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Washington Nationals Drop Third Straight, 7-2 To Cincinnati Reds.

• Tonight's Top 5: 

5. For 5 Walks This Season, Then 3 In The Second: Nats' right-hander J.D. Martin, who'd walked 5 batters in 7 starts and 40.1 innings pitched so far this season, walks three in the bottom of the second tonight, loading the bases twice before recording an out and surrendering 4 runs to the Reds after Washington had completed their 23rd scoreless inning since Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez's sac fly pushed the fourth of four runs in during the sixth inning of Friday night's game against the Marlins. 4-0 Reds after three. 

4. 23.0 Innings Later: The Nats finally score some runs in the third when Reds' right-hander Johnny Cueto gets careless. A half-inning after Cincinnati gets out to a 4-0 lead, the Cincy starter walks the leadoff batter, Willie Harris, gives up a single to Ian Desmond, sac bunt by J.D. Martin and a sac fly by Nyjer Morgan to force the Nats' first run since Friday across the plate. Cristian Guzman follows with an RBI line drive single to right and it's 4-2 Reds after three innings of play at which point there's a rain delay...8:08 pm EST...8:50 pm EST...We're back...

3. Ump Interferes, Saves Out Costs Run: After Reds' starter Johnny Cueto issues a one-out walk to Ryan Zimmerman and a two-out walk to Josh Willingham in the Nats' sixth, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez grounds one over and off the mound and right into the infield umpire's back so it deflects by Reds' second baseman Brandon Phillips. Zim scores, but is told to go back to third as interference is called. See MLB Rulebook Rule 5.09f:

"5.09: (f) A fair ball touches a runner or an umpire on fair territory before it touches an infielder including the pitcher, or touches an umpire before it has passed an infielder other than the pitcher; Rule 5.09(f) Comment: If a fair ball touches an umpire working in the infield after it has bounded past, or over, the pitcher, it is a dead ball. If a batted ball is deflected by a fielder in fair territory and hits a runner or an umpire while still in flight and then is caught by an infielder it shall not be a catch, but the ball shall remain in play. If a fair ball goes through, or by, an infielder, and touches a runner immediately back of him, or touches a runner after being deflected by an infielder, the ball is in play and the umpire shall not declare the runner out. In making such decision the umpire must be convinced that the ball passed through, or by, the infielder and that no other infielder had the chance to make a play on the ball; runners advance, if forced;"

...Instead of a run scored, and a 4-3 game, it's bases loaded on Pudge's single. The Nats' right fielder tonight, Willie Harris, flies out to left to strand three runners. J.D. Martin takes the mound after the Nats fail to tie it and gives up a HR to left on the second pitch he throws to Jonny Gomes in Cincinnati's sixth. 5-2 Reds, and Martin leaves a first-pitch change up for Miguel Cairo one out later and has it sent out into the second deck for the second solo shot of the inning and a commanding 6-2 Reds' lead over the Nationals, who an inning earlier had threatened to tie it...

2. Ian Desmond - The Good And Bad: Ian Desmond's committed a lot of errors, (understatement, I know) but that was expected, it's moments like the seventh, however, when the 24-year-old shortstop shows you what the Nats see in the Montreal Expos' '04 3rd Round pick. Nats' lefty Sean Burnett turns his cap to the side and takes the mound, striking out pinch hitter Chris Heisey, and then Brandon Phillips grounds sharply up the middle, Ian Desmond dives to his left and makes the play before jumping up and firing to first to get the quick Reds' infielder. Orlando Cabrera rips a grounder to short, Desmond gets there and throws a strike to first from deeeeeeep in the hole to end the seventh. At the plate, Desmond goes 1 for 4 with a run scored and he's now 12 for 41, and hitting .293/.341/.488 in 13 games this July...The Bad: In the eighth, Desmond takes a little too long loading up on a throw to first to get Jonny Gomes, but it gets there late, and Gomes scores on an RBI single by Miguel Cairo...7-2 Reds.

1. Positives? Positives?: The Nats scored tonight for the first time since Friday night against Florida when Josh Willngham doubled three runs in and Pudge Rodriguez followed with an RBI sac fly. Adam Dunn walked twice which might mean he's seeing the ball well again and ready to start launching long balls again? Zim walked twice too...though both Zim and Dunn were 0 for 2...that's not positive...Strasburg pitches on Wednesday?

• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching:

Num Name - Comments
1 souldrummer - 99
2 plebescite - 87
3 grizzy - 66
4 MissB - 65
5 Nationalpastime9 - 64
6 Princess Jazzy - 61
7 Doghouse - 50
8 RobBobS - 45
9 RoscoeNats - 38
10 ganett123 - 29
11 bluelineswinger - 20

• Final Score: Reds 7, Nats 2.

Nationals now 40-53.


1 - Nyjer Morgan grounds to short where Orlando Cabrera makes the play and throw to first. One down. Johnny Cueto throws a 94 mph fastball by Cristian Guzman. Ryan Zimmerman grounds to short and Cabrera's throw ends the Nats' first...Brandon Phillips tests Guzman's backhand. He's up to it, one down. Orlando Cabrera flies out to left. Joey Votto sends Willingham back to the wall to catch the third and final out of the Reds' first. 

