Everything was a mess Sunday night for Henry Rodriguez. His nerves, the slop at his feet, the loaded bases behind him — all of it, in every way, an utter, complete mess, made worse by the man knocking the weighted donut off his bat in the on-deck circle. Walking to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning, already with two home runs and now carrying a chance to end the Washington Nationals' long, wet and miserable day in the most gut-wrenching fashion, was Joey Votto.

"Cross your fingers there," first baseman Adam LaRoche said. "It doesn't matter who's on the mound."

On the mound was Rodriguez, not the version with the golden arm, impeccable control and stoic calm. It was the Rodriguez with jangling nerves and no earthly idea where the ball is headed when it leaves his hand. Off that Rodriguez, Votto clobbered a walk-off grand slam to center field, his third home run of the day sending Rodriguez to his third blown save and the Nationals skulking off the field with a 9-6 loss before 28,361 at Great American Ball Park.