Saturday, October 04, 2014

The Nats Fall Flat

The Rally Towels are out in force

The Nats just never got it together. They were just flat. Pitching from Stephen Strasburg was good not great.

The trouble came from the offense which was non existent until the sixth when Bryce Harper smashed a solo home run into the the upper deck. Two batters later Asdrubal Cabrera hit one out too. The crowd which had been silent for most of the game came to life. It looked like things were moving the Nats way. But the other opportunities that presented themselves for scoring the Nats were unable to score:
The Nationals, however, went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position Friday and stranded seven runners. Shortstop Ian Desmond went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, one with the bases loaded and two outs, the other with two on in the eighth. With four games potentially remaining, the top-seeded Nationals still must prove to their opponents they can hang as tough as them in October.

The most painful missed chance came in the sixth. Jayson Werth worked a two-out, seven-pitch walk that knocked Peavy from the game. LaRoche drew another walk off Javier Lopez to load the bases with two outs. Up to the plate walked Desmond, who in his career had hit .433 with a .388 on-base percentage and .583 slugging percentage in 67 plate appearances with the bases loaded. Giants Manager Bruce Bochy emerged from the first base dugout again and summoned Strickland, a lightning-armed, 26-year-old right-hander who had made his major league debut Sept. 1.

Desmond can a hit a fastball, but he couldn’t touch Strickland. The reliever threw Desmond pitches clocked at 99, 98, 99 and 100 mph. Desmond waved at the last, and the Nationals had left the bases loaded.

If you have the bases loaded you need to score some runs even if it is only one run. That would have tied the score. This performance reminded so much of the first play off game two years ago. At least this time the Nationals were able to score some runs.

So today is another day. And today they rally need to win. They can't be down two games when they head out to San Francisco.

Ryan Zimmerman is introduced

Adam LaRoche high fives the line as Ian Desmond is introduced.

Bryce Harper

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