Today's Top 5:
5. Mirror Image Firsts: The Cincinnati Reds get a leadoff line drive double into the left field corner from Orlando Cabrera, a sac bunt from Miguel Cairo and an RBI line drive to right by Brandon Phillips for an early 1-0 lead...The Nats comes up in the first. The Washington Nationals get a leadoff line drive double into the right field corner from Cristian Guzman, a sac bunt from Nyjer Morgan and a soft line drive to right from Ryan Zimmerman, 1-1 game after one.
4. Bernie And Desi: Roger Bernadina, 2 for 3, 2 walks, 1 run scored, takes the first of his two walks in the fourth from Reds' right-hander Bronson Arroyo. Ian Desmond launches a sinking fastball to left and off the Laynce Nix and the wall, RBI double for Desmond, 2-1 Nats in the fourth. The Reds score three in the ninth to take a 4-2 lead. Josh Willingham takes a leadoff walk from Reds' closer Francisco Cordero. Ian Desmond hits a one-out single to left. Hammer and Desi steal third and second as Alberto Gonzalez K's and both runners score on Mike Morse's pinch hit RBI double, 4-4 after nine...Nats down 5-4 in the bottom of the 10th. Nick Masset gives up a two-out single to Josh Willingham. Bernadina works an 8-pitch walk. Ian Desmond...not this time. Groundout to end the game.
3. Bad Stammen, Replaced After The First By Good Stammen: Craig Stammen gives up a leadoff double to Orlando Cabrera and a one-out RBI single to Joey Votto to put the Reds up 1-0 after a half...5.2 scoreless innings later, Stammen's lifted with two down, a runner on second and Cabrera due back up. Stammen goes 6.2 IP, allows 7 hits, 1 ER, 0 walks, having thrown just 66 pitches, 46 for strikes...Asked after the game why he decided to lift Stammen there, DC Skipper Jim Riggleman says:
Jim Riggleman: "It's certainly not a pitch count issue, it's just I felt that [Orlando] Cabrera had centered the ball a couple of times on Craig [Stammen] and I just didn't want him to get another look at Craig, and knew that I had a very fresh bullpen today with [Drew] Storen, [Tyler] Clippard and [Matt] Capps and [Doug] Slaten...we had them all ready, so I thought Craig had done a great job, I was gonna go to Storen for the seventh inning, so Storen got the out he needed and then Clippard after that..."
2. Stammen Sent To Syracuse, Stephen Strasburg Coming Tuesday: After Stammen's start the Nationals announced that the 26-year-old right-hander had been sent to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for the call-up of '09 no.1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg, who will make his MLB debut on Tuesday in front of a packed Nationals Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates...Here's what Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman had to say about the decision:
Jim Riggleman: "I'm excited about competing and watching our guys compete and try to win a ballgame. We're going to get a nice addition, but we're going to lose a real quality guy in Craig Stammen. Craig has really battled, and somebody's got to go, and it's Craig, but I feel terrible about that too. Everybody's excited about a nice addition, but one of the guys who's been leaving it all out there for us is the one that takes the hit on this, and we know he'll be back, but right now I'm more feeling pain for Craig than happiness that we're going to make an addition."
1. Clippard!! Then CAPPS!!!!!: Nats' right-hander , Tyler Clippard, enters the game in the eighth and gives up a two-out double, but retires the side in order to set up the Nationals' ninth-inning man, Matt Capps, with a chance at his 19th save of the season...but first, Clippard's brought back out to face left-hander Laynce Nix in the top of the ninth, since Clippard's sick against left-handed hitters (.200 BBA/.266 OBP/.273 SLG), and Clippard gets his man, striking Nix out on a 93 mph 1-2 fastball upstairs. One down. Now it's Capps, and he gives up a one-out double to Drew Stubbs, that Roger Bernadina misjudges and misses (tough play though) and a run-scoring double to Jonny Gomes that ties it at 2-2. Then things go all Houston again. Capps appears to get Scott Rolen on a check-swing strike three, but the appeal to the first base ump is denied. See for yourself (courtesy of @dcsportsbog's Dan Steinberg). Since Capps got the K with a slider, he throws another one that's launched to left, two-run HR to tie it at 4-4...BS # 4. 3 of the last 4 opportunites blown...
FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - Orlando Cabrera tears into a 1-1 fastball from Nats' right-hander Craig Stammen and rips a low liner by Ryan Zimmerman at third for a leadoff double. Miguel Cairo's sac bunt moves Cabrera to third, and he scores when Joey Votto lines to right for a one-out single. 1-0 Reds. Brandon Phillips flies out to Nyjer Morgan in center, who shades his eyes and makes the catch. Jay Bruce grounds to Cristian Guzman at second for the final out of the Reds' first...Cristian Guzman rips a line drive double into the right field corner for a leadoff double. Nyjer Morgan's sac bunt moves Guzman to third, and Ryan Zimmerman's soft liner to right falls in for an RBI single. 1-1 game. Adam Dunn K's swinging. Josh Willingham lines out to Phillips at second, 1-1 after one.
2 - Laynce Nix singles to start the Reds' second. Drew Stubbs flies out to the corner in right, Roger Bernadina gets there. Corky Miller flies out to Nyjer Morgan in center. Bronson Arroyo singles through short with two down. Orlando Cabrera lines one right into Desmond's glove at short, 1-1 after one and a half...Roger Bernadina singles through second to start the home half of the frame. Ian Desmond K's chasing a sharp 1-2 breaking ball off the plate. Wil Nieves flies out to center. Craig Stammen grounds into a force at second, 1-1 after two.
