It probably shouldn't come as a surprise to Washington Nationals' fans that the Nationals dropped the finale of the three game series at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's PNC Park, where the Pirates, led by the bat of switch-hitting catcher Ryan Doumit, who completed the midweek matchup batting .365 after going 2 for 3 with a HR and 3 RBI's, won their second of three in a see-sawing 7-5 Bucs' victory, after all, the Nationals haven't won a series since mid-May against the Mets, and on the year they've claimed a majority of victories in just 4 of 19 three game series, though they're 4-2 in three two-game sets, and 1-0 in their sole one night stand, on Opening Night against Atlanta.
Ryan Doumit ends the three game series in Pittsburgh having hit in 9 of 11 at bats with 5 runs scored, 4 HR's, and 7 RBI's against DC to pace the Pirates. Nate McLouth hit his 22nd double of the year off Nationals' starter Jason Bergmann, and collected his 46th RBI, good for 11th in the National League and 2nd on the Pirates, behind only Xavier Nady, who himself, was 0 for 4 today, but is still batting .312 on the season, with his team leading 48 runs batted in.
Bergmann (L, 1-4, 5.48 ERA) gave up 8 hits and 6 runs, 4 earned, and 1 HR in 4.2 innings pitched, walking 1 and K'ing 2 in the losing effort, and he received only 1 run of support while on the mound though the Nationals did rally for 3 in the sixth inning off Pirates' starter Tom Gorzelanny (W, 5-5, 6.65 ERA) who won his fifth game with 5.2 innings of work, over which he allowed 6 hits, 3 ER's and 3 walks with 6 K's, to end the day with a 6.65 ERA in 13 starts this season.
The Nationals' offense came courtesy of Elijah Dukes, who tripled and knocked in 2 RBI's to end the series in Pittsburgh 6 for 14 with 4 2B's, 1 3B, and 3 RBI's, and Cristian Guzman, who was 3 for 5 with 3 RBI's to end the game batting .314 thus far in '08, which, in spite of the abundance of quality middle infielders in the National League, should earn him the role as the Nationals' lone representative in the upcoming All-Star game in NY.
The Nationals knocked Gorzelanny out after Wily Mo Pena doubled and Wil Nieves walked in the top of the sixth. Lefty reliever Sean Burnett came on and immediately walked Dmitri Young to load the bases for the Guzzzzz, who didn't disappoint, knocking in two with a single to center, followed by Dukes, whose own single scored DY, though Dukes may have further raised the ire of Manager Manny Acta, when he ran the Nationals out of the inning, or as frequent Game Threader, Doghouse described it: