Jun 6, 2010, 9:20 PM EST
Craig Stammen's best pitching performance of the season still wasn't good enough to save his job.
The Nationals optioned Stammen to Class AAA Syracuse following today's 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Reds, a move that clears space for Stephen Strasburg to be added in time for Tuesday's game against the Pirates.
Stammen, who entered the afternoon with a 5.88 ERA and every reason to believe his job security was low, nonetheless went out and held Cincinnati to one run over 6 2/3 innings. More impressively, the right-hander threw only 66 pitches before getting pulled by manager Jim Riggleman with two outs in the seventh and the Nats clinging to a 2-1 lead.
"It certainly was not a pitch count issue," Riggleman said. "I just felt like [Orlando] Cabrera, he had centered the ball a couple of times on Craig and I didn't want him to get another look at Craig. I knew I had a very fresh bullpen today. … We had them all ready. I thought Craig did a great job."
In the end, it really didn't matter how Stammen pitched today. His fate was already sealed. The only question, Riggleman said, was whether Stammen (or any other starter in consideration to lose his spot) would be moved to the bullpen instead. Fellow right-handers J.D. Martin (0-1, 2.31 ERA in two starts) and Luis Atilano (5-2, 4.24Read more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nationals 2014 minor league spotlight: Wilmer Difo
- Nationals 2014 minor league spotlight: A.J. Cole
- Report: LaRoche signs 2-year deal with White Sox
- Souza explains gift from Zimmermann: 'It was his moment'
- Nats sign RHP Billings for minor league depth
- Braves seen as 'dark horse' for next Cuban star Tomas
- When should Nats' wave of prospects arrive?
- Nationals linked to top free agent Max Scherzer
- Nats add 4 players to 40-man roster, drop pair
- Report: Nationals consider Zimmermann & Fister 'available'