Apr 7, 2013, 10:31 PM EDT
Ian Desmond reacts after striking out in the third inning.
CINCINNATI — If the last 48 hours of baseball between the Nationals and Reds are any indication, there are two conclusions to draw about these well-constructed ballclubs: 1) There’s a good chance they could see each other again, with the stakes much higher, in October, and 2) Those games figure to be tightly contested and come down to a couple of key moments.
That much was obvious both Saturday and Sunday afternoons as the Nats and Reds traded blows during the final two games of a highly entertaining series. (Friday night’s 15-0 whitewashing by Cincinnati was a fluke aberration more than anything.)
On Saturday, it was the Nationals coming up big with the game on the line late. On Sunday, the tables were turned.
Thanks to an aggressive approach against Stephen Strasburg and one ill-fated decision by Danny Epsinosa, the Reds pulled off a 6-3 victory to capture this early-April series between NL powerhouses and send the Nationals home no longer in first place in the NL East.
“They obviously have a good team,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “Every guy in their lineup is pretty much like us: Guys hit the ball out of the ballpark and give good, disciplined at-bats. … But we didn’t put our best foot forward.”
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
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
- Hard-hit balls equal hard-luck loss for Nationals
- Fister, Nationals hard-luck losers in pitchers duel
- Asdrubal Cabrera joins Nats after trade, starts at second base
- Nationals send slumping Barrett to AAA
- Asdrubal Cabrera makes his debut
- Nats activate Asdrubal Cabrera, option Aaron Barrett
- MLB Power Rankings: Deadline shakeup in the AL
- Nationals bullpen in surprising rut
- Gio Gonzalez stumbles again in Nats' 10-4 loss to Phillies
- Pitchers' duel becomes battle of bullpens in Nationals 10-4 loss