When you commit errors, you give the other team extra chances, and today that turned into two unearned runs and the ultimate difference in this game that the Nats lost 3-2. One run should not determine a game like this, but it did. The Nats were winning 2-1 when Max Scherzer exited the game after the 6th inning, and this team is now 2-wins-and-10-losses in games Scherzer starts. The Nats had chances including an 8th inning rally with bases loaded, but could not cash in. Yes, the Nationals won this series with three wins in this four game series.
Even with the two errors, the Nationals relievers could not get the strikeout pitches when they needed them and allowed balls in play that scored each of those unearned runs in the 7th and 8th innings. In fact in the 7th inning, the Marlins scored without the benefit of a hit because their pitcher got a sacrifice bunt down after the lead-off walk by Tanner Rainey, and Harold Ramirez legged out a possible doubleplay ball to get the RBI productive out. The run in the 8th inning scored on a lineout to Adam Eaton who caught the ball flat-footed and did not make a good throw to his catcher on the decisive run on what turned out to be a sacrifice fly.
“We had two unearned runs today. Those guys came in and threw the ball really well. We should have been out of the inning. We just didn’t make two plays and it cost us two runs,” manager Dave Martinez said.
It was Eaton in the bottom of the 8th inning who struck out on a 3-2 pitch below his knees with one out and runners on 1st and 2nd base, and Anthony Rendon on-deck who eventually walked the bases loaded and then a bad strike call changed the whole at-bat for Juan Soto who should have had a 3-1 count instead of 2-2 and he eventually lined-out to rightfield.
Besides Max Scherzer exiting with 1-run over 6 innings as a bright spot in this loss, Max was not efficient once again with his pitch count. He labored most of the day and exited with a 103 count instead of getting through another inning. Scherzer was helped by his defense which included a doubleplay by Gerardo Parra who started his first game this season for the Nationals in centerfield and made a catch at the wall and threw out a tagging runner at second base. Parra was also the main reason behind the Nats offense as he doubled over Kurt Suzuki to third base, and Zuk scored on a sacrifice fly and Parra scored on a Scherzer single which was all of their offense for the game.
The Nationals are now a disappointing 6-9 in one-run games, and with this loss still have not swept a series. The team now flies to Atlanta for a quick two-game series, and the first time they will face the Braves this season.