This game did not start off well for the Washington Nationals. They were behind 4-to-0 at the end of the second inning as Tanner Roark‘s changeup was getting smashed. He then started to throw his curveball and the Mets couldn’t hit it. The Nationals had so many chances to get back into the game but once again did not take advantage of runners on 2nd base and no outs. The Nationals finished at 1-for-12 in RISP situations and that will not win you games.
“After the first two innings, [Roark] pitched really well,” manager Dave Martinez said.
The Nationals had 8-hits and 4-walks but swung at balls out of the zone to cost themselves chances with men-on-base. The best part of the game for the Nationals was another shutout from the Nationals bullpen.
Matt Adams was the star of the game with a 1-2 night with an upper deck home run and 2 walks. He did his part. Even Roark was great on offense with a triple that pinballed up the side wall and Roark would score the first run after Difo doubled him in. Roark would also move up two runners with a sacrifice bunt.
On the bad part of the ledger Matt Wieters was 0-4 and left 5 men-on-base but the quality of his at-bats was poor. He followed Murphy in the batting order, and Murph walked twice ahead of Wieters. In one at-bat, Wieters swung at the first pitch of an at-bat with no outs with runners on 2nd and 1st and flew out weakly and then later in the game in the same situation chased a 3-1 pitch that he would have walked-om and bases loaded with no outs, but he eventually struck-out. It was at-bats like those that killed the Nats chances to get back into the game. And it wasn’t just Wieters who was the problem.
Eaton as the lead-off man had Difo on 2nd base and no outs and Eaton hit the ball to the shortstop instead of pulling it to move the runner up and Difo ran into an out. It was twice tonight that Eaton didn’t move up runners and in one of Eaton’s times on base he was caught off the base and doubled-up on a lazy liner hit behind him.
“We left so many men on base today,” Martinez said. “We have to figure out how to get guys in — get guys over. The little things.”
The “Little Things” added up again. This game is a film strip study in what not to do on offense. Bryce Harper did not run out a doubleplay ball. His manager noticed that Harper did not hustle. This wasn’t a first infraction or even a second infraction by Harper — the number is in the dozens — but maybe this was the straw that broke the camel’s back with his manager.
“That’s a conversation Bryce and I will have tomorrow,” Martinez said. “He didn’t run that ball out the way I want him to, so we’ll talk about that tomorrow.”
Even the Mets broadcast crew chimed in with thoughts on Harper’s lack of hustle.
“Your star player — that kind of effort — that’s not good,” Keith Hernandez said.
This game ended in a 4-to-2 loss and when the Nationals wonder what went wrong this season they can circle this game as a good sample of the missed opportunities and the “Little Things” that were not done well. The Mets tried to hand the game to the Nats and the team from Washington DC wouldn’t take the gifts.
Austin Voth will get his first Major League start tomorrow against the Mets. He has been called up 3 times and this will be the first time Voth will get into a game