"The Nationals beat the Mets 3-2 on Monday night, running their record to 18-14 - which includes eight one-run wins - while managing to give Clippard and Capps a night off. It's far too early to suggest they've found the bullpen depth to spell "Clip and Save," but for one night, they were able to get by without them....Washington's relievers allowed two runs, one after Doug Slaten was slow to cover first in the seventh inning and one on Angel Pagan's homer off Miguel Batista in the ninth. And Bruney was their only reliever not to give up a hit. But none of the Nationals' relievers walked a batter, and Batista - who's been maligned as a long reliever - managed to get the save."
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez ends the night hitting .393 after going 4 for 4, guides Luis Atilano to his third win in 4 starts and drives in what eventually ends up being the winning run with the third straight hit to start the Nats' eighth off Mets' left-hander Pedro Feliciano. Pudge starts the second inning off with his 9th double of 2010, but gets stranded at second. In the sixth, Pudge singles and gets thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on a two-out hit by Atilano, and in the eighth the 38-year-old veteran follows up on hits by Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham with a run-scoring hit that brings Dunn's pinch runner in to make it 3-1 so the solo shot Miguel Batista allows in the ninth just makes it close.
"From start to finish, Nationals pitchers invented ways to get in and out of trouble. In the first inning, Luis Atilano escaped a bases-loaded, two-out jam with two strikeouts. In the fourth, he escaped with a zero after putting a runner on third with one out....Atilano exited the game with one out in the sixth, having allowed no runs on his 25th birthday while striking out five, inefficient but effective. In jogged Doug Slaten, just called up Sunday, to throw his first major league pitch this season with men on first and second base and one out."
"John Maine pitched fairly well, tossing 6 innings and allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks. I couldn’t tell by the off-kilter angle of the outfield camera, but it looked like Maine might’ve been rotating his upper body a little less than normal — it’s so hard to see what’s going on from the view of my living room couch. He threw about 95% fastballs, mixing in a handful of changeups. Velocity was around 86-88 MPH, occasionally hitting 90 MPH. All in all, encouraging. There looks to be the possibility that Maine can be a legitimate #5 or possibly #4 MLB starter, if he can keep opposing teams from sitting dead-red on the fastball."
"Perhaps, then, tonight's nip-and-tuck win, with Clippard and Capps both sidelined due to overuse, was the first step toward a more-balanced bullpen. Those two MVPs may still be Riggleman's go-to guys. But perhaps he'll actually consider handing the ball to Bruney or Tyler Walker or Miguel Batista in a competitive situation down the road."
"..pinch hitting in the seventh inning, Gary Matthews Jr. struck out with no outs and runners on first and third… i am not even sure why he brought the bat with him… reyes later struck out to end the inning, and went wild… he might have gotten away without being ejected, but he bounced his helmet and kept talking and that was that… jerry charged out, also got hot, throwing fist pumps while shouting in the ump’s face, so, naturally, he got the boot as well… i like the passion, but it’s an indication of how the team is pressing… they look tense, especially late in the game… in fact, theMets were hitting well late in games during their hot streak, and that is NOT what is happening of late… they look either frozen in the box, or they’re taking bad swings…"
"Three of the six Nats pitchers who appeared tonight boast a K:BB ratio less than one. That is a terrible ratio. "Closer" of the night, and noted author, Miguel Batista is especially awful, and managed to shut the door despite giving up a home run to Angel Pagan and a single to Alex Cora. Gary Matthews Jr. struck out pinch-hitting in the 7th inning and his batting average is dropping as my BAC is rising. Equally useless bench piece Frank Catalanotgonnaworkhereanymore led off the 9th with a groundout and has since been replaced with Chris Carter. It's about time. Carter is no savior but he's done nothing but mash in the minor leagues. He deserves a shot, and should be considered for some starts in right field."