If there’s been one inning where the Nationals have been snakebitten more than any other, it’s the sixth. They entered the night having given up 72 runs in the sixth, their most of the year, and the inning got them again on Thursday.
It’s usually been the juncture where one of their young starters has faltered, which happened again tonight; John Lannan gave up three straight hits and was pulled for Jason Bergmann. But things didn’t get really hairy until then.
With the bases loaded and one out, Michael Bourn shot one off the left-field fence. Adam Dunn stood about 15 feet away from the wall, possibly thinking the ball was gone. Only it rebounded hard off the scoreboard. Dunn wasn’t in line to intercept it, and didn’t catch up to it until it was well down the left-field line. Bourn beat his throw to third, a run scored and the Astros had their second triple of the inning. Then Miguel Tejada singled to shallow center on a ball Dunn nonchalantly watched fall in front of him, rather than charging it, and Bourn scored.
So it’s 6-4 Astros in the seventh. And for the updated tally: The Nats have given up 76 runs in sixth innings this year, or almost one a game.