The bullpen bent and broke giving up a two run lead to lose by two.

Tanner Rainey (Photo by Marlene Koenig for TalkNats)

Lead-off walks will usually kill you, and giving up two walks to start an inning followed by a hit is usually a recipe for a disaster. Tanner Rainey was the guilty party here in the seventh inning of this game. He took the loss after he entered with a two-run lead and gave up three runs. Wander Suero gave up another and that all added up to a 7-5 loss. Starting pitcher Austin Voth only went 4 1/3 innings, and he hit the wall in the fourth inning. Manager Davey Martinez left Voth in a couple of batters too late, but maybe it did not matter as the bullpen arms other than Jonny Venters were not good. The Nationals four game winning streak came to an end.

“When you come out of the bullpen, and you start walking guys — you can get in trouble,” manager Dave Martinez said. “You walk two guys coming out of the bullpen we have to do something else.”

The Nationals bats were better than the boxscore shows as the robbery of the year occurred when Jacoby Jones went up and over the wall to steal a home run from Victor Robles. Howie Kendrick was robbed of a two run double by Nick Castellanos, but the Detroit infielders helped the Nats with a couple of booted balls. Anthony Rendon had a big game with a home run and an RBI single. Adam Eaton also had a good game, and Brian Dozier came through with another RISP hit. Unfortunately Trea Turner, Juan Soto, and Ryan Zimmerman were all hitless. Once again, Davey Martinez left Ryan Zimmerman in all game when he had Matt Adams on the bench. In the 8th inning with a runner on base, Zimmerman fouled out to the catcher against the righthanded Joe Jimenez. Martinez pinch hit with Matt Adams for Yan Gomes in the 9th inning with bases empty against closer Shane Greene.

The Nationals played strong defense today, but the balls did not bounce their way on offense and even defense. There was weak contact hits that fell in for the Tigers, and a ball that bounced over Rendon for a two-run single. Sometimes the bounces do not go your way, but that is why the relievers need strikeouts instead of counting on making outs in the field. On the other hand, the batters who strikeout and do not put the balls in play give their team no chance, and the Nationals struck out eight times today.

Tomorrow’s final game of this series sets-up with Max Scherzer going up against Jordan Zimmermann.

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