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Thru 3: A close call, and a big blast

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If the Nationals are going to snap out of their funk and salvage one game out of this six-game trip to New York and Philadelphia, they’re going to have to come from behind.

Three innings into today’s finale at Citizens Bank Park, the Nats are already trailing 2-0. Two big moments in this one so far…

1. Shane Victorino appeared to have been thrown out at the plate on a nice relay from Adam Dunn to Anderson Hernandez to Josh Bard. Plate umpire Dana DeMuth called him out. But then third base ump Brian Knight came charging in and overruled DeMuth, because Bard had dropped the ball. No argument from the Nats on that on.

2. John Lannan has pitched pretty well and has actually struck out five in three innings (perhaps he overheard Manny Acta pointing out before the game that only two of his starters are strikeout guys — Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler — and that the other guys put the ball in play, meaning the defense needs to perform for them). But Lannan made a critical mistake to Chris Coste in the second. First, he fell behind in the count 2-0. So he had to come back with a fastball. And that 88-mph creampuff stayed right over the plate, allowing Coste to blast it into the left-field bleachers.

Meanwhile, the Nats’ lineup is doing nothing against Jamie Moyer, a pitcher who has been struggling big-time but is having no such troubles today. Austin Kearns has the lone hit, a single to left in the second. Otherwise, that’s it so far.

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Mark Zuckerman

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