to Kahlil who made a nice play and tossed to Frankie at first for out one. Shane struck out the next two batters. Bottom of the first and Anthony, Kahlil, Jake walked and Frankie walked to score Anthony. Shane popped out to second for out one. Henry walked to score Kahlil. CJ walked to score Henry and Frankie alertly scored when the catcher overthrew the pitcher while pitching to DJ. After one it was 4-0 Nationals.
Top of the second and Shane struck out the first batter. The next batter drilled a solid double to center and scored on some errors. A single followed by a strikeout was next. With two outs the next batter walked and after that the next batter hit a high fly to right that Joseph G. appeared to have but lost the ball in the sun for long triple to score two runs. Shane settled down and struck out the next batter. Bottom of the second and after leadoff walks to Joseph T., Michael and Ben, the Blue Jays brought in a new pitcher who struck out the side. After two it was a 4-3 thriller.
Top of the third and Kahlil came on to pitch to the top of the order. Two quick doubles scored a run. The next batter singled to score another run. A fielders choice where Jake made a nice unassisted play at short resulted in the first out of the inning. Another double put another runner in scoring position. CJ made a nice play on a grounder at first for out two as the runner moved to third. The next batter walked and the next batter grounded back to the mound but an infield error resulted in the fourth run scoring. Bottom of the third and the Nats came right back. Kahlil beat out an infield hit. Jake hit a dribbler to the right of the mound and before second and he was on base as well. After a wild pitch to advance the runners, Shane came up with a big one out single to score Kahlil and Jake. Henry grounded out to first on a ball that was ruled fair by just an inch. The next batter struck out, but after three the Nats were only down 7-6.
Frankie came on in the fourth and gave up a walk. A wild pitch brought up the leadoff man with runners on third and second and no outs. The next batter grounded to Frankies right. Frankie quickly got the ball and fired to Henry at first for out one. Henry alertly fired home as the Blue Jays runner was racing down the line. Jake caught it and deftly applied the tag for out two. The runner advanced to third. On the next pitch, the runner scored when there was a bad throw back to the mound. Frankie walked two batters, but settled down to strike out the cleanup hitter. Bottom of the fourth and DJ picked up his second single on the day. The next three batters struck out. After four it was Blue Jays 8 Nationals 6.
Top of the fifth and the Nationals brought in Jake to be the closer. He got the first batter to hit a soft liner to Joseph T. who made a huge catch at second for out one. The next ten pitches resulted in two strikeouts. Bottom of the fifth and the Nationals needed just two runs to tie. The game time limit was approaching so it appeared this would be the last inning. The Blue Jays put in a new pitcher. Joseph G. who just returned from the disabled list grounded back to the mound. Anthony reached on an error by the second baseman and quickly moved to second and third on wild pitches. Kahlil walked and Jake was hit on the elbow by a fastball. Frankie smashed a single to score Anthony and Kahlil and move Jake to second. Shane walked to load the bases. With only one out, Henry drew a walk to score Jake and end the game. Final Score: Nationals 9 Blue Jays 8.
Coach Grossman spoke briefly after the game, “This team continues to come together. Our defense was the key to this game. Joe’s catch in the field at second was huge, The double play from Frankie to Henry to Jake completely changed the fourth inning. All of out pitchers only gave up four walks as opposed to us being walked ten times. We got seven hits, so our offense is improving but we still more players working on confidence and putting the ball in play. Our pitching was solid — anytime you only give up four walks, good things are usually going to happen. ”