Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Never say die.

"I'm not looking at myself as a spoiler. I just want to win. I want to win as many games as possible, so my team could keep showing progress. I'll tell you what I'm playing for: I don't want to finish last. ... Regardless, if it's the Mets or the Phillies, I just don't want to finish last." Those are the words of Manny Acta after Tuesday night’s victory over the Mets. He made it clear. It’s not about beating them. We’re winning for us. We’re not going to roll over just because they have a shot at the pennant and we don’t.

The boys showed this same spirit during the game, as they battled their way back to a win from a four run deficit for the second night in a row. They just refused to give up. They scored in nearly every inning, slowly hacking away at the Mets’ lead. Home runs by Austin Kearns, D’Angelo Jimenez, and (the big one!) a three-run homer by Ronnie Belliard. Near home runs by Justin Maxwell and Nook Logan (it would have been his first of the year). And Robert “Oh no not” Fick bunting for a base hit! How does that even happen?

My boy Ryan Z. was pretty much the only batter not to take part in the fifth inning rally, striking out on a horrible call by the home plate umpire. “It was out! Out! Out!” Zimm yelled all the way back to the dugout. I was afraid the ump was going to show him out, but thankfully not.

Jesus Colome pitched a one-two-three sixth inning and picked up the win. After Jimenez's home run in the sixth, the score remained at nine-seven in favor of the Nats until the ninth inning, when Chad Cordero once again sent hearts racing all over the District by getting two outs, then giving up three hits and allowing one run to score. But he finished the game beautifully with a swinging strikeout by pinch hitter Rueben Gotay. Gotay slammed his bat into the plate in frustration as the Chief and Schneids celebrated win number 68 for the Washington Nationals.

This game was another rocky outing by our starting pitching, another game pulled back into reach by our offense, another game won by our bullpen, another game taken by our boys who just refuse to give up. With eleven games left, the Nats need just four more wins to reach our magic number of 72 wins. The final game against the Mets here at home is tonight and, as much as the Ryan Girls love RFK Stadium, even we admit it’s an old, dirty place. What do you say we give it a good sweeping before we go?

- The Ryan Girls


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