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Reds 3, Nats 2: D.C. drops fourth straight to Cincy

Jul 6, 2015, 10:17 PM EST

USA Today Sports Images

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of an impressive, 3-game sweep of the defending champion Giants, the Nationals opened a 3-game series against a struggling Reds team that for some reason has owned them this season. And the script didn’t change on this night.

Eugenio Suarez’s solo homer off Casey Janssen in the top of the eighth broke a 2-2 tie and put the Reds on top for good, giving Cincinnati its fourth win in as many games against the Nats this season. Suarez took an 0-2 slider from Janssen and lofted it high down the left-field line, depositing it just next to the foul pole.

That homer proved the difference, but the Nationals didn’t help their cause much by managing only two runs and five hits off the Reds pitching staff. They needed a wild pitch to score their first run, then got a solo homer by Danny Espinosa in the bottom of the sixth, but that was it. The losses of both Denard Span and Yunel Escobar to apparent injuries during the game only made things more of a challenge for the lineup.

Doug Fister wound up with a no-decision, allowing two runs (one earned) over six innings. That might have been good enough to earn a win many nights, but not on this one, and not against a Cincinnati club the Nationals simply haven’t been able to figure out this season.

HITTING LOWLIGHT: It’s tough to do much at the plate when both your No. 1 and No. 2 hitter are forced to leave with apparent injuries. That’s the challenge the Nationals faced in this one. Span departed after two innings, perhaps his bad back acting up again, especially after a 29-minute rain delay. Escobar, meanwhile, appeared to wince after making a throw across the diamond in the top of the fourth and wound up getting replaced an inning later. Those injuries left only Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos and Ian Desmond among the regulars in the Nationals’ lineup.

PITCHING HIGHLIGHT: Fister wasn’t necessarily sharp on this night, but he only allowed one earned run over six innings, testament to his ability to make pitches when he needed them. The right-hander didn’t have one clean inning, giving up a hit in all six frames. He also committed his third error of the season, wildly throwing to first base on a routine comebacker, an error that led to the Reds’ first run. It’s still a bit of a work-in-progress for Fister, who hasn’t quite recaptured his 2014 form, even after his DL stint. But he did compete on Monday and gave his team a chance.

KEY STAT: Five of the six runs Casey Janssen has surrendered this season have come against the Cincinnati Reds.

UP NEXT: We’ve got a great pitching matchup on deck Tuesday night. It’s Max Scherzer (9-6, 1.82) vs. Johnny Cueto (5-5, 2.84) at 7:05 p.m.

  1. natslive - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:19 PM

    Looks like Reds have our number. Just hope nothing serious for Span and Escobar

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:32 PM

      Like the Cubs have Mets

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:46 PM

      I don’t agree. Nats have to hit and play fundamental baseball.

  2. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:21 PM

    Sexy match up tomorrow….. With Scherzer and Cueto on the mounds….

    What’s the word on Span and Escobar…

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:28 PM

      Back and hammy

  3. nattygoats - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:22 PM

    Jansen awful against Reds yet MW uses him. More bad managing

    • stoatva - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:24 PM

      Don’t you have some O’s Classics DVR’d that you could be enjoying?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:27 PM

      Who is in first place? You love it when we lose.

      I love the fact you show up in less 10% wins and even then you come your wise crack and implying we can’t win the division

      • stoatva - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:28 PM

        And he always seems to find it convenient to attend the games in Baltimore.

        You don’t fool anyone, Brooks.

  4. manassasnatsfan - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:24 PM

    So far we are now 2-8 in games delayed before or during the game.

    That means in games not with a delay. 44-29 that is ..603

    • hummel26 - Jul 6, 2015 at 11:55 PM

      Is this a small sample–ten games with a delay–or a sign of some issues in terms of game management?

  5. scmargenau - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    Esco hammy

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:27 PM

      And it was the play I thought.

  6. scmargenau - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:29 PM

    U can’t sign span. Bad backs recur. Not worth the risk

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:33 PM

      As do lots of injury

  7. scmargenau - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    Dear blog admin:

    Plz turn off the blog header bar, it’s annoying. It’s an option in settings.

  8. stoatva - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    If they won’t use Burriss they might as well send him down and bring up Difo. If not Turner.