3 - Craig Stammen gets a groundout to second from Miguel Cairo. More of the same for Joey Votto. Brandon Phillips flies to right to end the Reds' third...The Guzzzz flies out to Drew Stubbs in center. One down. Nyjer Morgan flies out to Drew Stubbs in center. Ryan Zimmerman flies to right to change things up a bit.
4 - Jay Bruce grounds weakly to second to start the fourth. Laynce Nix is 2 for 2 after a single to center. Drew Stubbs grounds to third, Zim gets the force at second, but Guzman's throw to first is late. Corky Miller K's swinging at an 0-2 slider outside from Stammen, 1-1 in the fourth...Adam Dunn K's swinging ugly. Josh Willingham rips a fly ball to center that Drew Stubbs has to hustle to catch up to. Roger Bernadina walks with two down, and scores when Ian Desmond doubles off the left fielder Laynce Nix and the wall, 2-1 Nats. Wil Nieves pops out to third to end the fourth, 2-1 Nats.
5 - Bronson Arroyo singles to center to start the Reds' fifth. Orlando Cabrera grounds weakly to second, Guzman's toss to the bag is weaker, and the Nats get the force but not the DP. Cristian Guzman dives to his left to rob Miguel Cairo of a single, and he's back on the grass to make the play on Joey Votto's groundout...Craig Stammen grounds to short, one down. Cristian Guzman slices a fly to left, and Laynce Nix lays out to make diving catch. Nyjer Morgan grounds weakly to short, 2-1 Nats after five.
6 - Brandon Phillips pops out toward left, Josh Willingham makes the catch. Craig Stammen gets a weak groundout to second from Jay Bruce. Laynce Nix flies to center, Nyjer Morgan gets there, no problem...Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to Orlando Cabrera at short. Adam Dunn K's looking this time. Josh Willingham pops to second, and a quick sixth is in the books, still 2-1 Nats.
7 - Nats' right-hander Craig Stammen gives up a leadoff single to Drew Stubbs. Reds' catcher Corky Miller pops out, one down. Bronson Arroyo gets a sac bunt down, two outs. Stammen's done. Drew Storen vs Orlando Cabrera. Storen pops Cabrera up with a 1-0 fastball, still 2-1 Nats...Nats' right fielder Roger Bernadina shoots a leadoff single to center to start the Nats' seventh. Ian Desmond flies out to center, one down. Wil Nieves flies to deep center, and Bernadina takes the opportunity to advance. Willie Harris hits for Drew Storen, or more accurately K's swinging through a full-count slider. 2-1 Nats after seven.
8 - Tyler Clippard's on in relief. Miguel Cairo flies out to Nyjer Morgan in center, one down! Clippard gets Joey Votto swinging on three pitches. Two down. Brandon Phillips works an 8-pitch AB and singles to center with two down. Jay Bruce works the count full and pops up to left to end the Reds' eighth...Cristian Guzman flies out to center, one down. Nyjer Morgan's up, down 0-2 quickly then grounds sharply by Miguel Cairo at third for a one-out double. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to third, Morgan takes third on Cairo's throw to first. Adam Dunn flies out to right to end the eighth.
9 - Tyler Clippard takes the mound in the ninth instead of Capps. Laynce Nix K's swinging at a two-strike fastball up high!! One down. Here comes Matt Capps vs Drew Stubbs. Stubbs flies to right and Bernadina can't get there, double off the wall. Pinch hitter Jonny Gomes grounds over third and into left, Stubbs scores, tied at 2-2. Scott Rolen up next in another PH appearance. Rolen gets a friendly call on a check swing that should be a strike and he of course hits the next pitch out to left, 4-2 Reds. Orlando Cabrera flies out to right. Two down. Miguel Cairo K's swinging to end the top of the ninth...Francisco Cordero walks Josh Willingham to start the Nats’ ninth. Roger Bernadina takes strike three on a low fastball inside. Ian Desmond drives a one-out single through short, first and second. Alberto "Where Have I Been" Gonzalez hits for Wil Nieves. Alberto Gonzalez throws his bat at an 0-2 pitch outside since Hammer and Desmond are running, they’re safe, Gonzalez out "swinging". Pinch hitter Mike Morse doubles to right, in the gap, off the wall, two runs score, tied at 4-4!!! Cristian Guzman gets the i ntentionals to bring up Nyjer Morgan. Morgan K’s swinging.
10- Doug Slaten takes over for the Nats against Joey Votto. Votto K’s swinging at junk. Brandon Phillips grounds out to short, two down for Slaten. Jay Bruce and Laynce Nix hit back-to-back singles to left. Miguel Batista replaces Slaten with Drew Stubbs up. Single to right, Bruce scores, 5-4 Reds. Two-out walk to Ramon Hernandez. Bases loaded. Miguel Batista’s struggling, full count to Scott Rolen. Rolen flies out to left to end the Reds’ tenth, 5-4 Cincinnati...Nick Masset vs Ryan Zimmerman. Groundout to short, one down. Kennedy flies out to right. Josh Willingham lines a single to center to keep hope alive. Roger Beradina is up 3-0, takes strike one, fouls three off and works a walk!!! Ian Desmond grounds out to second to end the game, 5-4 Reds.