Good pitchers’ duel here at Nationals Park tonight, with young lefties John Lannan and Paul Maholm going pitch-for-pitch with each other through three scoreless innings.
Scoreless, that is, until Adam Dunn gave the Bucs a 1-0 lead in the fourth. With a man on first and two outs, Jack Wilson scorched a double down the left-field line. Dunn came charging to retrieve the ball and had it in plenty of time to throw out Andy LaRoche at the plate. But Dunn’s throw skipped short of Cristian Guzman, then rolled past Ronnie Belliard and Ryan Zimmerman. It was finally picked up by catcher Wil Nieves, well after LaRoche had crossed the plate standing up and Wilson had reached third.
So the Pirates lead 1-0, but give Dunn some of the credit (or blame) for that.
Meanwhile, here’s some reaction from all the interested parties on Daniel Cabrera’s demotion to the bullpen and Craig Stammen’s promotion to the big leagues. (FYI: The Nats will make another roster move after the game tonight to clear a spot for Stammen. Going to be one of the relievers. You’ve got to believe Garrett Mock is the least-stable member of the group.)
DANIEL CABRERA, on the demotion to the bullpen: “It doesn’t feel comfortable to me, because I’ve never been there. But I’m an employee for this team. I work here. And whatever they ask me to do, I’ve got to do it.”
MANNY ACTA, on whether Cabrera could remain as a reliever long-term: “Hey whatever works. If he comes out of the bullpen and pitches good, and he likes the role, why change it? We’ll see. Obviously his preference will be to start.”
MIKE RIZZO, on Stammen’s progress over the last year: “We saw him last year and he was a little bit of a different pitcher. He was a power pitcher with a four-seam fastball that was pretty straight. Over the winter in talking with Steve McCatty and in spring training worked on two-seamer. You could see the results. His groundball-to-flyball ratio in Triple-A is pretty good.”