When you go 1-for-7 in RISP spots, that is not a good sign for the Nationals who entered the game batting a very strong .299 on the season in those situations. But the real golden opportunity is when you have a runner on third base with less than two outs and the middle of the order up or a man on second base with no outs and the Nationals had both of those situations in different innings and could not cash in. The Nationals lost this game 3-2 and one of the Nationals runs came from a solo home run from the struggling Brian Dozier who surpassed Ryan Zimmerman for an instant in batting average and now they are both tied at .188. This is part of the problem with this team.
“We had opportunities, we left 10 runners on base,” manager Dave Martinez said. “Like I said before we have to drive in runs with men on third base and less than 2 outs. Those are important runs. We have to do those little things. When you have opportunities to put teams away, you got to try to put them away. You can’t let them linger because you never know what is going to happen in this game.”
For Anibal Sanchez, he pitched good for 5 innings, but like we have seen in other starts he hit the wall quickly again and exited with a 2-1 deficit and bases loaded. He was relieved by Matt Grace who hit the .140 batting Curtis Granderson on the first pitch he threw forcing in what turned out to be the deciding run in the game. The bright spot was Joe Ross who pitched two scoreless innings.
“I’m very impressed with Joe today,” Martinez said. “Really impressed with Joe. Did a great job. So that’s very encouraging moving forward. He’s accepting his role. I told him to now gotta be ready and let me know how you’re feeling tomorrow and be ready to go.”
Tomorrow is Max Scherzer on the mound for the Nationals.