Cardinals homer off Maya; Nationals lose Ankiel (and LaRoche?)

We’re in the fourth inning here, and few of the developments at Nationals Park tonight have been good for the home team.

Yunesky Maya hasn’t been able to get the ball down in the strike zone with any consistency, and he’s paid for it with a pair of Cardinals homers to each bullpen; Albert Pujols launched a 69-mph hanging curve into the Cardinals’ bullpen in the first inning, and Lance Berkman drove an 80-mph belt-high changeup into the Nationals’ bullpen in the fourth.

The Nationals have four hits off Jaime Garcia, but they’ve all been singles, and Ryan Zimmerman has struck out twice.

Rick Ankiel left the game at the start of the second inning with strained intercostal muscles; essentially, the muscles in his ribs. Ankiel caught a fly ball at the end of the first inning, and was replaced by Roger Bernadina. For a frame of reference, Zimmerman had the same injury at the end of last season and missed the final 10 games. But that was only because there were 10 games left in the season - he probably would have missed more time if there’d been more to miss.

And finally, it appears the Nationals might be playing the rest of the season without Adam LaRoche. Speaking at an event at Nationals Park for George Washington University alumni, general manager Mike Rizzo said the first baseman will have surgery to repair the torn labrum in his left shoulder and miss the rest of the season, according to a WTOP report. We’re supposed to get more information on LaRoche’s shoulder after the game, but several Nationals sources have believed he’ll have surgery, so that shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

Rizzo did not return a message seeking comment.

I’ll have more on the injuries - and the game - later on.