THE RESULT:  There was nothing alarming, exciting or untoward about Monday night's game.  It was simply a matter of a good team beating a not-so-good team, a team geared for the post-season beating an also-ran, a team with purpose beating a team playing out the string.

Johnny Cueto pitched six solid innings and drove in two runs himself, his bullpen held on over three innings, and a trio of Reds provided all the offense the Cincinnati Reds needed to defeat the Washington Nationals, 6-2, before 21,243 at Great American Ballpark.

The loss drops the Nats 13 games below .500 for the first time this season at 40-53.

The last few games the Nats have gotten their share of base runners but failed to drive them in.  In this one, they didn't bother with the first step.  The Nats got just four hits on the evening.  They were the beneficiary of seven walks, including twice each for Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn, but could do nothing with the gifts.

Ivan Rodriguez ended both the second and eighth innings by grounding into double plays behind a walk to Adam Dunn.

Rodriguez was involved in the one interesting play of the night as well.  With two out and two on, Rodriguez hit yet another ground ball.  This time though, the ball got past the pitcher and hit the second base umpire, careening into short right field. Zimmerman carried what he thought would be the Nationals third run of the game home from second base.

However, by rule, if a batter ball hits an umpire in front of the infield, the ball is dead and the runners are awarded one base.  Zimmerman went back to third, and Willie Harris proceeded to fly out to end the inning.

Washington managed two runs in the third on a Nyjer Morgan sacrifice fly and Cristian Guzman single.

Nats starter J.D. Martin (1-5) struggled.  He gave up six earned runs on six hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings.  He gave up home runs to Johnny Gomes and light-hitting Miguel Cairo in the six inning, ending his -- and the Nats -- evening.

THE GOOD:  Um.  Uh.  Sean Burnett pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Yeah, let's go with that.

THE BAD:  The bats.  Four base hits, and none against a beleaguered bullpen. 

THE UGLY:  The body language.  I'm no social scientist, but there was little excitement, urgency or enthusiasm evident on the part of the Nationals tonight.  Maybe the drain of losing two tough games, then travelling, did them in tonight.

THE STATS:  The Nats went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight men on base.  They struck out four times and walked seven times.

NEXT GAME:  Tuesday v. Cincinnati Reds at 7:10 pm.  RHP Luis Atilano (6-6) against RHP Mike Leake (6-1)