Nats Win Game For Pirates Reliever

Reliever is most successful when he doesn't actually pitch

This is how crazy the Nats' season has been.  Yesterday, Joel "Gas Can" Hanrahan won his first game of the season for the Nats --  even though he was traded to Pittsburgh a week ago. 

For the first time, the ol' Iowan came through, and he didn't even have to put on an uniform -- on Thursday, at least.

Yesterday's mini-game was the continuation of a May 5 game against the Astros that was suspended in Washington when the interminable rains came.  That game was a back-and-forth battle where both teams took turns blowing leads over and over and over again.

When the bottom of the 11th rolled around, Elijah Dukes reached first when the skies completely opened up.  The umpires called for the tarp, and later called play.  With that being the Astros only appearance of the season in Washington, they made the decision to pick the game up where it left off in Houston.

So there were the two teams: Washington as the home team playing ion Texas in their road grays; Houston playing in their park, wearing home unis, and acting as the road team.  Confusing, huh?

When play was stopped before, Hanrahan was in the game, having pitched a scoreless top of the 11th.  (That might've been one of three scoreless outings Hanny pitched all year -- at least it seemed that way.)

With Dukes in the minors, Nyjer Morgan trotted out to first, and the game picked up, and the seven minutes of fury began.

Josh Willingham singled, moving runners to first and second.  And Josh Bard hit into what should've been an inning-ending double play.  Bard is playing on a bad groin, causing the already slow catcher to run like Bobby Cox.  Despite that, Miguel Tejada rushed his throw, zipping it past the first baseman, allowing Morgan to trot all the way home from second.  Game Over!

So in one of those oddities that makes baseball wonderfully strange, Joel Hanrahan got a win for a team he no longer plays for and the winning run, which gave him that win, was scored by the player he was traded for.

Hanny had received a few messages from Nats before the game, wishing him luck, says MLB.  And perhaps the lesson to take from the game is that Hanrahan's most successful outings are the ones Nats fans don't actually have to watch him pitch in.

Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment.  At least he enjoyed .055 games yesterday.

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