We’re all tied up (and we’re going to extras, again)

Despite some truly poor situational hitting, the Nationals have battled all the way back from a 5-0 deficit and have tied this game 5-5 as we head to the eighth inning.

Ian Desmond’s third hit of the day knotted things in the seventh, plating Rick Ankiel with two outs. Ankiel had reached on a leadoff double.

Back playing in his second game after starting the season on the DL, Ankiel showed off that healthy left quad as he sprinted around third and slid into home with the tying run, just ahead of the throw from center fielder Chris Heisey.

The Nationals’ bullpen has been great again so far today, as Craig Stammen threw two scoreless innings in relief of Ross Detwiler to keep this one close. Detwiler went five innings, allowing five runs (only one of which was earned) on six hits and two walks.

He finished nicely after that brutal first inning.

The Nats have left a few runs out there by not moving runners along or coming through with runners in scoring position, but they find themselves in a tie game and have a shot at a four-game sweep of Cincinnati.

Do we have more Reds-Nats extra-inning action in store for us today?

Update: Brad Lidge got into a jam in the top of the ninth when Brandon Phillips doubled to center with one out, but the veteran reliever responded by striking out Zack Cozart (looking) and Scott Rolen (swinging) to end the inning.

We head to the bottom of the ninth with the Nats having another shot at a walk-off win.

Update: For the third time in four days (and the fourth time in their last five meetings going back to last season), the Nats and Reds are going to extra innings.

The good news for Nats fans is that both of the two times earlier in this series that we got bonus baseball, Washington came out on top.

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