Mark Melancon is on his way to join the #Nats as bullpen struggles again: Postgame

The big news today was the pre-game trade of Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn for the Pirates’ closer Mark Melancon.

Both Dusty Baker and Mike Rizzo spoke to Jonathan Papelbon before the Melancon trade was made.  “[Papelbon] wants to win, you know,” Baker said. “That’s all he talked about— winning.”

As for today’s game, the Nationals’ pitchers combined today to walk nine Giants batters in 8 innings in a 5-3 loss. Dusty Baker stuck with Reynaldo Lopez in the 4th inning as the Nats had a 3-0 lead with a pitch count accumulating to near 90 pitches. Lopez could not work his way out of the inning unscathed and gave up 3 runs. Lopez pitched very well in some spots sans the walks, and left with no decision in a 3-3 game with 4 innings complete.

Today, Baker went immediately to Yusmeiro Petit as his long-man to start the 5th inning, and he kept the 3-3 tie until the 7th inning until he was pulled with two runners on base and a 4-3 deficit. Oliver Perez replaced Petit to face the lefty Gregor Blanco and walked him and was pulled. Blake Treinen was called in to face the righty and he walked in the 5th run of the game.

The Nationals got a 2-run HR from Anthony Rendon, and an RBI double from Danny Espinosa to account for the Nats 3 runs. Trea Turner got 2 hits to improve his batting average to .339, and only Bryce Harper went hitless of the position players, however, Harper did work 2 walks. The Nats had 10 baserunners today, but could not piece enough baserunners together.

Trea Turner singled in the first inning and promptly stole 2nd base, but was stranded there and that was all of the Nats baserunning that had positive results as both Ben Revere and Bryce Harper were caught stealing to snuff out any chances at putting together big innings.

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