The Washington Nationals played their first away game of this season against the Cincinnati Reds. The way this game turned out for the Nats, they would have been better off to miss their plane. The Reds pounded the Nats pitchers, who gave up 15 runs. The Nats were held scoreless by Reds pitching.
Dan Haren made his Nationals debut. He probably wishes that it had gone better. Haren lasted just four innings, giving up six runs. Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart cranked back to back home runs in the second inning. The Reds tacked on three more runs in the third as a result of Zack Cozart’s second home run of the night. Shin-Soo Choo hit another home run for the Reds in the fourth inning to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Reds.
Homer Bailey started for the Reds and went six strong innings. He only gave up two hits and three walks and had the Nats hitters confounded all night. Bailey’s pitches were consistently near the plate. He had excellent movement up-down and side to side which kept the Nats hitters off balance.
Zach Duke replaced Haren in the fifth inning. The Reds scored an unearned run on an error by Suzuki trying to throw out Todd Frazier stealing second and Zack Cozart’s sacrifice fly for Cozart’s fifth RBI of the night. Duke got through the sixth inning cleanly, but the floodgates opened in the seventh. Brandon Phillips singled, Jay Bruce doubled which scored Phillips, and then Frazier hit his second home run of the night. Duke got Cozart to pop up for the second out. Devin Mesoraco singled, and relief pitcher Manny Parra singled and chased Duke from the game.
Davey Johnson called on Henry Rodriguez to get the third out of the inning. Unfortunately “bad” Henry showed up and threw gasoline on the fire. He walked Choo on four pitches and then gave up a grand slam to Xavier Pau in his first at bat of the year. The score was 14-0 and Henry still had to get that last out. He finally did so, getting Cesar Izturis to ground out after giving up a single to Jack Hannahan. (Memo to Davey: Don’t let Henry pitch in Cincinnati).
Ryan Mattheus pitched the eighth inning and gave up one run on a Bruce single and Frazier double before settling down and getting out of the inning
The Nats could do little against the Reds relievers. Parra threw two innings of scoreless relief and J.J. Hoover got the final three outs in the ninth.
There were some bright spots for the Nats even in this blowout. Danny Espinosa went 2-4, finally getting his first hits of the year. Ian Desmond had a double. Denard Span worked two walks and went 1-2. Steve Lombardozzi had a double in his first at bat of the year.
Next Game: The Nationals play the Reds again on Saturday April 6th at 1:05 p.m. The scheduled pitchers are Ross Detweiler for the Nats and Mike Leake for the Reds. Both pitchers are making their first start of the year.