The Nationals offense came alive in this game, but the pitching, defense and baffling managerial decisions were costly in this game.
Ray Knight in the post-game report showed how Michael Taylor once again showed poor defensive instincts on a ball hit to him that ended up being a 2-out game winning RBI to make the score at the time 7-6.
Danny Espinosa made the big error in this game in the 3rd inning as Lucas Giolito‘s start fell apart with no outs as a routine grounder became a man on 1st. That ballooned into a 3-run inning, and the Nats clawed back for 4 runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning with a 2-run HR by Wilson Ramos.
Giolito couldn’t get out of the 4th inning lasting 1 out into that frame. Giolito finished with 3 1/3 innings with 4 runs, 2 earned runs. Giolito was replaced by Matt Belisle which called into question why Dusty did not go to his long-man Yusmeiro Petit.
It was baffling how Dusty Baker managed his bullpen today, and we have seen this before with leaving a young starter in too long and then questionable bullpen management. Felipe Rivero was not available today, but why did he not use Petit early in the game? You learn you never save your long-man for late in a game as you worry about that if you need it as there were other options such as using Blake Treinen could then be used as your long-man if necessary.
Giolito’s fastball averaged only 93.5 mph with a max of 95.9 and only got 1 swing and miss. Giolito was not fooling batters today and had no strikeouts while walking 3 with 4 hits.