The Nats' Kenny Powers

Suitcase, age 39, packs Nats win in Mannywood

By Kyle Weidie
|  Friday, May 8, 2009  |  Updated 10:31 AM EDT
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The Nats' Kenny Powers

Getty: Craig Melvin

Ron Villone has spit out more than you've ever chewed. His westbound and down journey saved the Nats last night, so you better pay respect to your elders.

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Some may attribute the Dodgers blowing last night's game to the shocking news that Man-Boobs Ramirez will be taking a 50-game hiatus from Dodger Town. But baseball purists will point to a 39-year-old rolling stone, whose cross-country journey from Syracuse to Los Angeles landed him in the Pacific time zone at 6:15 p.m., as a key reason why the boys of Nats Town prevailed over L.A., 11-9.

Ron Villone, known as "Suitcase"  -- the Nationals being his 12th major league team -- has a woven tale worthy of a Kevin Costner movie, including time spent as a bouncer in New Jersey, at least according to Rob Dibble.

Villone, who fought L.A. traffic to arrive mid-game, was handed the ball down 6-4 in the bottom of the 7th after the Nats battled back, scoring three runs in the top of the inning, hoping to redeem the six runs given up to the Dodgers in the 1st.

The MLB nomad gave up a hit to the first batter he faced, Juan Pierre, but quickly used his veteran savvy to pick him off. Getting the next two batters to fly out, Villone moved the game on just like his career. The guy has never spent more than two years with one team.

But Villone wasn't the only Nat to experience a renaissance. Seventies babies, Cristian Guzman, Nick Johnson, Josh Willingham, and Adam Dunn combined for half of the Nats' 18 hits and accounted for eight of the team's 11 RBIs.

In a night of milestones, Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 25 games and the Nats got their first win in L.A. in three years while ending the Dodgers' record-setting 13 straight home wins to begin a season.  It's almost fitting that as Manny goes away for steroids, Villone, who appeared in the Mitchell Report, steps in to get a win after traveling across four time zones.

Villone, who's racked up more frequent flier miles than gray hairs, even carries a striking resemblance to Kenny Powers. And if the success of HBO's Eastbound and Down is any indication, the Nats might have a nice boost to their adjusted veteran bullpen.

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