Wainwright Carves up Slumping Nats

Take a hot pitcher, add in some cold bats, mix in some curveballs, fastballs and sliders and you have made yourself a shutout.  Adam Wainwright was the hot pitcher.  The coldest of the Nats bats was Adam LaRoche, who struck out four times.  He had no clue at the plate, flailing at his 74 mile per hour curveballs, taking his 93 mile per hour fastballs and looking very abused at the plate in the Nationals 2-0 loss.

Adam was not the only one Wainwright had befuddled for the evening.  For the night Adam struck out 8, including the side in the fourth.  After five starts and more than 30 innings he also threw his first walk, giving Bryce Harper first to face Adam LaRoche for the third time in the sixth inning.  The walk advanced the tying run to second, loading the bases with two out.  Adam tried to check his swing on a 94 mile per hour fastball but was not successful.

The Cardinals scored both their runs in the fourth inning.  The top four hitters in the order all hit opposite field singles or doubles off Ross DetwilerShane Robinson started the rally with a leadoff single, Allan Craig scored him with a hit and run double down the right field line, Matt Holiday singled and Carlos Beltran drove in the second run with a single.  With runners on first and second and no one out Detwiler retired the last three hitters to keep the damage contained.  With the way the Nats bats have been hitting the two runs became too much of an obstacle to overcome.

Except for the sixth inning, Wainwright did not allow a runner to reach third.  He was finally taken out of the game after Bryce Harper led the ninth inning off with a hustle double down the right field line.  Mike Matheny gave him the luxury of striking out LaRoche for the fourth time to get the first out before bringing out Edward Mujica to record the last two outs.  LaRoche could have batted hundred times and would still be trying to make contact off Wainwright.

Game Notes: Bryce Harper had two of the five hits for the Nationals.  On his second hit he made an inadvisable break for second.  While he barely beat the throw, the fact the team was down 2-0 meant his run did not mean anything.  The only thing his advancement did was keep the team out of a double play grounder…Jayson Werth had an opportunity to drive in a run in the sixth, coming up with runners on first and third with one out.  He popped one up to second for the second out swinging at the first pitch…The Nationals pulled three pretty slick double plays in the first three innings.  They would have a fourth in the fifth inning but it was ruled a sacrifice with Pete Kozma thrown out trying to advance to third on a 5-4-1 sacrifice and throw out at third…Nat fans were booing Pete Kozma when he came to bat.  They still remember him as the unlikely hero who had the game winning hit in the fifth and deciding game of the playoffs against Drew Storen.  The booing did not prevent him from getting two hits in three at bats…Of the Nationals ten wins, five have been against the Miami Marlins.  The Marlins have yet to reach five wins.  One more loss and the Nationals will find themselves below .500.  They are 5-9 against teams other than the Marlins.  They are also 3-8 against teams .500 or better…Matt Carpenter is the second player we have noticed who does not wear batting gloves.  Jeff Keppinger was the first…Myworld walked to the stadium from the metro.  For the first time we remember we saw some black kids playing baseball on Jefferson Field.  The coaches were using a pitching machine to throw batting practice and a portly kid was doing more swinging and missing than making contact.  Hopefully that doesn’t discourage him from pursuing the sport.

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