Not much has changed since we last spoke. John Lannan and John Smoltz continue to dominate, leaving things knotted at 1.
Things did get hairy for Lannan in the sixth. Julio Lugo led off with a single, and Brendan Ryan followed with a sharp grounder to Ryan Zimmerman’s right. Zim made a nifty play to get the ball but he made an ill-advised attempt to throw off-balance to second base and wound up throwing wide for an error. Should have just taken the easy out at first. But Lannan battled back, and Zim made up for the error. Lannan got Albert Pujols to fly out to right, and then Zim turned a 5-3 double play on a Matt Holliday grounder to third.
Lannan has been especially efficient, needing only 68 pitches to get to this point. The Nationals (and Lannan himself) have to be breathing a sigh of relief after his shaky last three outings. He looks as good as ever.
Smoltz has had to work a bit harder — he’s at 92 pitches already — and at his advanced age, his night appears to be over. Perhaps the Nats will have better luck against the St. Louis bullpen.
Either way, the way this one’s going you’ve got to believe the next team to score will win.