Mike Rizzo, "acting" General Manager of the Washington Nationals, taking in the Nats' 5-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Photo 2009 © Cheryl Nichols. All Rights Reserved.

THE RESULT: For the second night in a row, the Washington Nationals entered the ninth inning trailing the Colorado Rockies by two runs. For the second night in a row, the Nats got a quick run to cut the lead to one.

And for the second night in a row, that's where the comeback ended.

Josh Bard dialed deep to bring the Nats within one run, but when Cristian Guzman grounded out against Colorado closer Huston Street, the Nats had fallen for the second night in a row, and fifth time this season, to the Rockies 5-4.

The bigger news of this night, however, was reported by Bill Ladson of MLB.com, that Mike Rizzo, Assistant General Manager, would be promoted to permanent G.M. of the Nationals at a news conference on Thursday at Nationals Park, according to a baseball source with knowledge of the decision.

After all the confusion of the day about whether Rizzo, who has been "acting" G.M. since Jim Bowden resigned in March or Jerry Dipoto, Arizona's V.P. of Player Personnel would be named permanent G.M. of the Nationals, it now seems that Rizzo finally won the job he's been auditioning for all season.

Several news outlets issued conflicting reports throughout the day, but Ladson's report, along with Chico Harlan's Nats Journal post from earlier in the evening, give us the best information on the status of the position to date.

As for Wednesday's game, it was a rough night for Collin Balester. He lasted just one and one-third innings, allowing five walks and three hits, totalling three earned runs. He also committed an error, throwing a ball away on a pick-off move to second base.

Balester threw just 24 of his 51 pitches for strikes.

Nyjer Morgan, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn and Josh Bard all had two hits apiece. Bard homered in the ninth inning, and Zimmerman drove in two runs with a double and a triple.

THE TAKEAWAY: If the news about Rizzo is the final decision, then congratulations are in order. With everything in this saga the last two days, you'll forgive me if I'll wait until I get the press release to celebrate, but the reports on MLB.com and Nats Journal seem pretty definitive.

Rizzo certainly passed his audition with flying colors though. After assuming the reigns as "acting" G.M. in March, he's overseen the transfer of the Dominican academy, remade the bullpen (twice), traded for a true leadoff hitter and center fielder, fired a pitching coach and eventually, field manager Manny Acta, conducted a draft, and signed the number one overall pick to a record-setting, but not bank-breaking, four-year contract.

Yeah, I'd say he's passed the test.

THE GOOD: Ryan Zimmerman. He went 2-for-3 with a double, triple, and two RBIs.

THE BAD: Josh Willingham. 0-for-4 with three left on base.

THE UGLY: Collin Balester. He was terrible. One of those nights where not only did he lack command, but lacked any semblance of control whatsoever.

NEXT GAME: Thursday, the finale of the three-game set and conclusion of the season series. It's the last chance this season for the Nats to get a win over Colorado. Garrett Mock (2-4, 5.27) takes on Jason Hammel (7-7, 4.73) at 7:05 pm.