Final R H E
Washington Nationals (56-44)
4 12 0
Cincinnati Reds (51-51)
1 4 1
W: T. Roark (10-6)   L: A. Simon (12-5)   S: R. Soriano (24)
Box Score | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability

Has Alfredo Simon hit the wall? Is he regressing to the mean? He didn’t have it tonight, but in his previous five starts, he has a 1.91 ERA. He continues to defy his peripherals. His FIP during those five games is 3.99. His BABIP during this recent stretch is a ridiculous .202. So, I’m not sure I take any dire warnings from tonight. The metrics say he will turn into a pumpkin.

Hasn’t happened yet. And I’m not sure it will. He continues to defy the numbers.

This is a bad time for a wounded offense to have to face the best pitching staff in the National League (as measured by WAR, ERA and FIP). The Nationals completely dominated this lineup.

Carlos Contreras looked like a stud tonight. He just came right after the hitters in the 9th.

J.J. Hoover relieved Simon in the 5th and was impressive getting out of a first and third jam with one out, getting a pop out and a strikeout. But, an inning later he gave up a run (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K)

The pessimist in me says this is the beginning of the end. But, I don’t believe in the Brewers or the Pirates. And the Cardinals have lost 4 straight. If the Reds didn’t have such a good bunch of starters, if they weren’t getting shutdown innings from Broxton and Chapman, none of that would matter. But the fact remains, this division is up for grabs. If the front office thinks Votto will be truly productive when he comes back, then a trade could be worth the gamble. If they make a trade, that tells me they think Votto will come back strong, if not 100%. If they don’t, it means the quad is not getting substantially better.

Everybody’s talking about GAMES BACK. It’s still too early for that. If we leaned nothing else from the days before the the All Star break, we learned a big lead can disappear in a week.

Trending: Lucas Duda has just hit a 2-run HR to give the Mets a 3-2 lead over the Bernie Brewers in the top of the ninth.

60 games left. Talk amongst yourselves.