    • therealjohnc - Jul 7, 2015 at 10:42 AM

      Burriss is the 25th man on the bench, strictly a emergency use only. He didn’t get into last night’s game because the team had better options at each decision point. Given a choice between who to send up there in the 9th against Chapman with the choices are Lobaton and Burriss, that’s a no brainer. Lobaton, 10 times out of 10. Even though it burns the back up catcher, it’s the bottom of the 9th – you only have to sort out extra innings if you get there.

      The reason that Burriss is there instead of Difo and Turner is that the latter two are actual prospects, and need playing time to hone their skills and get ready for the future. Burriss is just a guy, and it doesn’t really matter if he gets onto the field or not.

  9. stoatva - Jul 6, 2015 at 10:52 PM

    I think I’m going to set my alarm for 3am and see if anyone’s scored in the Mets/Giants game.

    • stoatva - Jul 7, 2015 at 12:20 AM

      At 12:17 the Mets break through, in the top of the ninth. I know I should be upset, but I enjoy seeing those San Francisco whiners suffer.

  10. ehay2k - Jul 6, 2015 at 11:28 PM

    Anyone else think Fister is not 100%? Just looks like balls are up in the zone – not getting the sink he had last year. And he seems to have lost some velocity. Earlier, I attributed that to the stint on the DL and not being quite in full form at the time. But now it seems to me that this is who he is now.

    Could Fister be someone Rizzo would trade? We are running out of position players. :-O

  11. whatsanattau - Jul 6, 2015 at 11:41 PM

    If you want a position player with impact this year, it’s not Fister you would give up. It would be someone like Cole. They won’t trade JZ or Span while in the hunt. They can’t get full value for Desmond. And with Strasburg hurting it’s hard to give up Fister – even if you could get full value. I think the July deadline trade scenarios require a prospect. The August deadline might send Moore or similar for experience or need. (Guesswork).

  12. NatsLady - Jul 7, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    Can’t worry about losing this one, especially since it didn’t go extras. I was at the game. Clearly with his thin bench, Williams went for the win with Tyler Moore early. (Poor Emmanuel Burriss, he’s not even a pinch hitter of last record). I wasn’t sure why Treinen didn’t go two innings, though, instead of bringing in Janssen. Seemed wasteful to me, with a tie game. It made me think of Paul Molitor.

    [Molitor, in a similar situation, put in an inferior guy who gave up the lead run. When asked why, Molitor said, “One of our non-Perkins relievers was going to lose this game, so it might as well be in the ninth inning.”]

    As mentioned by C&D, it was kind of flat, which is normal given the letdown from sweeping the defending World Champions on national TV AND losing your No 1 & 2 hitters.

    I didn’t hear any boos when Desi made his error, and there were a lot of cheers when he got the single. Save the boos for the likes of Jose Tabata…

    The HR review was pretty ridiculous. MLB needs to work on it.

    • NatsLady - Jul 7, 2015 at 12:03 AM

      * pinch hitter of last RESORT.

  13. Drew - Jul 7, 2015 at 12:26 AM

    Turner gets three knocks at the ‘Cuse, raising his average 54 points, to pass Mendoza at .209.

    Since his 0 for 13 start, Turner is 9 for 26.

    He also stole his first base.

    Joe Cool gets the win for Syracuse.

    • Drew - Jul 7, 2015 at 12:35 AM

      Turner actually started 0 for 17 at Stracuse.

      Since, he has a six-game hitting streak.

      Joe Ross threw 5 scoreless innings and has a 2.40 ERA at Syracuse.

    • ArVAFan - Jul 7, 2015 at 7:06 AM

      Thanks for posting that. Good news for the future. Turner will probably pass Desmond’s average in his next game. Next stop: Scherzer?

  14. natslive - Jul 7, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    While the Nats are 3-3 in their last 6 with the sweep of the Giants, even tho a small sample size very indicative of way they score runs which is why I discount it when the talk about the Nats being 8th or whatever in Runs scored…very feast or famine….last 6 games were 1,1, 2,9, 3, 2 so if you look at 18 runs in 6 games for avg of 3 looks not great but not terrible but reality is the only scored more than 3 once. Really need to get healthy – hopefully soon to give Harp some help. Escobar and Span helped but now they are out….Really need Desi to step up here somewhere

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