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Washington Nationals drop second straight to Cincinnati Reds, 6-2 final in D.C.

Davey Martinez’s club drop a second straight game to the Reds, which much less fanfare than last night’s matchup in D.C.

Cincinnati Reds v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Espino vs the Reds:

Winless in 13 starts (0-5), with a 5.34 ERA, a 5.55 FIP, and a .292/.335/.517 line against in 59 innings pitched since he moved into the starting rotation back on June 12th, Paolo Espino took the mound tonight coming off a 4 1/3-inning outing against the San Diego Padres in which he gave up three hits, four walks, and three earned runs.

Espino put together a solid outing tonight, giving up one run on seven hits (one a home run by Kyle Farmer in the top of the first) through 5 13 IP, but the Nationals’ right-hander left the mound in the sixth, with runners on second and third after giving up a one-out single and a double to left by Kyle Farmer and Donovan Solano, respectively.

Espino got 10 swinging strikes, spread out over his four pitches, and 18 called strikes, 11 of them on his fastball in a solid-ish outing, which unfortunately ended with three earned runs in his line after reliever Jake McGee took over in the sixth and gave up a three-run home run to right field by TJ Friedl, whose 2nd of 2022 made it 4-1 Reds.

Paolo Espino’s Line: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 89 P, 62 S, 3/6 GO/FO.

Cessa vs D.C.:

Luis Cessa, was a starter earlier in his career, who moved into the bullpen exclusively back in 2019, and stayed there in ‘20-21, but he started for the Reds last time out before tonight, giving up three hits, two of the home runs, a walk, and two runs.

“Overall, I think it’s not the first impression I want to [make], but I feel good,” Cessa said, as quoted on after the outing against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Given another opportunity in the Reds’ rotation, as an opener, Cessa tossed a scoreless, 17-pitch first, and retired the first two batters in the second before he gave up a solo shot to left field on a 3-2 slider to Lane Thomas the Nationals’ outfielder hit 404 feet for his 13th of 2022, tying it up at 1-1.

Cessa held it there through four, but he was at a season-high 57 pitches after a 13-pitch home-half of the fourth inning, which ended with Reds’ center fielder TJ Frield making a leaping catch at the high GEICO wall in right-center in Nationals Park for out No. 3 before crashing into said wall, robbing Keibert Ruiz of a potential extra-base hit.

Luis Cessa’s Line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 57 P, 38 S, 4/3 GO/FO.

Bad Streak; Silly Stat:

It’s 43 games without a starting pitcher win now, going back to July 6th, when Josiah Gray earned a W in Philadelphia. We officially hate this streak now, almost as much as we hates when anyone tries to judge a pitcher by his win/loss record alone, but nobody does that any more at this point, right? Right! On to the bullpen action. Just go...

Also, it is the longest such streak in Major League Baseball history. Has been for a while. Just go!!!

Bullpen Action:

Reds’ righty Ian Gibault took over on the mound in the home-half of the fifth, with the score still tied at 1-1 in Nationals Park, and retired the side in order in a 15-pitch frame.

Jake McGee took over for the Nationals with two on and one out in the sixth, and gave up a three-run home run to right by JT Friedl, 4-1 Reds, and a two-out solo shot to right off of the bat of Colin Moran, 5-1. 393 feet for Friedl. 399 for Moran.

Gibault worked around a two-out walk to Joey Meneses in a scoreless bottom of the fifth.

Victor Arano worked around a one-out walk in a 19-pitch top of the seventh.

Hunter Harvey struck out two and stranded a one-out single in a scoreless, 13-pitch eighth.

Joey Meneses (2 for 3, 2B) doubled off Reds’ right-hander Buck Farmer with two out in the bottom of the eighth, and scored on an RBI single by Luke Voit, 5-2, then a walk to Nelson Cruz in the next at-bat ended Farmer’s night.

Alex Díaz took over against Keibert Ruiz with two on and two out, and the Reds up by three, and got an inning-ending groundout.

Carl Edwards, Jr. gave up a two-out single by Jake Fraley and an RBI double by Jonathan India as the Reds added to their lead in the ninth, 6-2.

Nationals now 42-85