Thru 3: Nats trail 1-0

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There were perhaps 1,000 fans in their seats at 7:06 p.m. when John Lannan threw his first pitch of the night. That number has maybe doubled in the hour since.

It’s probably better that more people weren’t here to see the top of the first, because it wasn’t pretty. Kaz Matsui led off with a single. Lannan had him picked off trying to steal second, but Nick Johnson’s throw hit Matsui in the helmet and ricocheted away, a tough error on Johnson that proved costly.

Matsui took third on a flyout to center, then scored moments later when Lance Berkman hit a deep drive to center that Elijah Dukes absolutely butchered. Dukes took two steps in before realizing the ball was going to land way over his head. By the time he got there, Berkman was at second base with a gift double and the Nats were trailing 1-0.

They had opportunities in the first and second to get the run back (and then some) but squandered those. With two on and one out in the first, Adam Dunn struck out swinging and Dukes was caught looking at a pitch from Brian Moehler.

Then with two on and one out in the second, Lannan thrice fouled off sacrifice bunt attempts and was called out in the process. Cristian Guzman flied out to right to kill that rally.

On the bright side, Ryan Zimmerman’s hit streak is alive and well. He singled up the middle in the first, extending the streak to 22 games, then singled to left in the third.

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Mark Zuckerman

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