The Washington Nationals fell to the St. Louis Cardinals tonight in the first half of a two-game series. The 6-2 loss came at the hand of Kyle Loshe who earned his first win of the season after allowing only one earned run on six hits in six innings. The Nationals registered eight hits total but struck out seven times and only walked once on the night.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the Nationals who fell to 20-19 on the season, only one game above .500. The Marlins also lost on the night, dropping the two clubs to a three way tie with the New York Mets (who won tonight 3-2) in the National League East.
St. Louis 6 – Washington 2:
-The Nationals were pigeonholed by giving up a four-run first inning to the Cardinals. All of the runners reached base with two outs in the inning. It started with a Holliday walk, then advanced with four straigh hits from Pujols, Rasmus, Freese, and Molina. After that poor stint, Stammen settled down and only allowed two hits and no more runs for the rest of the game. This means that while Stammen was outstanding for 95% of his start, that elusive third out in the first inning put the team in a whole they couldn’t recover from.
-Ian Desmond went 4-4 on the night with four singles and several strong plays in the field. Desmond accounted for half of the Nationals eight hits and boosted his batting average from .246 to .271. Desmond had only one hit in his previous 11 at bats entering tonight’s game.
-The two, three, and four spots in the Nationals line-up went 0-11. Think the club missed Adam Dunn’s presence?
-As if to say, “Here I am world,” Drew Storen came up and in hard on Ryan Ludwick, beaming his second batter ever faced in his major league debut. It was as if he was letting the league know that he was here, and that was his plate to protect. Storen faced three batters total in his debut, aside from Ludwick he forced Felipe Lopez to fly out to left, and he struck out Matt Holliday swinging. In total it was an impressive outing for the young future star, and his stuff looked very, very good.
-Jim Riggleman brought Matt Capps on in the eighth to help keep the game within reach for the Nationals. Perhaps it was the pressure of seeing his future replacement on the mound before him, or perhaps it was a result of leading off the inning against Albert Pujols, but Capps had his worst outing of the season. The fire-baller gave up three hits, two runs.