If you are into high scoring, and a lot of action — this game was for you. The Nationals starter, Erick Fedde, gave up 4-runs and the Nationals tied the game up and got Fedde off the hook. Austen Williams came in to relieve Fedde and he gave up 3 home runs in the 6th inning. The Nationals scored one back. In a 2-run game, Sammy Solis gave up a grand slam in the 9th inning to Yadier Molina on an 0-2 count that put the Nationals 6-runs behind and the Nationals rallied back in the 9th inning to score 3 quick runs and had the tying run in the batters box but it was not meant to be.
“I can’t keep using the same [relievers] every single day,” manager Dave Martinez said. “The 0-2 homers can’t happen.”
The story of this game was the missed opportunities early in the game. Adam Eaton, Anthony Rendon, and Ryan Zimmerman were a combined 0-10 with 3 doubleplays that killed innings and a combined 12 runners left on base through the 7th inning. In the 9th inning, each of them came through with hits — but it was a little too late. The Cardinals walked 11 Nats batters. On top of that they gave up 9 hits. With 20 baserunners, you would think you could score more than 8 runs in this game that ended at 11-8.
In the 9th inning, the Cardinals flashed the leather robbing Bryce Harper at the wall and on the final out Matt Wieters hit a hard groundball that was corralled on a diving stop.
On the Nationals side, one of the biggest blunders was in the top of the 9th inning and Wilmer Difo didn’t cover first base on a bunt. That one out changes that whole inning that just unraveled. Manager Dave Martinez said it’s a teachable moment, and he will talk to Difo about it.
One thing you can say about these Nationals is that that keep grinding and competing and they almost pulled off the miracle comeback of the year.