Nats went blown-save-loss in a familiar picture to lose this one

Photo by Marlene Koenig for Talknats

The Nats had a 3-0 lead going into the 8th inning. Austin Voth, Javy Guerra, and Tanner Rainey combined for a shutout of the Orioles. Manager Dave Martinez went right to Sean Doolittle in the 8th inning, and the first two batters smashed home runs, and he struck out the lefty Chris Davis before he was pulled for Daniel Hudson who appeared to not have sufficient time to warm-up. Hudson quickly put two on-base followed by a three-run home run to lose the lead and take the loss. Sure, the Nats had a chance with two runners on-base in the 8th inning with Howie Kendrick in the batters box, but there was no clutch to be had.

This was a winnable game. Actually, a very winnable game. What is Martinez seeing to trust Doolittle in that key set-up role? If he could not make it, then you put Hudson in a vulnerable situation. The worst case happened, and Doolittle gave up his fourth run in just 2.0 full innings this season. Forget about the 18.00 ERA, Doolittle actually earned a “Hold” for that performance in the useless statistics portion of the show.

The Nats offense showed some life as Juan Soto clubbed an oppo home run and another hit and a walk. Eric Thames had a nice RISP single, and the other run was from a Kurt Suzuki sac fly. Still the team was a pathetic 1-10 in RISP situation with only Thames coming through in one spot, but Kendrick, Thames, and Robles stranded four batters each, and Trea Turner and Adam Eaton stranded three each. The Nationals wasted too many opportunities to plate more runs.

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