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David Brown

The Juice: Nats' Zimmerman swings like '88 Gibson, beats Phillies

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in Philly, where the phaithful were starting to wonder when the Phillies were going to play "real teams." Oh, yeah, smart guy? Well, let Ryan Zimmerman(notes) show you how real the Washington Nationals are, baby!

Game of the Day: Nationals 7, Phillies 5

You can't blame Phillies players, either, for wondering when somebody was going to give the two-timing NL champeens a fight — especially a night after they piled up 400 rushing yards in a 14-7 victory the day before. Is NO ONE man enough to challenge the mighty Philadelphia juggernaut?

Though hobbled by a hamstring injury, Zimmerman went to Wallgreens for some ointment, got treatment and raised his hand to challenge the NL champs. Though a bit late on a 96-mph heater, Invader Zim went oppo for a two-run deep against Danys Baez(notes) to give the Nats the lead in the eighth. The blast invited half-joking (mostly joking?) comparisons with Kirk Gibson's limpy homer in the '88 World Series. You might have even seen one in the headline for this post!

"I think I got around the bases a little better than he did," Zimmerman joked when asked if he felt like Gibson. "I can run around a little bit."

Thar she goes! (Listen for Rob Dibble's sexy grunting)

Handed a 4-2 lead in the eighth, Philly reliever Danys Baez was much too merciful. Though the Phillies still are rolling along at 7-2, the back of their bullpen continues to ask more questions than it answers. The Nats improved — are you ready? — to 4-5. Hey, that's not gonna get you the No. 1 pick in the draft again for Darren Baker, or whomever is the hot stuff of the moment.

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They Also Played

Braves 6, Padres 2: They combined Jackie Robinson Day with the colorful fashion of '80s retro uniforms. No chocolate brown tops for the Friars, though — which is OK, because they didn't usually wear those at home.

WDJHD?: Jason Heyward(notes) hit a pair of doubles, drove in two, scored a run and drew a walk. Batting .303.

Indians 3, Rangers 2: Manny Acta makes it sound like Shin-Soo Choo(notes) is running for mayor of Cleveland: "I think this town needs to rally behind this kid," Acta says. (Got my vote, though I don't live in Cleveland. I live in Cincinnati Chicago.)

Astros 5, Cardinals 1: Bud Norris(notes) fact: He eats eight-game losing streaks to start the season for breakfast.

Athletics 6, Orioles 2: You can put Ben Sheets(notes) on the board, yes. ... To the O's discredit, it's like they haven't won yet. Dave Trembley needs to turn it around this week, or it's time bring back Earl Weaver.

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Yankees 6, Angels 2: Hey, they've multiplied Mariano Rivera(notes)! Robinson Cano(notes), who reportedly was named for Jackie Robinson, comes through big-time on Jackie's day.

Dodgers 6, D-backs 5 (10 inn.): Don Newcombe throws out the first pitch — awesome — and Stephen Drew(notes) throws out the big error to help the Dodgers win. Just like Jackie Robinson would have liked.

So, the combined elapsed time of the three-game series was 12 hours, 21 minutes. Many Dodgers fans, noted for arriving late and leaving early to get home to watch "Hoarders," were only actually in Dodger Stadium for about an hour.

Mets 5, Rockies 0: No bats against Pelfrey. ... Every time the Mets win, I hope Jerry Manuel's job is a little safer. Really, he's probably just one day closer to moving out.

Twins 8, Red Sox 0: Here comes Francisco Liriano(notes) and there go your AL Central champions. ... Hey, the Red Sox know Theo specifically said no errors this year, right?

Brewers 8, Cubs 6: Save: Trevor Hoffman(notes). ... I saw a handful of young n'er-do-wells walking around Wrigleyville with brooms before this game, anticipating something that did not happen. OK, then, put that thing to use by cleaning up the neighborhood you trash every time the Cubs play. No, I'm not bitter at all about the drunken guys who used to pee on my building when I lived behind the center field bleachers.

Blue Jays 7, White Sox 3: Another good start for Dana Eveland(notes), who might have more women's names in his name than any other major leaguer. "Dana" and "Eve." Almost "Evelyn." Yes, Dana can be used for a male. And the Angel character from "Rockford" was actually named "Evelyn." Where was I going with this? Oh, Jays win.

Marlins 10, Reds 2: Prediction: Jorge Cantu(notes) will get at least one hit and drive in one run in every game he plays for the rest of his life. No — longer.

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