This game had that September 8, 2015 feel to it where the Nats relievers (Treinen, Rivero, Storen) combined for giving up 6 runs in an inning and blowing a win. It was like deja vu all over again as Rivero and Treinen combined for giving up 6 runs to blow a win.
People are looking to place blame in a team game, but you can see where plays weren’t made on defense and the 2nd batter in the 8th inning popped up in shallow centerfield, and the ball wasn’t caught. That opened the floodgates as the 3rd batter walked and disaster followed. Defensive alignments changed to allow 2 more balls to fall in plus an error by Felipe Rivero on a comebacker that was a tailor-made doubleplay when the score was 3-3 at that point.
Clearly something has to be done with Felipe Rivero. From April 22 to April 26, Rivero appeared 3 times in 3 multi inning relief appearances, and it’s been downhill since that point until Rivero got 3 rest days after May 9th. Rivero improved his numbers through the end of May, but June has been horrendous where he has given up 13 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings in June while facing 31 batters and a WHIP of 3.00. In June now he has given up 10 hits and 6 walks in those 5 1/3 innings, and that error from tonight.
By May 31st, there were only 2 other relievers with a higher combination of appearances/innings than Felipe Rivero who is only 24 years old. Rivero in April looked like a closer in waiting. Slowly he has turned to “mush” and has struggled to get lefties out.
Not to be lost in this mess, Max Scherzer pitched a very good game giving up 1 run over 6 innings, and Matt Belisle pitched the 7th inning and did a good job. All starters had hits tonight except for Harper and Espinosa.