Welcome to MASN's discussion space for tonight's Nationals-Giants game at Nationals Park. I'll post periodic updates and analysis throughout the night, and if you'd like to discuss the game, you can do so in the comments section. Any questions you've got on the game, leave them there, and I'll respond to you.
7:11: The Nationals didn't give up a run in the first inning against the Giants. Why is this significant? It's the first time in 10 games they haven't allowed a first-inning run. Remarkably, they were 5-4 in that stretch. Craig Stammen gave up one hit, but got out of the inning with a double play.
8:05: Apologies for the delay between posts -- I was talking to a group of journalism and PR students from Otterbein College just outside Columbus. They were at the game tonight, learning about the sports media industry, so I spent a little time telling them about what I do. Anyway, the Nationals and Giants are trading blows here, and one of them was struck by the most popular man in NatsTown - Michael Morse, who is starting in right field tonight and probably isn't in the lineup nearly as much as some of you would want. Morse homered to right center in the second inning, tying the game at three after the Giants scored three off Craig Stammen in the second. Morse is hitting .323 for the year now, with four homers in just 65 at-bats. In a 550-at-bat season, that's 33 homers.
8:26: The Nationals' offense is at it again; they've scored two runs on three hits here in the fourth, and now lead the Giants 5-3. Craig Stammen just launched a ground-rule double that one-hopped into the Giants' bullpen, and it knocked Jonathan Sanchez out of the game.
9:20: It was a so-so night for Stammen, who allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings while walking four. The Nationals lead 5-4 in the seventh inning, and have already put Tyler Clippard in the game. It appears they'll use Drew Storen as the setup man tonight -- or would have, until Aaron Rowand homered off Clippard as I was writing this. Clippard left a fastball up, again, and Rowand launched it into the left-field stands. Not a good pitch, and the Nationals probably need to be a little worried about Clippard at this point.
9:51: Maybe 'a little worried' was too gentle. Clippard gave up four runs on two hits and two walks, retiring just one batter, and the Nationals now trail 8-5. Two of the runners that scored were inherited by Doug Slaten, but the problem started with Clippard. Hitters are batting .571 off him in July, and Clippard has a 16.5 ERA in his last six innings.
10:15: And we trudge on here. It's 10-5 now, after Buster Posey hit a two-run homer off Miguel Batista. He's 4-for-5 tonight with three RBI, and the Giants have scored seven unanswered runs. What was a game the Nationals looked to have in command is now a blowout, and they'll get one last shot in the ninth to resurrect themselves in a game that's gotten out of control.
A quick programming note: I'll be on Nats Talk Live with Craig Heist tonight, talking about the Nationals' first half and taking your phone calls. You can tune in on 1500-AM.