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Rehashing a strange 3rd inning

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Rehashing a strange 3rd inning

PITTSBURGH -- The overarching storyline to last night's 4-2 loss, of course, was the Nationals' utter inability to make contact at the plate. But the evening's outcome might also have been different if not for a very strange bottom of the third inning in which the Pirates scored three runs in less-than-conventional fashion.

"We definitely want the third inning back," said Ross Detwiler, who had the misfortune of standing on the mound as it all played out.

Here's a recap of the inning...

-- Detwiler strikes out Pirates pitcher Brad Lincoln, but the ball gets away from catcher Wilson Ramos, and Lincoln winds up reaching first base on the wild pitch.

-- Jose Tabata smokes a ball back up the middle, it ricochets off Detwiler's foot and into shallow right field for a single.

-- Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen each single to right-center, each driving in a run.

-- Pedro Alvarez sends a harp chopper to third, which Ryan Zimmerman deftly scoops up and then gets Walker into a rundown between third base and home plate.

-- Casey McGehee sends a groundball to the hole at short. Ian Desmond gets the ball and thinks he can catch McCutchen rounding third too far. But McCutchen sees that Desmond is about to throw behind him and instead keeps running toward the plate, scoring ahead of the throw to make it 3-0.

"When I got to third, I was thinking of trying to score on the throw to first," McCutchen said. "He hesitated a little bit, and it was just enough to let me score."

Desmond gave all the credit to McCutchen's hustle.

"He made a good baserunning play there," the shortstop said. "I kept it in the infield. I would say nine or 10 times out 10, the runner stops and tries to dive back into third. He saw that I fielded it, and he looked at me and then just darted towards home. I had to make sure I had a good grip on the ball. It was just too late. A good baserunning play by him. And obviously, his speed helped."

Much of what transpired during the inning was out of Detwiler's control. But the left-hander did beat himself up for not trying to disrupt the pace of the inning.

"Really, you've got to just slow it down," he said. "That's one thing I didn't do. I didn't step off. I didn't slow it down. I just let it keep rolling too long. And by the time I did do that, it was too late, there were already three runs on the board."

And, given the current state of the Nationals' lineup, three runs were all Pittsburgh needed to win the game ... and the series.

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Man shot in the face near Nationals Park job fair

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Man shot in the face near Nationals Park job fair

On Tuesday morning, shortly after 10:00 a.m., a man was shot across the street from Nationals Park, local authorities reported.

After the shooting, the victim then ran toward the stadium where a crowd of people were waiting to enter a job fair at the park.

The victim was shot in the face and was transported to a local hospital. According to police, the victim was conscious when transported to a local hospital by authorities.

Authorities say they do not believe that the shooting was at all related to the job fair, which was for concession workers at the stadium.

The Nationals organization has since issued the following statement:

RELATED: NATIONALS REGULAR SEASON OUTLOOK

This morning a shooting occurred within a few blocks of Nationals Park. The injured victim fled the scene and was located and treated by emergency personnel outsider the center field gates, where jobs seekers were gathered in advance of a concessions staff job fair. The victim was transported by D.C. Fire and EMS to a local hospital. The Nationals are cooperating with the MPD investigation. Due to the incident, the concessions staff job far has been rescheduled for January 31.

The incident occurred at Half and N Street SE, which is near the center-field entrance of Nats Park. After initially believing the shooting took place outside the center field gate, police now believe he was shot behind a nearby liquor store.

Investigators believe the suspect fled the area in a car and have no details on a physical description.

 

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Ivan Rodriguez becomes first former Nationals player to be voted into Hall of Fame

Ivan Rodriguez becomes first former Nationals player to be voted into Hall of Fame

Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez became the first former Nationals player (2005-present) to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. He was inducted in his first year of eligibility, marking the 52nd first-ballot hall of famer in history. 

Rodriguez, who was the first free agent signed by current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, played the final two seasons of his career with Washington in 2010-11. During his time in D.C. he hit .254 six homers and 68 RBI. Pudge's greatest contribution to the Nationals came from his leadership and work ethic. He guided Stephen Strasburg through his rookie season and also helped develop Wilson Ramos so he could pass the torch to him. 

During his 21-year career, Pudge made 14 all-star teams, won 13 gold gloves, won seven silver slugger awards, led his league in caught-steeling percentage nine times, and was named American League MVP in 1999 with the Texas Rangers. He became a World Series champion in 2003 with the Florida Marlins. Pudge's 13 gold gloves are the most ever by a catcher, and his 2,844 career hits are the most ever by a player who appeared in 50 percent or more of their career games as a catcher.  

In addition to Rodriguez, former Montreal Expos great Tim Raines was inducted to the Hall of Fame. Raines is the franchise leader (Expos/Nationals) in walks (793), runs (947), stolen bases (635) and triples (82). Raines was an all-star seven times and he won a silver slugger in 1986 with the Expos. He is the only player in MLB history with at least 100 triples, 150 homers and 600 RBI in a career, and the only player to steal at least 70 bases in six consecutive seasons. 

Related: Bryce Harper wants Nationals to spend money on players, not team store