The Nats have certainly been consistent in their bi-weekly Sunday doubleheader results in losing the first game and winning the second game to split each doubleheader. The Nationals gave up their 2-0 lead then played from behind at 3-2 to take a 5-3 lead then finished in the 9th at 5-4 after Sean Doolittle thought he had the 3rd out and a 5-3 win, but Michael Taylor didn’t squeeze the 3rd out on a low liner and it popped out of his glove for an RBI single. Doolittle did get the final out and his 13th save for the Washington Nationals. Of course, the collective blood pressure of Nats’ fans was raised as hearts beat quicker. The final out was recorded by Alejandro De Aza on a liner to leftfield that off the bat looked like it was going to be a double to the corner. Once again, late-inning defensive positioning paid off. ESPN had focused in the 9th inning on Sean Doolittle’s mother. You could see and feel the emotion.
Tanner Roark was good today and had a shutout into the 6th inning when he seemed to hit the wall right around 95 pitches. Unfortunately he gave up 3 earned runs and departed down 3-2 but since the Nationals scored 2 runs and took back the lead, Roark earned the win and each reliever after him got the “hold” with Sean Doolittle for the “save”. Brandon Kintzler was unavailable today we were told by a source do to some fatigue.
As it turned out, Adam Lind‘s 8th inning solo home run which was an add-on run ended up the difference in the game.
Dusty Baker leaned on Matt Albers, Shawn Kelley, and Joe Blanton in both parts of the doubleheader. Albers and Kelley allowed zero runs and Blanton gave up the go-ahead run in the first game but got his man to close out the 8th inning in the second game.
The Nationals scored two runs in the 6th inning on bases loaded walks by Michael Taylor and Andrew Stevenson. The Nationals only had 6 hits in the game however the 4 walks were back-breakers to the Mets pitching staff. Of the 6 hits, Wilmer Difo had 2 and Anthony Rendon had 2 hits to go with the big home run by Lind and a Daniel Murphy hit. The Nationals had bases loaded and 1-out when Dusty Baker pulled Jose Lobaton and inserted Howie Kendrick as a pinch-hitter but he hit into an unfortunate inning-ending doubleplay.
There are now only 33 games remaining on the regular season calendar. The Nationals improved their record to 78-51 and increased their NL East lead to 12.0 games over the Miami Marlins who will be in DC tomorrow for a 3-game series.