Is it a message from the baseball gods that the Nats aren’t ready?

The mythical baseball gods have spoken loudly to the Washington Nationals. The Nats just are not ready for the luck to go their way. They gave us the bounces we needed in 2019, but not the proverbial bounces in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017 — and certainly not this season, metaphorically speaking.

“In the playoffs, you have to get a couple lucky bounces. I’ve seen it the other way where the other team gets a couple lucky bounces go their way. It’s a wacky game.”

— Ryan Zimmerman said before the start to the 2019 postseason

It is like they giveth then taketh away like the great tease. Another scrappy comeback last night from 4-runs down to go ahead by one run in the seventh inning, and only to end up in a blown-save loss just like in Miami nine days before that. Nobody feels worse than Hunter Harvey. Oh, sure you could go back exactly a month to CJ Abrams go-ahead grand slam in Queens, NY and then to see it evaporate in another blown-save loss. You could go back to the first week of the season, and a 6-4 Nats lead against Tampa only to see Kyle Finnegan give up 5-runs for the Nats first blown-save loss of this season.

Some might say that it just is not the Nats time. Of their 50-games this season, 20 percent have ended in bullpen losses. Don’t worry, Cleveland is worse than the Nats in this department and Emmanuel Clase has five blown saves. Harvey is tied for sixth in the Majors with three blown saves. The Nats are also tied with the Braves and Rays with 10 blown saves for the seventh most in the bigs. On usage, the Nats’ relievers have thrown the 12th least pitches in baseball.

But if the Nats took advantage of all of their opportunities last night on offense, they should have blown out the Padres, just like the Marlins the week before. It is easy to point fingers at Harvey or even manager Dave Martinez. The truth is they are losing as a team.

“We hit the ball. I don’t know how many times I say this, but we get opportunities to come back and put teams away. We got bases loaded, we left a lot of guys on base against a good team, a good hitting team. You need to put some runs across the board.

Can’t leave 12 guys on base. That right there, for me, is the difference, right? I mean, just add-on here, add-on there and it’s a different ballgame.

But the seventh inning, I think our at-bats were good, they were crisp. Guys came off the bench, some big hits for us. So they did well to comeback.”

— Martinez said after last night’s game

This team is so darn close. They have so much fight in them. It is the players that I feel bad for. They believe they are good, and they are certainly better than most expected. They scrap and claw their way back into games just to suffer excruciating losses. You would think that is better than rolling over early and doing nothing. The team only has five blow-out losses this season. That’s saying something. As Martinez would say, “They are staying in the fight.”

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