Nationals Suffer 2-1 Loss to Reds Amid Rain Delay


The Nationals gave Reds P Alfredo Simon his sixth win of the year, dropping a low-scoring 2-1 battle at home. Simon pitched through seven innings, fighting through the hour long rain delay that followed the fifth inning, and only allowed one earned run.

That earned run came off the bat of Denard Span, leading off in the first inning with a shot to right center. The first two innings were not promising for the Reds, who went 1-2-3 in the first, and only got one man on in the second.

The Nationals missed on some key scoring opportunities in the top of the second. Things looked optimistic as Ian Desmond singled to left, then Tyler Moore piled on with another single to right. Next, Danny Espinosa struck out swinging but Nate McLouth succeeded him with a walk into bases loaded.

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Optimistic is a strong word, because the last guy you want hitting with bases loaded and one out is your pitcher. If that wasn’t enough of a giveaway, Tanner Roark hit a roller to second base, setting the Reds up for an easy double play to end the inning with no runnings scored, and a wasted bases loaded opportunity to boot.

Roark did much better on the defensive side of the ball today. He only allowed one run through six innings pitched, and despite a Cincinnati hit parade in the fourth inning he stood his ground quite well.

A Zack Cozart double was followed by a single from Brandon Phillips that brought Cozart all the way around the bags to tie the game at 1-1. Stud C Devin Mesoraco, who is batting an impressive .415 right now, reached on an error, leaving two men on with Phillips now at second. Todd Frazier then popped out to center for the first out of the inning, but Phillips tagged up to third leaving runners on the corners. Brayan Pena came up and singled to left, bringing Phillips all the way home for what would be the final and deciding run of the game.

For honorable mention, Kevin Frandsen made a very impressive barehanded grab to gun down Billy Hamilton after a stumbling bunt. Wouldn’t be surprised to see it on SportsCenter’s Top 10, it’s certainly my nominee.

There wasn’t much to take away from today’s game, it was a stalemate for the latter five and a half innings, decorated by solid pitching and fielding and failure to capitalize by both teams. The only thing to take away is that the Nationals are struggling without their regulars in the lineup. It would have been nice to see Rendon, Harper, Zimmerman or even LaRoche suit up for today’s game. It’s a long summer, and I don’t want to see this team with as much potential as it has plagued by injury the way it was a year ago. Remember, this team is two years removed from having the best record in baseball. There’s still hope, but injuries and losses make it fade very quickly.