We're going to do the same thing for tonight's Nationals-Astros game as we did last night -- I'll post some updates here, and you can discuss the game by leaving comments here. I'll respond to you with a dashed line like this...
...and put my response underneath your comment. How's that for an E.E. Cummings-style blog post? ;-)
I'll bring back the in-game chat for tomorrow afternoon's game against the Astros.
And if you're looking for something to do at some point tonight, take our reader survey if you haven't done so already. We're always looking for ways to make the site better, and the response - both in number and ideas - has been incredible so far. Click here if you want to take the survey. I'll probably leave it open for a couple more days, and share some data with you at that point.
Here are the lineups for tonight's game, which begins at 8:05 p.m.:
9:19: We've played four at Minute Maid Park, and the Astros lead the Nationals 2-1. Washington had a couple hits off Wandy Rodriguez, and Nyjer Morgan just led off the fifth with a hit. Rodriguez's pitch count is escalating quickly, and the sooner the Nationals get into the Astros' suspect bullpen, the better chance they'll have.
9:38: That was a missed opportunity for the Nationals. They caught a break when Humberto Quintero was called for defensive interference on Josh Willingham's strikeout, but Ian Desmond grounded out to short to end the inning. The Nationals also ran themselves out of a scoring chance when Nyjer Morgan got caught stealing. The good news is, they've got Rodriguez over 100 pitches, so they might have seen the end of him for the night.
10:02: Pretty ugly sequence in the bottom of the sixth for the Nationals. Ian Desmond missed the bag -- and didn't get the neighborhood rule -- while trying to turn a double play, and threw wide of John Lannan trying to cover first. That made it 3-1 Astros, and Houston has runners on first and third with one out.
10:28: Still 3-1 Astros after six. But now I've got another problem: I'm running the Race for the Cure on Saturday, and a BlackBerry-addicted teammate (who shall remain nameless - or maybe dat shall remain nameless) is asking if he or she can bring his or her phone to the starting line, so he or she can tweet during the race. Yep, this is what I deal with. It would make me feel better if you donated to the cause, which you can do here. Any amount helps toward the fight to end breast cancer.
10:57: This was another ugly one for the Nationals. Desmond committed three errors, and they had just seven hits against the Astros in a 5-1 loss. Washington has lost two of three against the Astros, and can only split a series against the National League's second-worst team. And at best, this road trip will be a 4-6 swing. The Nationals are two games under .500, tied for the worst they've been all season, and they're coming home after tomorrow for a tough three-game series with the Reds. But this was supposed to start an easy stretch of the schedule, and the Nationals haven't begun it well.