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Posted at 01:12 PM ET, 04/12/2012

Nationals-Reds discussion thread: Game 7


(Evan Vucci - AP)

4:20, END 10: Craig Stammen pitches a scoreless and dominant inning, three strikeouts.

The craziness, however, would happen in the bottom of the inning. Zimmerman reaches base first, after being hit on the elbow with a pitch. Werth moves him over with a single and both advance a base on Nady’s ground out to third base.

Against Bernadina, reliever Alfredo Simon throws a wild pitch in the dirt, which scores Zimmerman. A walk-off wild pitch. Nationals win, 3-2, in 10 innings.

4:05, END 9: Brad Lidge comes on the in the ninth inning and blows the lead. He allows a one-out walk to Votto and a double to Scott Rolen. Manager Davey Johnson calls for an intentional walk of Bruce to load the bases to face Ludwick. But Ludwick manages a single, which sneaks just behind Zimmerman’s glove down the third base line. Two runners score. Lidge then gets two pop outs to end the damage, stranding two runners on base.

The Nationals squander a fruitful opportunity. Wilson Ramos doubles to right field, pinch hitter Mark DeRosa draws a walk and Desmond reaches on an infield single. Bases loaded with one out. But Espinosa hits a soft grounder to Arredondo, who throws home for the second out and then Mesoraco throws out Espinosa at first to end the inning. Tie game, 2-2.

3:36, END 8: Tyler Clippard comes on in the eighth and gives up a double to the first batter he faces, Valdez. He settles down and gets a pop out from Mesoraco, and strikeouts from pinch hitter Chris Heisey and Stubbs.

Team officials announce a sellout crowd of 40,907. The Nationals did not sell out last season’s home opener, which had a crowd of 39,055.

Jose Arredondo takes the mound for the Reds in the bottom of the inning. Werth manages the only hit by beating out an infield single. Nationals lead, 2-0.

3:13, END 7: Gonzalez retires the side with a groundout, flyout and his seventh strikeout of the game.

Chad Tracy pinch hits for Gonzalez. A phenomenal start for the lefty: 7 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks and 7 strikeouts. Nationals lead, 2-0.

3:00, END 6: Gonzalez is throwing well: a 14-pitch inning (all fastballs except one curveball) with two strikes outs. He has six strikeouts through six innings.

Righty Sam LeCure replaces Latos, who allowed two earned runs through five innings. The Nationals, however, do nothing against him. Nationals batters six through nine is 1 for 10, with one walk and one hit (coming from Gonzalez). Nationals lead, 2-0.

2:46, END 5: Zimmerman flashes his leather, actually his reflexes. He snags a liner from Ludwick by diving to his left, parallel to the ground. Devin Mesoraco smacks a double to right-center field but Gonzalez works out of the two-out jam with a knee-buckling curveball to strike out Latos.

The offense comes briefly to life. Gonzalez then bloops a single to left field, for his first major league hit, and flashes an enormous smile as the crowd gives him a standing ovation. Desmond singles. Espinosa draws a walk. Zimmerman reaches on a fielder’s choice. Then LaRoche’s single to center scores Desmond and Espinosa. Nationals lead, 2-0.

2:17, END 4: An efficient, nine-pitch inning for Gonzalez, after throwing 42 pitches through the first three innings. He has induced seven groundouts in 14 at bats so far.

Adam LaRoche reaches on a one-out single and Nady draws a two-out walk. But Bernadina flies out to left field, squandering the Nationals best scoring opportunity so far. Tie game, 0-0.

2:00, END 3: Ryan Zimmerman tried to throw out Stubbs on a sharp grounder down the third base line, but his bobble of the ball and errant throw allows Stubbs to reach second on an error. Working with two outs, Gonzalez strikes out Cozart to end the inning.

Ian Desmond, continuing an impressive start to the season at the plate, knocks a two-out single up the middle. But Espinosa grounds out to first. Tie game, 0-0.

1:42, END 2: Jay Bruce slaps a one-out double to left field. But Gonzalez gets Ryan Ludwick to pop out to Espinosa and ground out from Wilson Valdez to close the inning.

Latos retires the Nationals in order: Jayson Werth (strikeout), Xavier Nady (groundout to short) and Roger Bernadina (flyout to deep center). Tie game, 0-0.

1:25, END 1: Gio Gonzalez uses 15 pitches to set the first three Reds down in order. A 94-mile per hour fastball strikes out Drew Stubbs looking, Zack Cozart rolls over a changeup for a groundout and Joey Votto chases a low outside fastball for Gonzalez’s second strikeout of the inning.

Danny Espinosa manages a walk on an 11-pitch at bat against Mat Latos but he’s sandwiched between three flyouts to the outfield. Tie game, 0-0.

You’ve watched them play six games already, all away from home. But now, the Nationals are in Washington for the their home opener, for fans to judge them face-to-face for themselves.

We’ll update you on the game here inning by inning. And, as always, feel free to follow along and comment.

By  |  01:12 PM ET, 04/12/2012

 
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