Anibal Sanchez out-pitched Hyun-Jin Ryu, but then the #Nats bullpen happened…again!

Photo by Lynn G. for TalkNats

It felt like playoff baseball tonight on South Capitol Street, S.E. between the Washington Nationals and the visiting Dodgers of Los Angeles. The Dodgers had their best pitcher of 2019 on the mound in Hyun-Jin Ryu who is perhaps the best in all of baseball, and the Nationals had their #4 pitcher Anibal Sanchez. When Ryu left in the 7th inning, it was a 1-1 game, and Sanchez out-pitched him. In the 8th inning with 2-outs, the Nats bullpen fell apart and gave up 3-runs. Tell us if you have heard that one before, but the Nats offense loaded the bases in the 9th and scored a run to make it 4-2 as Kenley Jansen was struggling, but homeplate umpire Brian O’Nora picked a fine time to gift Jansen two strikes well above the zone to put Howie Kendrick in a hole. Eventually he struck out in front of a crowd of 37,491 who were all on their feet.

The Nationals have lost back-to-back games for the first time in a month plus 3 days. The Nationals deserved better in crunch time from O’Nora when Jansen could not find the strike zone. Jansen gave up a hit to Trea Turner, plunked Adam Eaton, walked Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto but yet O’Nora gave Jansen two pitches against Kendrick to put him in a deep hole. Why would O’Nora do that for a pitcher who could not throw a strike?

Tony Sipp got no gifts from O’Nora in the 8th inning when he walked Joc Pederson with 2 outs, and it was Pederson who then moved to second base on an Alex Verdugo single, and then Kyle Barraclough who was called back up today promptly served up a meatball to Justin Turner for the eventual game winning 3-run home run. Barraclough has now allowed 11 of the 13 inherited runners he has faced to score.

The pitcher of the game was Anibal Sanchez who had an adventurous first inning giving up his only run of the game while escaping bases loaded and a one-out situation, but then Sanchez locked-in and retired 20 straight Dodgers batters en route to a 7.0 inning gem on 3-hits and one walk with 6 strikeouts. Sanchez lowered his ERA down to 3.63.

For the Nats offense in the 7th inning, Brian Dozier singled, Victor Robles had a bunt single, Gerardo Parra bunted (ruled an error) to load the bases, and it was Adam Eaton who got a huge single with bases loaded, but Gerardo Parra was thrown out at home so the game remained tied until the Nats bullpen imploded again. The final score was 4-2.

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