The Washington Times - May 26, 2009, 08:14PM

Craig Stammen’s major league debut couldn’t have gone much better. His second career start couldn’t be going much worse.

Stammen is getting a taste of just what it takes to succeed in the big leagues right now. Through three innings, he’s allowed three runs on five hits.

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The rookie right-hander, who retired 19 of the first 20 batters he faced in his debut last week against the Pirates, gave up back-to-back doubles to the Mets’ Nos. 7 and 8 hitters in the second inning. Then he gave up two singles and walked two in the third, allowing two more Mets to score.

Just like that, it’s 3-0 New York, and Stammen’s pitch count is up to 60, or roughly as many pitches as it took him to get into the sixth inning in his last start.

The Nats aren’t doing much offensively against old friend Livan Hernandez. They’ve got three singles (one by Adam Dunn, who now has 1,000 career hits) but have yet to score.