07/31/08 1:11 AM ET
Redding shaky in loss to Phillies
Nats righty knocked out after allowing five runs in fifth
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
Entering Wednesday's action, Redding was the most tradable veteran on the Nationals. He was 7-5 with a 3.98 ERA -- although that ballooned to 4.34 after he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in four-plus innings.
Redding gave up two in the first, but settled down over the next three innings. The Nationals took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the first, thanks to home runs by Willie Harris and Jesus Flores.
For Harris, it was his eighth home run of the season, surpassing his total from the first seven years of his career. The most home runs he had ever hit in a season was two in 2002, '04 and '07.
"I don't know where the home runs are coming from," Harris said. "I've always heard as you get older, you start finding out about your swing. I'm not trying to hit home runs at all."
In the fifth, Redding suddenly had nothing in the tank, unable to record an out as Philadelphia scored five runs in the frame. After giving up a single to Carlos Ruiz, Redding walked veteran Phillies starting pitcher Jamie Moyer. Jimmy Rollins followed and doubled to right-center to score Ruiz. Shane Victorino then hit a two-run double, which Chase Utley followed with a two-run homer.
"I walked a 45-year-old-pitcher -- that's completely inexcusable," Redding said. "It was also what happened after that -- base hit, base hit, home run. It ended the ballgame for me."
Despite the bad outing, Redding is a feel-good story in Nationals history. The 31-year-old toiled in the Minors during the first half of 2007 before being promoted for one start on July 3. But he never returned to the Minor Leagues and has been a mainstay in Washington's starting rotation.
"He has been solid," general manager Jim Bowden said. "He is 30 years old and he has figured it out. He has been a great influence on our young pitchers in the clubhouse. I would like to have him on the team, but that being said, we always have to explore every possibility [when it comes to trades]. We wouldn't be doing our job right now if we didn't."
With his value going up because of his on- and off-field duties, Redding is now on the trading block leading up to Thursday's non-waiver deadline. The Nationals are looking for prospects in return.
Asked if he has pitched his last game as a member if the Nationals, Redding said: "I have no idea. I think I just pitched poorly enough that anybody that might be interested is no longer interested. So as far as I'm concerned, I'm going to be a Washington National the rest of this year. I plan on being a Washington National after this year. We'll see how long it takes me to the end of my career.
"I'm comfortable here. I like the guys we have. Obviously, there's no fun losing night in and night out, but it's always darkest before the dawn. If we are trying to build for the future and we have to go through a season like this, so be it. Next year is going to be a whole new year. Let's try to finish this one out on a positive note."
The Nationals tried to finish on a positive note on Wednesday, but came up short. Washington made it a three-run game in the bottom of the seventh off Ryan Madson, as Pete Orr scored on a Lastings Milledge groundout and Harris scored on a Ryan Zimmerman double.
The game marked the first time since July 23 that the Nationals scored at least four runs in a game. Washington (38-69) has now lost eight straight.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.