In today’s loss, the bullpen had to cover 5 full innings, and there was nothing pretty about this game. The pitching was awful, the defense was uninspiring, and the offense fizzled out when they had chances to blow the game open. The top of the line-up was 0-14 stranding numerous runners. Things were so bad for the bullpen that Mark Reynolds had to finish up the 9th inning.
The team now gets on a plane and heads to Pittsburgh. As the team heads out on a road trip of seven days, the team has the All-Star break after that. It can’t get here soon enough as the bullpen is being burned so often — four of the last five days. Tanner Roark lasted just 4-innings averaging just over 25-pitches per inning. The team just seems to lose almost every time he gets on the mound. In fact, the Nationals have lost 14 of Roark’s 19 appearances this year and that is a 26.3% winning percentage. He gave up 4 earned runs today and his ERA barely move from 4.60 to 4.76.
“Our starters have to got to go deeper in the game,” manager Dave Martinez said. “They do. For them to win consistently, they have to pitch. Had to relieve Tanner at 102-pitches in the 4th inning…Our starters need to pitch deeper in the game. That’s the bottom line. When they start doing that we will be really good.”
Besides Roark, the bullpen relievers had their struggles and Justin Miller and Ryan Madson combined to give up 6-runs in this 10-2 loss. At what point, do they get these pitchers healthy? There is not a chance these young men are 100% healthy. It is more than looking at velocity to know there is a problem. You can overthrow to keep up your velocity and try to hide the other issues. General manager Mike Rizzo needs his own team meeting on the plane to Pittsburgh.
Tanner Roark didn’t have much to say. He felt great.
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 8, 2018
For the offense, the kind of laid an egg today batting 2-11 in RISP situations, and they had bases loaded situations and men on base most of the game and could not piece together other than the second inning when they had 3 singles in a row. As mentioned, the top of the line-up was 0-14 with some walks, and they stranded a bunch of runners at a point when the score was 3-2 and a chance to grab the lead.
The defense today had only one listed error by Mark Reynolds but Daniel Murphy gave a gift single away when he could not stop and turn to make a throw on a routine groundball. In addition, Adam Eaton’s lack of arm once again was seen on a ball that barely cleared the infield dirt and lost all steam as it dribbled towards catcher Spencer Kieboom. This was possibly the worst defensive configuration that Davey Martinez has penciled up.
“I didn’t even want to put Kintzler in the game nor did I want to put Madson,” Martinez said.
The only good news is the Braves and Phillies both lost today so the top of the NL East did not move in the standings.