Thru 6: Pitchers' duel

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Craig Stammen cruised for five innings tonight. But the rookie hit a wall in the sixth, putting three straight Rockies on with one out. Not wanting to take a chance, Jim Riggleman pulled him right there in favor of lefty Ron Villone. Villone got a groundball, but he couldn’t prevent the tying run from scoring. Jason Bergmann then entered with runners on second and third and two outs and came through with a pop-up on his first pitch.

Bergmann has become quite the rally stopper out of the Nats’ bullpen. It seems like he’s always coming into tight jams, and more often than not he’s pitched his way out of them.

If the Nats are going to win their ninth straight at home, though, they’re going to have to plate another run. They’ve been stuck on 2 since the second inning, unable to do anything with flamethrower Ubaldo Jimenez. The lanky right-hander has struck out five, including Adam Dunn three times. One of those came on a 98-mph fastball. Another came on a 99-mph heater.

Somebody’s going to have to solve this guy soon, or at least get to the Colorado bullpen.

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Mark Zuckerman

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