Thru 3: Stammen dazzling

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Anyone who wondered whether Craig Stammen’s dazzling performance last week at Yankee Stadium was a fluke can rest assured it was not. The rookie right-hander has come out tonight against the Red Sox and looked even better.

Stammen has retired all nine Boston batters who have come to the plate. He’s recorded three strikeouts. He threw his first eight pitches for strikes. And overall he’s thrown an astounding 28 of his 33 pitches for strikes. He’s even notched his second career hit.

The more you see Stammen, the more you think he can actually have some success up here. Now, he’s got to throw strikes and especially get ahead in the count, because he doesn’t have dominating stuff. But so far, he’s shown a pretty good ability to get strike one over the plate, and the results have been positive.

Better yet, Stammen currently holds a 1-0 lead thanks to some support (and a bit of luck) from hits teammates.

With Josh Willingham on first and one out in the second, Elijah Dukes hit what would normally be a routine double-play grounder to short. However, he also sent a massive chunk of his bat in the exact same direction as the ball. Nick Green had no choice but to forego the ball and try to dodge the shard of wood that was careening toward him. The ball wound up in left field, Willingham wound up on third and Dukes had himself a very strange single.

Anderson Hernandez followed with his own broken-bat single to left (this one at least was a line drive), so Willingham scored and the Nats took a 1-0 lead.

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Mark Zuckerman

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