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Good, Bad & Ugly: Nationals Pounded by Dodgers 14-2

DENVER - JULY 06:  Adam Dunn #44 of the Washington Nationals doubles against the Colorado Rockies during MLB action at Coors Field on July 6, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Nationals 1-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Dave NicholsSenior Analyst ISeptember 22, 2009
THE RESULT:  The playoff-bound Los Angeles Dodgers used the cellar-dwelling Washington Nationals as a punching bag Tuesday night, pounding out 14 runs on 15 hits, five walks and three Nats' errors (though it should have been four) in a 14-2 victory.
The loss drops the Nationals to 51-99 on the season. Washington was done in by two really bad innings, a seven-run fourth and six-run seventh.  Starter Livan Hernandez (L, 8-12, 5.53) was hammered for eight earned runs on eight hits and four walks in just three and two-thirds innings.  Later, reliever Saul Rivera was beaten up for five runs—four earned—on just three hits and second baseman Ian Desmond's fielding error.

The nail in Rivera's coffin was Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda's (W, 8-6, 3.65) soft single to right field, loading the bases.  Victor Garate took it from there, and immediately surrendered a single to Rafael Furcal, opening the flood gates again.  

The only redeeming quality this game had for Nats fans was Adam Dunn's two-run home run, his 38th of the season.  The shot draws him within two of the magic number 40. Should he reach the mark, he'll join Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa with six straight 40-homer seasons, trailing only Babe Ruth's seven consecutive 40-homer seasons, the major league mark.

THE TAKEAWAY:  Nothing, other than Dunn's homer.  Seriously, this one was ugly and depressing.  Sorry.
THE GOOD:  Dunn.  1-for-1, two-run home run and two walks before being replaced.  He didn't see a strike after the dinger.
THE BAD:  Josh Willingham.  0-for-3 with two Ks and three left on base.
THE UGLY:  Livan.  It's a great story, the veteran hurler returning to the team of some of his best moments, but he's winless in his return and had nothing in this one.  And it could have been worse, as he pitched to Manny Ramirez twice with runners on base. Hernandez is 1-7 in his last 10 starts.
NEXT GAME:  Wednesday at 7:05 pm against Los Angeles.  Ross Detwiler (0-6, 5.80) tries for his first major league victory against Chad Billingsley (12-1., 4.05).

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