The Washington Times - July 23, 2009, 08:04PM

This one is going pretty much according to plan so far. Collin Balester is getting behind in the count and getting his pitch count run up, the Nationals allowed a run because of a defensive gaffe and Adam Wainwright is controlling their lineup. And now it’s raining.

Balester has thrown 54 pitches to this point, and doesn’t look like he’ll last deep into this game. Thirty-seven of them have been strikes, but he’s given up a homer to Rick Ankiel and a pair of doubles to Skip Schumaker, the first of which led to a Cardinals run on a defensive gaffe by the Nationals.


With Schumaker on second, Colby Rasmus hit an easy fly ball to Adam Dunn in left. Dunn caught it, but bobbled the ball as he was taking it out of his glove, allowing Schumaker to go to third. Dunn’s error, though, wasn’t the only reason the Cards scored—replays showed Schumaker was loitering off second base, expecting to retreat when the ball was caught. Dunn’s bobble, though, caused some confusion, and Schumaker went to third without ever tagging up. The Nats never appealed, and Schumaker scored on Mark DeRosa’s groundout.

Now we’re in a rain delay in the top of the fourth, though it isn’t expected to last long. Famous last words, I know. But the forecast isn’t too bad. The duration of this storm will probably dictate whether Balester comes back out.