Jul 6, 2015, 4:13 PM EDT
Fresh off a 3-game sweep of the winner of three of the last five World Series, the Nationals now turn their attention to a struggling team that swept five weeks ago. The Cincinnati Reds have been facing an uphill battle all season, but they are 3-0 against the Nats after a perfect late-May weekend at Great American Ball Park.
The Nationals team, though, is slightly different, most notably when it comes to a starting rotation that has been brilliant over the last few weeks. Doug Fister has been part of that renaissance, though the right-hander is coming off a bit of a ragged start in Atlanta last week.
One roster move for the Nats: Right-hander David Carpenter has been placed on the paternity leave list. Lefty Sammy Solis was recalled from Class AA Harrisburg to fill his spot in the bullpen for now.
Updates to come, so please check back…
CINCINNATI REDS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
Weather: Rain early, 79 degrees, Wind 7 mph RF to LF
CF Denard Span
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
1B Clint Robinson
2B Danny Espinosa
SS Ian Desmond
LF Michael Taylor
RHP Doug Fister
2B Brandon Phillips
1B Joey Votto
3B Todd Frazier
RF Jay Bruce
LF Marlon Byrd
C Brayan Peña
SS Eugenio Suarez
RHP Anthony DeSclafani
CF Billy Hamilton
HP Vic Carapazza
1B Brian Knight
2B Larry Vanover (cc)
3B Ron Kulpa
7:05 p.m. — There were a few periods of rain during batting practice, but the skies have cleared for now and the game is underway on time.
7:16 p.m. — Ugh, we’re in a rain delay in the bottom of the first, with an 0-1 count on Bryce Harper. Shouldn’t be long, but if you need something to do to pass the time … read my story on Max Scherzer (but not Drew Storen or Yunel Escobar) being named an All-Star.
7:45 p.m. — And we’re back after a 29-minute delay. Harper went right after DeSclafani’s first pitch and launched it into the third deck … in foul territory. He wound up striking out on a 3-2 curveball. So the first inning is complete, with no score.
8:07 p.m. — The top of the second was, well, odd. It included a 2-base throwing error on Fister, an infield single by Eugenio Suarez that would’ve been a groundout to second had Clint Robinson merely held his position at first base while Danny Espinosa made a great diving stop up the middle, Suarez then getting picked off after straying too far off first base but then DeSclafani lining a 2-out RBI double to left to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. Worse, Denard Span is now out of the game, with Michael Taylor shifting to center field and Matt den Dekker entering in left. Have to wonder if Span’s back acted up again during the rain delay.
8:27 p.m. — Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa turned a really pretty double play to end the top of the third. And then the Nats lineup delivered its first run of the night in the bottom of the inning. Den Dekker got it started with a 2-out single to right, with Escobar adding another single after that. When Harper drew his 62nd walk of the season, the bases were loaded for Ramos. The Nats didn’t need a hit from him, though, because den Dekker swiped home plate on a wild pitch that only bounced about 15 feet away. Really aggressive move by him, and it paid off. 1-1 game now after three.
8:45 p.m. — Still 1-1 after four, but each team had a chance to score. The Reds loaded the bases in part because of a Desmond throwing error, but Fister got out of the jam. The Nats had a man in scoring position on Espinosa’s double, but Taylor popped out to end the inning.
9:02 p.m. — Uh-oh, another Nats regular has left this game. Now it’s Escobar, who departed after the top of the fifth, with Dan Uggla pinch-hitting for him. Not sure what exactly would be the issue with Yunel. We’ll see. Still 1-1 after five.
9:29 p.m. — Make it 2-2 after an eventful sixth inning. The Reds got the go-ahead run when Marlon Byrd drove a ball off the top of the right-field fence that was initially ruled a double, was changed to a home run after an umpire huddle, then was changed back to a double by New York on replay review. No matter, because Byrd still scored on Suarez’s RBI single. The Nats, though, answered immediately when Danny Espinosa launched a ball clear over the fence in right. That’s his ninth homer of the season, second only to Bryce Harper on the roster. Who saw that one coming on Opening Day?
9:44 p.m. — Some filthy stuff from Blake Treinen in the top of the seventh, producing three strikeouts of right-handed hitters, including Todd Frazier, all on sliders. The Nats went down quickly in the bottom of the inning, though. So we move to the eighth in what remains a 2-2 game.
9:57 p.m. — Uh-oh, Suarez lofted an 0-2 slider from Casey Janssen and deposited it just next to the left-field foul pole, giving the Reds a 3-2 lead in the eighth. And the Nats went down in order in the botto of the inning, so now they’re down to their last three outs, with Aroldis Chapman looming for the ninth.
10:16 p.m. — And that’ll do it. Nats lose 3-2 and fall to 0-4 this season against the Reds. Go figure.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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