In the manufacturing world, they call it zero-defect output, and in baseball it is called mistake-free baseball. Most errors don’t show up in the boxscore, and only a video or photo will jog your memory of the mishap. Yesterday, there were too many mistakes by the Washington Nationals and in a few months the only one we will remember when we go to the boxscore is Carl Edwards Jr.‘s fielding E-1 and the unearned run because of it. That run became the winning run in another Nats’ loss by the smallest margin you can have of just one run. From a 3-0 Nats’ lead to a final four innings of mistakes on defense, bullpen pitching, baserunning, and poor situational hitting is becoming a theme. The calls to fire manager Dave Martinez get louder with each loss just like they did in 2022 and 2021 and even May of 2019. The team’s best played game of the season was managed by bench coach Tim Bogar while Martinez was sick. Trust me, I’m not calling for Martinez to be fired — but there certainly could be a day soon that we hear that his contract is not extended.
Sure, if yesterday was a six inning game, the Nats would have won. But there was no rain to cut the game short, and the team lost in a regulation nine inning game. Starting pitcher Trevor Williams was very good until he was victimized by a poor read to start the sixth inning by his outfielder, Victor Robles, who did that backwards stepping he does to set up to make a catch with “style points” and this time he could not get back to the correct spot to catch a routine fly ball. That run would be the only run to make a divot in Williams’ pitching line as it was the only run to score on his record — but it also cut his evening short. The bullpen got stressed as they had to cover four full innings and the bullpen allowed three runs to score and that was enough to tally another L. Totally avoidable. Totally frustrating. As mentioned, you could add a key baserunning mistake by CJ Abrams, walking the bases loaded by Hunter Harvey, and Edwards’ fielding error. But once again the Nats hitters could not take advantage of their many opportunities. On offense, Robles stranded an eye popping eight runners too. That great start he had in the first 12 games is now the polar opposite in his last three starts.
The Nats send statistically their worst starting pitcher to the mound this afternoon in a game that will begin in a rain delay. Chad Kuhl has to right his ship because the only reason most of these Nats games have stayed close is because they are getting good starting pitching from three of their starters.
It’s Jackie Robinson Day and the 75th anniversary of his debut to break the color barrier. Enjoy this TalkNats’ feature from this morning
Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast link for the game.
Cleveland Guardians vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 4:05 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app
Line-up subject to change (without notice):