Sox Pound Nats — Again

Nats on the verge of being swept

This is how things work in NatsTown.  In Tuesday's game, the bullpen imploded, leading Manny Acta to complain that he needed better arms. So the Nats designate Kip "Kipper" Wells for assignment and call up Tyler "Ex-Yankee" Clippard to strengthen the pen. So with a strengthened pen, what happens? Yep, the starting pitcher gets knocked around.

Craig Stammen started sharply but ended up terribly. After 5+ innings of six-run ball, the Nats' offense couldn't push the tying runs past in a 6-4 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway... err... Camden Yards... err... Nats Park.

The Nats had scored the first run of the game thanks to Elijah Duke's menacing bat.  With a runner on, Dukes' bat shattered on contact. Instead of spraying all over the field, or flying off in a different direction, it followed the path of the ball right to Sox shortstop Nick Green. The ball arrived barely ahead of the bat, and Green's survival instinct kicked in: He leaped out of the way of the spear and, consequentially, the ball. Base hit, and an Anderson Hernandez broken-bat blooper would drive in the first run of the game.

The second straight record crowd cheered the road team when David Ortiz -- playing first with all the finesse of a drunken hippo on ice -- gave the Sox the lead with a 3-run blast to deep center field in the fourth.

Stammen had been sharp up to that point, but he quickly lost it. Like with the Yankees before, he was able to keep unfamiliar batters off balance. But once they started seeing him more, they caught on to his junkballing stuff. 

He pounded the zone, but if you do that too much, the batters can adjust, as Jason Varitek -- who had been 0-fer -- did when he hammered the two-run shot that sealed the game.

But on the bright side, at least we can't blame the bullpen today.

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