Final R H E
Washington Nationals (57-45)
4 5 0
Cincinnati Reds (52-52)
2 7 2
W: D. Fister (10-2)   L: M. Latos (2-3)   S: R. Soriano (25)
Box Score | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability

Mat Latos touched 96 mph in the 1st inning, for those concerned about the status of his arm. Latos had a no-hitter through the first four innings, but found himself in a whole passel of trouble in the 5th when he lost his command culminating in a walk to Jayson Werth with the bases loaded after getting ahead in the count 0-2. A soft single by LaRoche and Latos went from no-hitting the Nats to trailing 3-0.

Donald Lutz made a fine defensive play in left field in the seventh, starting a relay play with his momentum carrying him the opposite way that doubled off Denard Span, who wandered too far off second base.

Jumbo Diaz relieved Latos in the 7th and looked like money again, surrendering a leadoff walk before getting a double play and striking out Werth.

Sam LeCure pitched an uneventful 8th.

Carlos Contreras had tossed a smooth and efficient 9th inning until with 2 outs, Skip Schumaker made a bad throw and his second error of the game and Devin Mesoraco surrendered a passed ball. Contreras sagged a bit after that, giving up the 4th run of the game.

The Reds offense, like a teenager waiting until the last minute to begin his homework, procrasinated until the very last moment to get to work. In the 9th, Todd Frazier singled, Jay Bruce singled and then Mesoraco doubled near the base of the wall in left center field to plate two runs and cut the deficit to 4-2. But, after outs by Hannahan and Lutz, Chris Heisey came to the plate and just got under a pitch, flying out to deep left field.

Not So Random Thoughts …

Hard to believe the Detroit Tigers could give Doug Fister away as easily as they did this past off-season. With Verlander struggling the way he has lately, you’ve got to believe the Tigers would like to have that move back. It’s a real object lesson for the Reds. You cannot have too much pitching. The front office has some tough decisions ahead of them as they decide whether to give big money to Cueto or Latos and going forward, how much to rely on the youth of Cingrani, Stephenson, Lorenzen, et al.

I cannot find it in my heart to blame Schumaker, Hannahan, Lutz or Santiago for not providing the offense this team so desperately needs right now. These guys are here to play selectively, fill in for minor injuries, give some flexibility to the lineup and provide capable late inning gloves. The guys who should be carrying the team offensively right now—Bruce, Frazier and Mesoraco—just are not getting it done.

The Reds actually outhit the Nationals. That’s the Baseball Gods mocking the Reds.

Since his disastrous maiden voyage against the Blue Jays, Jumbo Diaz came into today having pitched 10.1 innings, posting a 1.74 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 3 BB, 12 K.

The Joel Luckhaupt Stat of the Game: Mat Latos has a loss or a no-decision in each of the last 8 times he’s allowed 3 or fewer hits in a start.

The New York Mets have beaten the Bernie Brewers again, 2-0. So, the Reds lose no ground to the NL Central leaders, but fall another game behind the Cardinals, who won earlier 1-0.