NIHILISM COMES TO THE NATIONALS CLUBHOUSE, LOSES 4-3.
August is where baseball seasons go to die, and the Nationals’ campaign is all but dead.
Though their elimination is not yet complete, you’d have struggled to find evidence of that Friday night at Nationals Park. The Marlins leapt out to a 4-1 lead off Nationals ace Max Scherzer, and a lackluster injury-depleted lineup could not compete with the 51-77 Miami Marlins, who remain without the service of their mammoth offensive machine, Giancarlo Stanton.
Scherzer completed seven full, surrendering two home runs among the six hits, and striking out eight. The blasts from Marcel Ozuna and Martin Prado were enough to put the Marlins on top for the evening. Though Scherzer would recover to throw four strong innings after giving up the runs, it was enough to doom his outing.
Trea Turner, starting at 2nd base, was a bright light for the Nationals in the field, making a series of nice plays that demonstrated his incredible speed. He left the game in the eighth inning as part of a double switch.
Danny Espinosa started in left field tonight, only moving to 2nd base as part of a double switch in the eighth. Espinosa acquitted himself well in the outfield, including making a long run to retrieve a foul fly ball.
Ian Desmond put the Nationals on the board in the 2nd to tie the game at one, and Wilson Ramos would deliver another blast in the 5th to narrow the lead to 4-2. The Nationals had every chance to take the lead in the sixth inning, as the wheels came right off Marlins starter Adam Conley. A double by Jayson Werth into the bullpen, a single by Anthony Rendon and a Bryce Harper walk loaded the bases with no one out.
Kyle Barraclough came out of the bullpen to face Ryan Zimmerman, who delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3. Ian Desmond struck out swinging, but Espinosa walked to re-load the bases for Wilson Ramos. Despite Ramos’ earlier towering blast, Barraclough came in to attack the zone against the Buffalo, getting him to ground out to end the threat.
Felipe Rivero pitched 1.1 innings of perfect relief, his stellar control on display before the Nationals Park crowd. Blake Treinen finished off the 9th, despite allowing a double and a hit batsman.
The 9th inning saw the Nationals get the tying run to 2nd, but that was all they could muster against A.J. Ramos. Ian Desmond started things off with a single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Espinosa. Wilson Ramos struck out on a pitch in the dirt. Clint Robinson, batting for the pitcher’s slot, flew out harmlessly to end the threat.
HERO: Ryan Zimmerman gets half a hero for his RBI tonight, but sac flies are pretty terrible.
GOAT: Yes. Every last lily-livered player. There’s no fire out there right now, no passion, just workman-like losses over and over and over again.
Per the Nationals and Elias: Ryan Zimmerman has now driven in a run in 12 of his last 13 plate appearances with the bases loaded (dating to July 2014).
NEXT UP: Your next appointment with sadness is tomorrow at 7:05pm. Tom Koehler vs. Jordan Zimmermann. Bring all of the bourbon you can.