The Washington Times - July 11, 2009, 08:10PM

The Nationals have come out hitting against Astros lefty Mike Hampton—they had five hits in the first three innings, which led to two runs. But they also made one of those blunders that it seems no other team can make.

When Josh Bard doubled in the bottom of the first, Adam Dunn scored to give Washington a 3-0 lead. Only one problem: the outfielder didn’t touch second base. Hampton flipped the ball to shortstop Miguel Tejada, and Dunn was ruled out. Bard didn’t even get credit for the hit—the play was scored a fielder’s choice.


So instead of a 3-2 lead, the game is tied at 2. Starter Craig Stammen made a big mistake by walking Michael Bourn on four straight fastballs—one inside, one high and two low—to start the game. Bourn stole second and later scored, despite the Astros not getting a hit in the inning. Whether it’s Bourn, Colorado’s Dexter Fowler, the Red Sox’ Jacoby Ellsbury or Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton, the Nationals’ young starters have put disruptive leadoff hitters on base way too many times in the last month.