The Washington Times - June 30, 2009, 08:40PM

Oh yeah, there’s a ballgame going on tonight. Sorry, I’ve been so consumed with the Milledge/Hanrahan/Morgan/Burnett trade that I haven’t had a chance until now to provide an in-game update.

What you need to know: Craig Stammen can pitch, and he can hit, too. The rookie right-hander, who briefly was headed to the bullpen over the weekend, is reaffirming the Nats’ decision to leave him in the rotation. Through four innings, he has allowed one unearned run (a result of a double error on Ryan Zimmerman, who botched a hard grounder and then through the ball away.


Otherwise, Stammen has been solid, allowing three hits without walking a batter so far. And he’s provided the Nats with a 3-1 lead thanks to his bat. With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, he lined a sharp single to center field. Josh Willingham and Elijah Dukes each scored, and Stammen was credited with the first two RBI of his young career.

And as I was typing this, Adam Dunn crushed a two-run homer to right, the 298th of his career. Dunn also had an RBI double in the first, so he’s carrying his weight tonight. Nats now lead 5-1, in search of their first win over the Marlins in nine tries, dating back to last season.

In other news I failed to mention earlier, Josh Bard has a slight groin strain, which explains why he’s been out of the lineup the last three days. The injury is not considered serious, but Manny Acta plans to let the veteran catcher rest a couple more days and then return to the lineup Friday.