Photo By Ian Koski, Nationals Daily News
Sunday’s Nats-Reds game can’t be summed up into a few words. Trying to would only lead to a confusing mess of a laundry list outlining who did what and when and why.
Was it a heartbreaking loss? Not completely. The game went into extras and the Nats lost in the tenth despite giving it a good fight from their bench bats.
Was it a defensive mess? Surprisingly not. After a slew of error-filled games in recent days, Washington played error-less baseball this afternoon despite Bernadina’s flub in right field that contributed to Matt Capps’ third blown save this week. Other than that, every man on the field played solid defense.
Did the Reds outpitch Stammen and the bullpen? Not really. Well, not until the ninth and the Capps collapse. RHP Bronson Arroyo was sharp, making 115 throws over eight innings allowing two runs on six hits. He even knocked a couple singles into the field too, but the Nats still hit him and kept the game within reach having tied it up in the bottom of the ninth to take it to the tenth.
Before then, Stammen threw a solid 6.2 innings with one-earned run on 66 pitches, holding off the Reds defense for the duration of his tenure in the game.
What killed the Nats this afternoon was the Reds three-run rally in the ninth and their inability to score in the tenth.
While today’s loss isn’t the reason for Manager Jim Riggleman’s decision, starter Craig Stammen was chosen to be the man dropped from the rotation for the time being while Stephen Strasburg receives his call to the majors. Riggleman said it was a painful decision and a tough call to make, they had even considered sending their fifth starter to the bullpen and sending down a reliever to make room for Strasburg. But the decision has been made and Stammen will be spending some time at Triple-A Syracuse.
According to Riggleman, this is not a final decision for the rest of the season. He says Craig will be back.
Next up: The Nationals have an off-day on Monday as the MLB starts their first-year player draft. Then, the moment NatsTown has been waiting for – Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to take the mound on Tuesday versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.