Courtesy of a 5 run, 4 hit, 1 walk, 0.1 IP performance by stand-in Phillies closer Tom Gordon, the Washington Nationals find themselves on pace to go 162-0, while Philadelphia is on pace…to force Brad Lidge to pitch ASAP, regardless of his physical condition. Lastings Milledge (above) hit his first HR in a Nats uniform, said blow coming off Ryan Madison after having been plunked earlier in the game by Brett Myers. The Philly starter also hit Paulie Go Nuts with a pitch — presumably, this is Myers’ way of saying he deplores Lo Duca and Da Edge’s attitudes towards women.

While DC fans can try to become accustomed to first place (and with Odalis Perez and Matt Chico as their no.1 and no.2 starters, who am I to say they can’t hang around in the race until mid-April?), Bugs & Cranks’ Jon Steiner returns to the scene of Sunday night’s crimes against broadcasting.

After tossing out the ceremonial first pitch to an angry chorus of boos, Bushie made his way upstairs to chat things over with Joe Morgan ” evidently, his long-time lover.  Whether Bush was a bit nervous about his upcoming trip to the Ukraine (unlikely, as Bush has not heard of the Ukraine), or just confused by all the bright lights, W. kept his comments to a minimum.  When asked about an inside joke that Bush and Morgan had shared years earlier concerning Morgan being the GM for the Rangers, Bush said only, œYeah¦I remember that.  Well.  Then he laughed in that schoolboy shit-eating I-can™t-believe-I™m-actually-the-president type laugh.  I can™t either, Mr. President.  This is the eloquence for which we™ve been waiting all these years!

When he was posed with a question about the Mitchell report, Bush again attempted to mystify his listeners: œI™m glad¦I™m happy with the recognition that it was a problem.  First of all, that is a shit-sucking sentence.  But it also reminds me of his response to the Iraq Study Group report: œInteresting stuff.  He didn™t read that either.

Perhaps the idiocy of the evening is best summed up by the orators™ closing remarks to one another:

Morgan: Have a good time in the Ukraine, Mr. President.

Bush: You betcha, sir.  You too.

George, Joe is NOT going to the Ukraine tomorrow.  You are.  Please don™t screw this up.