How many times can you write the Nationals had their chances? The Nationals were 1-for-9 in RISP situations tonight, but the real sin was Ryan Madson entered the game with a 2-1 deficit and quickly gave up a 2-run home run. The Nationals clawed back for 2-runs in the 9th inning and fell short in a 4-3 loss.
You’ve heard this tune before. The Nationals got out to a 1-0 lead and while Tanner Roark did not have his best stuff, he gave up 2 runs of which one was earned. He was hit hard and defensive positioning helped quite a bit, and you take what the game gives you when it works in your favor. The Nationals had 2 runners on in the 6th inning and no outs and could not score, and that was the spot where you have to score off of Aaron Nola when you have the middle of your order up.
Once again it was the little things and one big thing with the 2-run home run that Madson gave up. Bryce Harper struck out 3 times tonight in 4 at-bats, but he did manage one of the Nationals seven hits on the evening. Trea Turner had 2-hits and scored 2-runs and the other hits came from Pedro Severino who had the only RISP hit in the game, and Michael Taylor had an oppo double in the 9th inning. Anthony Rendon had the other hit.
The pinch-hitters in the game failed miserably. Adam Eaton had a 2-0 count with Taylor in scoring position and he swung at a ball probably off the plate to groundout weakly instead of working the count on a struggling relief pitcher. Mark Reynolds pinch-hit after Eaton and did what he has done too many times recently — a strikeout.
Once again the umpire’s strike zone was a factor in the game. The width of the plate never changes but for homeplate umpire Kerwin Danley, for Aaron Nola and Seranthony Dominguez, they had a 20 inch wide plate and the Nationals pitchers had a plate about 16 inches wide. You can review the charts and decide for yourself. It is what it is.