|Certainly was a fantastic night.|
A very frustrating Friday night at Nationals' Park:
As Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Ben Revere rounded the bases Friday night following his game-tying homer and the crowd at Nationals Park gasped, Washington Nationals closer Rafael Soriano stared out to right field. Soriano has struggled in the second half of the season, and more so of late. After blown saves in back-to-back outings, and his fifth in his past 21 appearances, Soriano’s struggles have put the Nationals and Manager Matt Williams into a difficult position.
The Nationals’ magic number was still trimmed to 16 thanks to Atlanta’s 11-3 loss in Miami, but it could have been more had the bullpen not squandered Stephen Strasburg’s strong start and the offense’s production. The Nationals had a 7-2 lead entering the eighth inning and watched it disappear before the next inning was over.
As I have said before Soriano allows too many people on base. And two home runs in one inning. OH my. It started a long end of the game where the Nationals lost by 9-8 in 11 innings. There were other flubs along the way but the main was the inability of Soriano to put the game away. Finally. Finally Matt Williams has decided to sit Soriano and have a rotating closer for now. It seemed to work on Sunday.
A good thing was that Atlanta lost on Friday too.
A bad thing was the Nationals lost again to the Phillies on Saturday.
A good thing Atalanta lost on Sunday.
An even better thing the Nationals one on Sunday. They are now 7 games ahead of Atlanta. The magic number is now down to 14.
A bad thing Atlanta (which has been the Nationals' kryptonite this year) are in town for the next three days. Hopefully the Nats can take at least two of these games. I'm going to the one on Wednesday afternoon.