Tonight’s result is especially frustrating: despite Fernando Nieve’s outstanding pitching, the Astros weren’t able to bring the runs home; and the Washington Nationals prevailed in the end, with a 4-1 score.
Nieve showed great stuff, pitching shutout baseball until the fifth frame, when Damian Jackson went yard with a solo shot. Morgan Ensberg tied the game with a tater of his own, his 15th of the season; however, his teammates couldn’t muster a reaction to Ramon Ortiz’s delivery. Ortiz gave up a run in seven innings. Gary Majewski and Chad Cordero did their part from the ‘pen.
In the end, Fernando granted 2 runs off 3 hits, fanning 2; but the offense wasn’t able to respond; so Nieve got his third loss this year, against barely one win. Russ Springer’s comeback after serving a suspension due to the Barry Bonds incident was a bitter one: home runs by Daryle Ward and Alfonso Soriano were the insurance the Nats needed to get the "W".
The Astros left 6 men stranded, and didn’t have many chances of setting up a rebellion. What a contrast to last night’s game; the lack of support to Nieve is the worst note in this D.C. evening; a good ballgame in the end, that lasted 2 hours and 8 minutes.