April 16, 2006
After losing six games in a row, Washington won back-to-back games for the first time this season. Today's hero was Ryan Church, who just got called back from the minor league New Orleans Zephyrs* as Brandon Watson was demoted. (How appropriate for Easter Sunday: Church!) He knocked two home runs today, including the go-ahead shot in the top of the ninth. It was a close-fought, back and forth game, and the Nats finally prevailed, 7-5. It was a beautiful day in Miami, but barely 10,000 folks showed up to watch. I suppose it's hard to maintain fan enthusiasm when the franchise is shopping around for a new home. The Saturday game (final score 2-1) was a classic pitchers' duel, as Jon Patterson struck out 13 batters, tying his personal best.
On the down side, Jose Guillen missed the entire series against the Marlins because of a strained rib muscle. In the fifth inning of Friday's game pitcher Ryan Drese had to leave because of a sore elbow, and today, the Nats' new shortstop Royce Clayton left the game after his left arm was hit by a pitch. With such a thin farm system, the Nationals are especially vulnerable to losses due to injuries.
* The Zephyrs are the only professional sports team from New Orleans that has played all their scheduled home games in their customary venue since Hurricane Katrina struck.
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