Prior to this game, you probably had visions of a 2-1 game in a pitcher’s duel between Tanner Roark and Jose Fernandez with the hopes that Roark would be on the winning side of the ledger, but it was not to be in a final score of 1-0 as the Nats misery has extended to four straight losses. The winning run was a solo opposite field home run to Giancarlo Stanton.
Don Mattingly stuck with his ace into the 8th inning as he was on fumes over 100 pitches as Wilson Ramos got a single followed by a Brian Goodwin single to put runners on 3rd and 1st with 1 out. Dusty Baker opted to stay with Danny Espinosa in a clear contact situation. Espinosa is fourth in the Majors in strikeouts against a high K pitcher which spelled trouble. Dusty Baker, in a key spot, chose to stick with Espinosa, and as expected he struck out. Murphy pinch-hit for Roark and grounded out for the final out of the 8th. The question you have to ask is why didn’t you use Murphy to pinch-hit for Espinosa?
The Nationals had a chance in the 1st inning against Fernandez as Stephen Drew rattled a line drive off of the leftfield wall that caromed past Giancarlo Stanton as Drew rounded 2nd he slowed up. It appeared that Drew could have cruised into 3rd base with one out. That was another opportunity wasted.
Stephen Drew was the offensive star with a two-hit night including a big hit in the 9th inning. Bryce Harper came to bat and Phelps worked outside and was called out on pitches that weren’t near the plate. Harper walked off in disbelief. No chirping from the dugout. Key spot and the umpire blew it on 2 key pitches and possibly 3 if you include the borderline strike two. It also forced Harper to expand and protect and swing at a pitch even further outside.
Roark went over 200 innings on the season while dropping his ERA to 2.70. Fernandez dropped his ERA to 2.86. Roark is 5th in the Majors in ERA, Scherzer is 6th in the Majors in ERA, and Fernandez is 7th in the Majors in ERA.