Welcome to MASN's discussion space for tonight's Nationals-Mets game. I'll have updates and analysis throughout the night, and we'll run a live chat between the fourth and sixth innings of the game. If you want to talk about the game in the meantime, leave your comments at the bottom of this entry and I'll respond to them there. I'll put up a live chat window in the fourth.
7:19: The Nationals are down 1-0, after Cristian Guzman bobbled an Ike Davis grounder at second base that allowed Ruben Tejada to score. It's questionable whether Guzman could've turned a double play on the ball, but had he been able to, the Nationals would've been out of the first inning without a run.
7:44: Apologies for the delay in updates -- I was writing up a quick blog post on the Nationals signing Orlando Hernandez. Anyway, we're through two innings, and Luis Atilano continues to cruise. He's struck out three batters in the first 2 2/3 innings, and hasn't given up a hit since the first. Problem is, the Nationals haven't done anything against Jonathon Niese, already striking out four times against him. Still 1-0 in the third.
8:00: We're ready to launch our live chat in the window below. I'll keep posting in-game updates here, but if you want to chat in real time, we'll do that from the fourth through the sixth innings.
8:17: Things have unraveled here for the Nationals in the fourth inning. Luis Atilano walked two batters to help load the bases. Then, when Atilano threw a juicy fastball over the plate to Alex Cora, Michael Morse missed a leaping attempt for the ball at the wall as three runners scored. Atilano also gave up a double to Niese, bringing in another run, and the Nationals trail 5-0. Joel Peralta replaced Atilano to get the last out of the fifth.
9:00: Back from our live chat, and nothing much has changed here. The Nationals have had just one runner in scoring position, getting that when Ian Desmond doubled to right in the fifth inning. Desmond hustled hard, and probably had a shot at a triple. But it didn't matter; he got stuck on third, and the Nationals' offense continues to look limp.
9:20: The Nationals are finally on the board, courtesy of a solo shot to left field from Josh Willingham. Niese couldn't put him away on a 1-2 pitch, leaving a cutter over the plate, and Willingham turned on it for a long homer, his 15th of the year. But the Nationals haven't had another hit between that shot and Desmond's double, and they trail 5-1.