Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Will cooler heads prevail in today's series finale against the Reds?
The way Phillips' taunting was handled last night -- with a fastball to the ribs from Miguel Batista -- you would think there won't be any carryover today. Players all said the matter was handled "professionally" and there's no reason to think there's need for any more retaliation today. We'll see if that actually holds true.
Jim Riggleman is going with the same lineup once again. No changes, despite his club's recent lack of clutch hitting and the fact this is a day game after a night game.
Big start for Craig Stammen, whose job could be on the line. Will he be the one replaced by Stephen Strasburg? And if so, will he be sent down to Syracuse, or moved to the bullpen, in which case someone else has to go?
Check back for updates throughout...
REDS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Partly cloudy, 88 degrees, Wind 15 mph out to RF
2B Cristian Guzman
CF Nyjer Morgan
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
LF Josh Willingham
RF Roger Bernadina
SS Ian Desmond
C Wil Nieves
P Craig Stammen
SS Orlando Cabrera
3B Miguel Cairo
1B Joey Votto
2B Brandon Phillips
RF Jay Bruce
LF Laynce Nix
CF Drew Stubbs
C Corky Miller
P Bronson Arroyo
1:11 p.m. -- Pudge update: Ivan Rodriguez ran the bases and took BP this morning and had no problems with his lower back. He will play five or six innings at Potomac tomorrow night, and if that goes well, he'll come off the DL Tuesday and catch Stephen Strasburg's debut.
1:15 p.m. -- Ross Detwiler update: The left-hander was here at the park today to throw a bullpen session. He's now ready to begin his rehab assignment and will pitch at Potomac Wednesday night. After that, he will probably move up to Harrisburg. Once he's built his arm strength back up, the Nats will have to decide if they think Detwiler deserves a spot in the big-league rotation or whether he should remain at Class AAA. However long it takes, Ross is just happy to be back pitching somewhere. "Just getting out of Florida, it feels great," he said. "Being around here, especially, it gives me something to work for."
1:20 p.m. -- It's hot today. I mean, really hot. And there's a huge line of thunderstorms approaching from the west, supposed to hit sometime around 3 or 4 p.m.
1:27 p.m. -- The guy who created the electric violin out of a baseball bat just played the national anthem, Jimi Hendrix-style. Love it.
1:37 p.m. -- Craig Stammen greets Orlando Cabrera with a fastball for strike one, and we are under way.
1:42 p.m. -- If Stammen is pitching for his job today, he didn't help his cause there in the top of the first. Leadoff double by Cabrera. RBI single by Joey Votto. Yet another shaky first inning for Stammen.
1:50 p.m. -- Stop the presses: Nyjer Morgan got a good bunt down. I mean, seriously: Stop the presses. It even led to a run. After Cristian Guzman (who doubled to lead off) moved to third on the sac bunt, Ryan Zimmerman lofted a base hit to right. We're tied 1-1 after one.
1:53 p.m. -- First rumbles of thunder from behind the third-base stands. The skies are darkening.
2:06 p.m. -- Wil Nieves is one of the nicest human beings I have ever met. But his batting average is now down to .184. Anyone who thinks the Nats haven't missed Pudge very much haven't been paying attention.
2:13 p.m. -- Much better stuff from Stammen now. He retired the side in the third and has retired six of the last seven he's faced. Still 1-1 going to the bottom of the third.
2:34 p.m. -- Just as the rain starts, Ian Desmond sends a double off the left-field wall, scoring Roger Bernadina to put the Nats up 2-1 after four. All of a sudden, the Nats are three outs from being declared the winners in this one.
2:52 p.m. -- Boy, has Craig Stammen settled down nicely as this one's played out. He's now allowed just one run on six hits in six strong innings. Getting a lot of groundballs, too. Eight of the 18 outs he's recorded so far have been on grounders to Cristian Guzman at second base. Nats still lead 2-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth.
3:01 p.m. -- So they give the Silver Elvis Wig to the player of the game, right? Well, at this rate, Adam Dunn is one more strikeout from receiving the Golden Sombrero. Just looks lost at the plate against Arroyo.
3:04 p.m. -- Today's paid attendance: 27,202. Most of them are currently under cover.
3:06 p.m. -- Wow, quick hook for Stammen. Two outs in the 7th, up 2-1, only on 66 pitches? Riggleman apparently has more faith in Drew Storen getting Orlando Cabrera out here.
3:08 p.m. -- And it works. Storen gets Cabrera to fly out and preserves the 2-1 lead.
3:32 p.m. -- Tyler Clippard needed 21 pitches to get through the eighth, but he threw 16 of them for strikes. Nice job by Store and Clip. Just up to Save now to finish this one off.
3:42 p.m. -- No sombrero for Dunn. He flied out to end the eighth. So we head to the ninth, Nats up 2-1, and Matt Capp... no wait, Clippard is staying in! Capps is warming, though.
3:46 p.m. -- OK, Clip was left in to face the left-handed Laynce Nix. Blew him away with a fastball, too. Now Capps is on to finish it off.
3:50 p.m. -- Oh boy, here we go again. Back-to-back doubles by the Reds, one a line drive over Roger Bernadina's head, the other a sharp grounder past Ryan Zimmerman. It's tied 2-2, and the Reds are threatening to take the lead.
3:55 p.m. -- And Scott Rolen's two-run homer to left puts the Reds on top 4-2. Capps' third blown save in a week. Panic time in NatsTown?
4:08 p.m. -- Michael Morse, ladies and gentlemen. We're tied again, 4-4. Guzman will be intentionally walked, so it's up to Nyjer Morgan to win it.
4:10 p.m. -- And we're going to extras. The Nats' lineup is a mess. Adam Dunn's gone. Nieves is gone. Jamie Burke's catching. There's no one left on the bench. Doug Slaten is now pitching.
4:30 p.m. -- Slaten couldn't get the third out in the 10th, so Riggleman turned to Miguel Batista. That didn't work. Drew Stubbs with the RBI single that gives the Reds the lead again. So it's 5-4 heading to the bottom of the 10th. Zimmerman, Kennedy (batting in Dunn's spot) and Willingham due up.
4:42 p.m. -- Another crushing loss is in the books. Reds win 5-4 in 10. Slaten takes the loss. Capps gets the blown save. The Nationals are four games under .500 for the first time. If only they could call up a savior from the minor leagues in time for their next game Tuesday. Then again, someone still has to close for Strasburg...