The Nats fell to 1-4 in this early season, and the “little things” came up big in this loss. This is the third game of the Nats five games where the offense scored only one run. Add two errors by Starlin Castro that resulted in a disappointing 3 unearned runs, and it was game over. The Blue Jays first run of the game came off of a home run but the ball was in Victor Robles glove after he timed a leap over the bullpen wall in left-centerfield — but left fielder Emilio Bonifacio collided with Robles and the impact knocked Robles’ glove off his hand and the ball fell into the bullpen for a home run.
“He said: ‘I felt it hit my glove,’” Manager Dave Martinez said of Robles. “But he lost his glove over the fence. He said it really didn’t have anything to do with them running into each other. It just, when he went up, when he came down, the glove hit the fence and fell off.”
Starter Austin Voth was decent in this game giving up two earned runs in five innings, but he also couldn’t contain an error that prolonged his 5th inning and quickly gave up a single to score the third run of the game.
In the bullpen, Tanner Rainey looked great again. Sean Doolittle came on in the 7th inning to face a lefty hitting below his weight and a righty with no hits in his career. Doo’s fastball wasn’t fooling anybody and he ranged from 87.8 to 90.4 mph and he gave up two line drives of which one was over Victor Robles head which he out-ran and caught, and another liner smoked right at the left fielder which was caught. Doo will continue to get chances, but you have to be concerned with what you’re seeing. Will Harris took over after Doolittle and struggled also but would have been out of the inning with no runs if Castro didn’t boot a grounder.
Getting back to Castro, he had two errors that led to three unearned runs. For the season, he has zero RBIs. Something has to change with his game overall, and it must change quickly.
Manager Dave Martinez cannot be happy with the effort put forth in this week.
“The overall play, the defense, the base-running, we have to clean that up,” Martinez said.
Martinez also mentioned the “little things” in his post-game interview.
In an odd twist, the last time the Nats started a season with a 1-4 record was in the infamous “Where’s my ring” season of 2015.