One Bad Inning: Postgame

“…That one bad inning,” said Dusty Baker regarding the 3rd inning where Lucas Giolito had 2 outs and had Nolan Arenado in an 0-2 count before giving up a home run on a missed location fastball hit for a 2-run home run which made the Colorado lead 3-1. David Dahl followed it up with a home run to make it a 3-run inning. One bad inning. One bad pitch when you think if Giolito got Arenado he would have completed the 3rd inning at a 1-1 tie.

“They didn’t miss his fastball,” Nationals Manager Dusty Baker said. “That was the key. His fastball is relatively straight, so you’ve gotta locate it well. Hopefully it will get better.”

Where is the “reach-back” 97mph fastball? Nobody on the Nationals does it better than Max Scherzer who will reach back for extra velo when he needs it. Giolito on his outing today only reached a maximum velocity of 95.2mph with an average velo of 93.1mph.

“Honestly with the way I’ve been pitching at Triple-A recently, I wouldn’t see this as an improvement,” Lucas Giolito said after the game. “I’ve been pitching a lot better. I figured some stuff out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to execute on a few pitches today that kind of lost the game for us. The only thing I can do is continue to work and try get better about living down in the zone and getting ahead of guys, and then throwing all my pitches for strikes and putting guys away. I can pitch at 93 if I’m hitting my spots and mixing up well. I think I left way too many fastballs up over the middle of the plate. Those are the ones that got hit pretty hard. So, the velocity I don’t think is a huge deal as long as I’m pitching the way I should be pitching.”

Good hitters don’t hit well-placed 93mph fastballs, but good hitters don’t miss mistake straight fastballs over the plate:

arenado giolito

The post-game media session had some good questions about Giolito’s swing and miss stuff and as the question was asked, how is Giolito only getting about a 6% swing and miss percentage when you would expect more than double that amount.

The offense for the Nationals could have been good enough for some days, but not good enough for this day as the batters did not take advantage of enough of the pitching mistakes today by Colorado.  Trea Turner was the star again today hitting a lead-off home run to begin the day and easily could have been 4-4 today if not for getting robbed on a play by Colorado’s 2nd baseman and also a shot into the right-center gap caught by the centerfielder. Turner also had the only hit on the day with runners in scoring position although Espinosa was held at 3rd base. Trea Turner set the Nationals’ rookie record today with 27 runs scored in a month breaking the previous record of 26 by both Bryce Harper in 2012 and Ryan Zimmerman in 2006.

trea turner watercolor

Wilson Ramos had a 2-4 day which included an infield single he legged out on a swinging bunt as well as a 450 foot home run. Bryce Harper opened the 9th inning with a home run off of lefty specialist Boone Logan.

Ben Revere, Anthony Rendon, and Ryan Zimmerman were all hitless today, and the biggest play of the day was Revere’s groundball that ended a promising inning with a doubleplay as the Nationals had runners on the corners with one out. Ryan Zimmerman’s struggles continued as he had 3 swing and miss strikeouts each time swinging at balls out of the zone.

The Nationals travel to Philadelphia for a 3 game set to finish off this 20 game stretch without a day-off. The Nationals will have a day-off on Thursday as rosters can expand.

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