|Photo by USA Today|
Game in a nutshell: For all the breaks and good fortune the Nats were receiving over the previous three days, everything came up Cincinnati and early on Sunday. Ten of their 11 hits off starter Ross Detwiler were singles as the Reds were just hitting balls where Nats defenders weren’t. On the mound, however, nothing was lucky about Tony Cingrani’s performance. The young lefty struck out 11 Nats batters, the most for a Reds rookie since Johnny Cueto did so in 2008. He was spectacular and probably benefitted from facing the Nats for the first time. The Nats finally got to the Reds’ bullpen for two runs late, but it wasn’t enough. Blown chances were the story of this game.
Hitting lowlight: It’s hard to single out one guy in the Nats order when everyone had so much trouble against Cingrani. But because of his recent stretch, Adam LaRoche gets the honor after continuing his hitless streak to 26 at-bats. LaRoche went 0-for-4 on Sunday with three strikeouts and four men left on base as his second K came with two outs and the bases loaded.
Pitching lowlight: Just by watching him, it didn’t look like Detwiler was very off today or that he didn’t have some of his best stuff. But the Reds made contact often and kept getting singles to fall. They had 11 hits off Detwiler including ten singles and four that didn’t reach the outfield. One went off the third base bag, one off Detwiler’s thigh, one was a bloop right over the lefty’s head, and the fourth just a well hit ball that Rendon couldn’t get to first fast enough. Detwiler finished with 5 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 3 ER, BB, 3 SO.
Key stat: LaRoche’s hitless streak now at 26 consecutive at-bats, 13 of them being strikeouts.
Up next: The Nats head to Atlanta for a four-game series. Stephen Strasburg (1-4, 3.16 ERA) is set to pitch with Julio Teheran (1-0, 5.48 ERA) taking the ball for the Braves. The Braves aren’t nearly as hot as they were when they came to Nats Park a few weekends ago so we’ll see if the results are different for Washington.