There's been a very simple, almost predictable logic to the Nationals' wins this year. When their starting pitcher goes at least five innings, they're 6-0. When he doesn't, they're 0-6.
That looks like it could be true again tonight. On the back of a solid outing from Craig Stammen, the Nationals lead 5-2 in the seventh inning.
Stammen has pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and walking just one. He's had a good fastball all night, getting eight groundouts with it, and got a double play to pitch out of a jam in the fourth inning.
It's a key outing for Stammen, who lasted just 1 1/3 innings his last time out and hadn't resembled the pitcher who surged to a rotation spot in spring training. He has tonight, and he's been good enough to overcome an uneven performance by the Nats' offense.
They chased Aaron Cook from the game after three innings, but left the bases loaded in the second and third innings and haven't had a hit since. This game could easily be 7-2 or 8-2, but the Nationals will have to hope their bullpen is good enough to finish the job here.