August 20, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 104 Review: Diamondbacks top Nats 6-4 despite late rally

NATIONALS CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE WITH LIMP OFFENSE

The Washington Nationals succumbed to a dearth of offense Monday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks, losing 6-4, despite a ninth inning rally. Zack Godley threw six innings of shutout baseball, giving up just three hits and walking a pair. The rookie was dominant against the Nats, throwing just 83 pitches, and striking out six. Doug Fister struggled with the long ball against the Diamondbacks, who hit three home runs off the sinkerballer. The Nationals made a valiant effort with the late rally, but were ultimately rebuffed and fell for the eighth time in 11 games.Doug Fister worked his way through the Arizona batting order efficiently the first time through. Until he got to shortstop Nick Ahmed, that is. Ahmed took an 86 mph two-seamer into the visitors’ bullpen, a line drive shot that left no doubt. Ahmed went on to a 4 for 4 night, scoring twice.

A.J. Pollock started the fourth off with a single up the middle on a curve, and David Peralta took that pitch and put it deep into the Red Porch for a 3-0 lead. Welington Castillo followed up that bomb with another shot into center field, putting the Nats down 4-0. The Diamondbacks added one more in the fifth on a sacrifice fly, but the primary damage was done. While Fister finished six full innings on 111 pitches, none of them after the third was terribly good.

Drew Storen pitched a scoreless eighth in relief of Tanner Roark after a scoreless seventh. With the “A” Bullpen in need of work, Williams made the call for Jonathan Papelbon to make his Nationals Park debut. While he only faced four batters in the ninth, John Lamb took a fastball out of the yard to make it 6-0 in the ninth.

The only spark for the Nationals came in the bottom of the ninth inning. After eight innings of three-hit baseball, the bats came alive. Ryan Zimmerman, with one out, hit a towering blast against Daniel Hudson. Clint Robinson and Ian Desmond followed up with singles, and it put Wilson Ramos in the driver’s seat in a high-leverage situation. The Nats’ big-bodied catcher delivered big with an RBI single, making it 6-2.

Michael A. Taylor, struggling with an 0 for 12 series against New York with nine strikeouts, brought his A+ game in the ninth, doubling to the the left field corner and bringing around Desmond and Ramos to make it 6-4 with just one out. The Diamondbacks called for their closer, and Brad Ziegler did exactly as ordered, retiring pinch hitter Jayson Werth and Yunel Escobar on six pitches to end the game.

HERO: Ryan Zimmerman, for his ninth inning homer that sparked a four-run rally.

GOAT: Jonathan Papelbon, who allowed a ninth inning homer in his first home appearance for the Nationals.

NEXT UP: Rematch! Tomorrow night at Nats Park, 7:05pm start. Patrick Corbin vs Max Scherzer.

About Tom Bridge

Tom Bridge is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals. Tom has been in love with baseball since he was 10. He is a founding editor of We Love DC, where he covered the Nationals and Capitals as a credentialed writer for four seasons. He grew up as an Oakland Athletics fan in the Central Valley in California, where he learned to appreciate Bill King, Mark McGwire and even Tony LaRussa. By day, he is a partner at Technolutionary LLC, where he handles IT operations. He cannot abide the Cardinals. You can follow Tom on Twitter @TomBridgeDSP.

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