2 - Adam Dunn takes a full-count fastball up high from Cueto and walks to start the Nats' second. Josh Willingham pops up the first pitch he sees and Pudge grounds into the inning-ending DP...Jonny Gomes singles to left on a line drive that drops in front of the Hammer. Jay Bruce works the count full and walks. Miguel Cairo goes to a full count and walks to load the bases. Drew Stubbs lines to right, Willie Harris throws it in and Cristian Guzman misses the cutoff throw to let the second run score, 2-0 Reds. Second and third, no outs. Ryan Hanigan walks, bases loaded again. Johnny Cueto rips a low liner at the drawn-in infield, Guzman makes a backhand attempt but misses, Cairo and Stubbs score, 4-0 Reds. Brandon Phillips pops out to right field. Orlando Cabrera lines out to Ian Desmond at short, Desi tosses to Guzman for the force at second, 4-0 Reds after two. 

3 - Johnny Cueto walks Willie Harris to put the leadoff runner on in the third. Ian Desmond lines a full-count fastball back up the middle, two on, no outs. J.D. Martin gets a sac bunt down to advance both runners, and Nyjer Morgan flies to left to score Harris from third. 4-1 Reds. Cristian Guzman strokes a fastball to right for an RBI single, 4-2 Reds. Zimmerman lines out to short to end the Nats' third...Joey Votto grounds out to Adam Dunn at first. Jonny Gomes flies out to Willie Harris in right. Jay Bruce grounds out to first, 4-2 Reds after three. 

4 - Adam Dunn K's chasing a high fastball inside. Johnny Cueto gives up a one-out single to left by Josh Willingham. Cueto gets Pudge swinging for the second out, and throws three fastballs by Willie Harris for a swinging K...Miguel Cairo leads off the Reds' fourth with a groundout to Ian Desmond at short. J.D. Martin throws a two-strike bender by Drew Stubbs. Two down. Ryan Hanigan pops out foul of first to end the fourth.

5 - Nats' SS Ian Desmond grounds out to second. J.D. Martin flies out to Drew Stubbs in center and Nyjer Morgan lines to short to end a quick fifth...Cueto K's swinging and a nice play by the Nats' Gold Glove third baseman on a sharp grounder by Brandon Phillips gives J.D. Martin two outs in the bottom of the frame. Orlando Cabrera singles to right on a fastball outside, but Joey Votto flies out to right on the first pitch he sees. 

6 - Cristian Guzman lines to righ---Brandon Phillips make a leaping catch to rob Guzman of a single. Ryan Zimmerman walks with one down. Adam Dunn pops out to Orlando Cabrera at short. Josh Willingham works the count full and walks to put two on for Pudge Rodriguez. Pudge grounds one off the mound and the infield Ump's back for an infield hit, dead ball and bases loaded. Willie Harris pops out to left to end the Nats' sixth...Jonny Gomes takes Martin deeeeeep left and GONE, 5-2 Reds. Jay Bruce stares strike three all the way in. One down. J.D. Martin leaves one hanging up for Miguel Cairo who hits a long fly ball into the second deck in left for the second solo HR of the inning and a 6-2 Reds' lead. Joel Peralta replaces Martin. Nyjer Morgan charges but can't get to a pop fly single by Drew Stubbs. Stubbs steals second, sliding in safely ahead of Pudge's throw and Guzman's tag. Peralta throws to second to pick off Stubbs!! Two down. Ryan Hanigan lines out to Dunn, 6-2 Reds after six. 

7 - Ian Desmond reaches on a grounder to first that Joey Votto tosses over the covering pitcher Logan Ondrusek. Desmond takes second on a fly ball to left from pinch hitter Alberto Gonzalez. Nyjer Morgan flies out to Jonny Gomes on the line in left. Two down. Cristian Guzman grounds out to first to end the Nats' seventh...Chris Heisey hits for Ondrusek to start the seventh. Swinging K for Sean Burnett, the new Nats' reliever. Ian Desmond fields a sharp grounder from Brandon Phillips on a dive toward second and jumps up to make the throw to first in time. Orlando Cabrera grounds to short, Desmond fields and throws from deeep in the hole and gets Cabrera to end the seventh.

8 - Nick Masset takes over for the Reds and walks Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn in front of Josh Willingham. Masset pops Willingham up to the infield. Pudge Rodriguez grounds to short, Cabrera to Phillips to Votto, double play to end the Nats' eighth...Doug Slaten gets a fly ball to center from Joey Votto, one down. Ian Desmond throws late to first on a sharp grounder by Jonny Gomes. Jay Bruce grounds out to Guzman at second. Two down. Miguel Batista replaces Slaten. Miguel Cairo lines to center to score Gomes, 7-2 Reds. Batista vs Stubbs. Stubbs singles to left with two down. Two on for Ryan Hanigan, who K's looking to end the eighth.

9 - Francisco Cordero vs Willie Harris. Groundout to second for the first out. Ian Desmond grounds out to first. Pinch hitter Adam Kennedy takes a two-out walk. Nyjer Morgan flies out to right to end the ninth. Reds win 7-2.