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Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds- 2008 Game 88 of 162. "4th Of July From The Banks Of The Muddy O-Hi-O..."

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You can't really blame Luis Ayala for last night's loss. After all, Jesus Colome did allow two men on who eventually scored the go-ahead runs for the Reds, but the first man, Corey Patterson reached on an error by Willie Harris at second, followed by Jerry Hairston's single, and an intentional walk to Jeff Keppinger, so after an error on what should have been the second out, you can't really blame Colome for the fact that Ayala had to come on with the bases loaded, and you can't blame Ayala, or Austin Kearns in right, who couldn't even come close to the opposite field liner Brandon Phillips put halfway down the line...So whose fault is it? I guess, if I were to play the BLAME GAME...ahh, it's a holiday...(ed. note - "Dukes HR last night = homers for the 3rd time in 4 games.")

On The Hill...

In 4 career starts against DC's Nationals, Cincinnati Reds' righty, Bronson Arroyo, 31, is (1-1) with a 5.95 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 19.2 innings pitched over which Arroyo's allowed 20 hits, 13 ER, 2 HR's and 8 walks with 19 K's, holding the Washington hitters to a .253 BAA. Arroyo's first two starts against the Nationals, in 2006, went well, with Arroyo winning one, and the Reds both, as he threw 8.0 innings of 1-hit shutout baseball, on April 26th in DC, and then pitched 8.0 more shutout innings at home in Ohio, allowing 6 hits this time and helping the Reds win a 5-4 decision.

Arroyo's next two starts against Washington didn't go as well. On May 21, 2007, in Great American Ball Park, Arroyo pitched just 2.0 innings, giving up 6 hits and 6 ER's with 3 walks, a HR to Austin Kearns and doubles to both Ryan Zimmerman and Dmitri Young in an 8-7 Reds' loss. Then, on August 1, '07 Arroyo lasted just 1.2 innings, giving up 7 hits, 7 runs, 2 walks, and a HR, again to Kearns, in a 7-2 loss to DC in RFK.

At home in Great American Ball Park this season, Arroyo's (1-4) in 8 starts, having given up 48 hits, 29 runs, 26 earned, in 45.1 innings pitched, for a 5.16 ERA , with 7 HR's hit, 16 walks offered, and a 1.41 WHIP, with 41 K's collected, while the opposition has hit at a .279 clip against Arroyo in Ohio.

Nationals' #'s Against Bronson Arroyo...

Austin Kearns - 3 for 4, .750 AVG, 1 2B, 2 HR's, 5 RBI's, 2.500 SLG, 3.25 OPS.

DY - 8 for 17, .471 AVG, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI's, .500 OBP, .765 SLG, 1.265 OPS.

DC Right-Hander Jason Bergmann's...

...never faced Cincinnati as a starter, but in 2.0 relief innings against the Reds, the 26-year old Neptune, NJ native has given up 3 hits, 1 R, and 1 walk for a 4.50 ERA, a 2.00 WHIP and a .333 BAA Cincy's Redlegs. Away from home this season, Bergmann's posted a (1-3) record in 5 starts, throwing 31.0 innings, 1 CG, and allowing 30 hits, 18 runs, 14 earned, 7 walks and 6 HR's, with 27 K's, a 4.06 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and .252 BAA. (ed. note - "As compared to 0-2 in 6 starts and 7 G's at home in DC, where Bergmann's been hit 44 times, with 18 runs scored and 6 HR's served up in 36.1 innings pitched.")

Reds' #'s Against Jason Bergmann...

Edwin Encarnacion - 1 for 1, 1.000 AVG.

Brandon Phillips - 1 for 2, .500 AVG, 1 2B.

Jason Bergmann's trying to break an (0-4) streak over an 8-game period, in which the Nationals have lost 7 of 8 Bergmann starts since he last notched a victory (his lone road win) on May 15, 2008 in Flushing, Queens, NY's Shea Stadium.

Austin Kearns Returns...But Kory Casto Has To Go?

Austin Kearns was 1 for 4 with an RBI single last night in his first start for the Nationals since May 17th. Shortly after that last game, Kearns was placed on the DL and eventually forced to undergo surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow.

To make room on the roster, Washington shipped Kory Casto back to Triple AAA Columbus, after the 26-year old outfielder hit in just 9 of 50 at bats with the Nationals, collecting 2 doubles, 1 HR and 7 RB's in 23 games.

In MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article on the roster moves entitled, "Kearns back in action for opener", Mr. Ladson quotes DC Manager Manny Acta, who offers Casto encouraging words as he heads back to the Clippers, telling Mr. Ladson:

"'We let him (Casto) know that we liked what we did,' Acta said. 'He cannot settle right now to being a bench guy. That's what I told him. His goal should be to still be an everyday guy. I really like the improvements he made up here on a part-time situation.'"

The Nationals on the 4th of July...Building Upon Three Years Of Tradition.

July 4, 2005 - Wash 2 NYM 5 @ RFK

July 4, 2006 - Wash 6 FL 4 @ RFK

July 4, 2007 - Wash 6 ChC 0 @ RFK

July 4, 2008 - Washington @ Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio's Great American Ball Park on the Ohio River, Bergmann vs Arroyo, Game 2 of 4, on the 232nd Anniversary of the birth of the United States of America on July 4, 1776. 1:15 pm EST start time. Who's Watching The Nationals Instead Of Spending Time With Their Family?