Reds 5, Nationals 4: Second Look

Good morning -- it’s a busy day today, and there are plenty of draft topics to discuss, so I’ll keep this short. Let’s get right to it:

Golden Geese
Ian Desmond: 2-for-5; scored a run, drove in another with a double to left and made a valiant diving attempt to beat out an infield hit in the 10th. He’s hitting .326 in the Nationals’ last 12 games.

Mike Morse: Another big pinch hit for Morse, who’s becoming more of a utilityman than a legit option to start anywhere. He drove in two runs with his ninth-inning double to tie the game, after igniting a ninth-inning rally in Houston last Thursday with a two-out pinch hit. The Nats blew both of those games, but Morse did his part each time.

Tyler Clippard: Struck out two in an inning and a third; he looks back to normal after struggling a few weeks ago.

Goose Eggs
Matt Capps: We talked plenty about Capps here, but he’s really struggling right now, especially with his slider. My guess is he stays the closer after blowing four of six save opportunities, but he needs to figure out his mechanics. The slider he threw Scott Rolen on the two-run homer in the ninth hung over the middle of the plate, as many of his sliders have lately.

Doug Slaten: After the Nationals tied the game in the ninth, Slaten put them right back in a hole in the 10th, allowing two hits and a run. Rare off-day for the left-hander, who’s mostly been superb in the bullpen.

Adam Dunn: Long hot streak ended (or at least lulled) with an 0-for-4 day, including three strikeouts.

In Case You Missed It:
--Alberto Gonzalez swung at a ball in his ninth-inning at-bat, striking out to protect Josh Willingham and Ian Desmond’s double steal. That put both runners in place to score on Morse’s ensuing double.

--It was a bad day for Roger Bernadina in the field; he barely missed a running catch on Drew Stubbs’ ninth-inning double to right, and in the 10th, with Stubbs up again, Bernadina made an off-line throw home that couldn’t get Jay Bruce, and allowed Stubbs to go to second.

Talking Points:
1. How concerned are you with Matt Capps? Would you give him a break from the role for a few days, and if so, who would you try?

2. In what’s supposed to be the easy part of their schedule, the Nats are 2-5. They’ve got another stretch of basement-dwelling teams coming, and the Reds are the exception to their run of bad opponents, but are you concerned that they couldn’t generate some momentum against the Astros and back home against Cincinnati?

Leave your answers in the comments. The blog will shift to draft stuff for most of the day, unless there’s any more Nats news. One way or the other, check back often; there’ll be plenty going on around here today.