**** Thanks for joining me today for my Live Blog. I will do this again in the future, and give you more advanced notice. Please continue to send me questions or any feedback to Nationalsgm@gmail.com, on Twitter @NatsGMdotcom, and on Facebook at NatsGM. Thanks again for reading and please continue to spread the word. ****
4:09pm- After Espinosa was hit by a pitch to start the 9th, the Nationals fail to generate anything on offense. Cardinals win 5-0 behind a 2 Hit Shuout from Kyle Lohse. Tough loss for the Nationals, who played a good, competitive game until the 8th inning. Head to Pittsburgh for a weekend series beginning tomorrow.
4:00pm- Well Balester certainly did not help himself with this effort this afternoon… 3 Earned Runs in a third of an inning. Doug Slaten comes in and stops the bleeding. To the top of the 9th, the Cardinals lead 5-0
3:47pm- Yikes! Balester walked the leadoff man then gave up a 400+ Foot Home Run to Albert Pujols to left-center field. Wow that ball was crushed…. 4-0 Cardinals
3:40pm- 2 Hits through 8 innings for the Nationals… Yes, Lohse’s stuff looks good today, but they are making him look outstanding. And Matt Stairs ends the top of the 8th with another strikeout. I know he is excellent in the clubhouse, but he needs to start hitting and soon.
3:34pm- Broderick pitches the 7th as well and makes a nice statement that he belongs. As Bob and FP touched on during the broadcast, Broderick has pitched well since his terrible first outing and looks like a decent arm. Still 2-0 Cardinals after 7 innings.
3:22pm- Nice routine trip through the heart of the Cardinals order for Brian Broderick. He wants to stay with the big club. Through 6 innings, still 2-0 Cardinals
3:18pm- Brian Broderick enters in the bottom of the 6th to relieve Gorzelanny. Broderick needs to keep pitching well as Balester deserves to stay, and Henry Rodriguez and Cole Kimball are both pitching well in the minors. There is a numbers crunch in the Nationals bullpen, never a bad thing.
3:08pm- Gorzelanny battling with his location but surviving… thru 5 innings and the Cardinals still lead 2-0.
2:58pm- My allergies are acting up, that was not a rally I was smelling. 6-4-3 double play from Pudge. Cora grounds out to second base and the Nats are finished in the 5th.
2:56pm- Morse leads off the 5th with a single… Pudge at bat and I am smelling a rally.
2:44pm- Gorzelanny just needs more consistency to become a mid-rotation starter. He has the stuff, but he suffers from inconsistency and perhaps mental lapses. He also seems to get punished when he misses, but when he is good, he is real good.
2:38pm- Werth gets the first hit of the day for the Nationals, a single to right center field and LaRoche follows with a walk. Then Desmond gets overeager and reaches for the first pitch and grounds it to shortstop to end the inning. Still 2-0 Cardinals, Bottom of the 4th
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2:30pm- What a great 6-4-3 Double Play started by Desmond to get the Nationals out of the 3rd inning… Still 2-0 Cardinals
2:18pm- Much better commercial GEICO… thank you!
2:13pm- I know the Nats are winning games, but they REALLY need Zimmerman back.
**** Gratuitous self-promotion…. I am preparing a “Questions from Readers” column this weekend, and hopefully each and every weekend of the year. Hence, I need questions from you, my readers. If you send me a question, and I use it in my column, you will win a yet to be determined prize. So start sending me questions. *****
1:56pm- Terrible 0-2 pitch to Matt Holliday, after two great pitches. Holliday crushes one into the bullpen in left-center field. 2-0 Cardinals after the 1st
1:49pm- Ok, please I beg… to whomever has the power, can we PLEASE end the Geico Caveman commercials. It has been a decade, the joke has run its course. Please! Now back to baseball
1:45pm- First pitch to Espinosa…. and yes I will confirm, my case of Espinosa disorder is still alive and well
1:41pm- “We gotta go beat him…” – Jim Riggleman.
1:21pm- Anyone remember when Jerry Hairston Jr. was a big-time prospect with the Orioles… Amazing how many years he has stayed in the majors.
1:18pm- I love Johnny Holiday and this is in now way a criticism…. but how many days and events must he work per year? His work ethic is off the charts impressive. Nationals, Maryland Men’s Basketball and Football, Charity events, etc. Great man-
1:13pm- Yes, I must be crazy to be sitting inside watching this game when the weather is spectacular outside.
1:10pm – Hey everyone, a few things in my personal life have fallen through, so with an afternoon game, I figured this might be a great time for an impromptu live blog. Now I am not great with computers, so we will see how this goes. Please chime in in the comments section with your questions, commentary, or feedback… Now to the live blog-