September 21, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 110 Review: Storen Struggles in the Eighth, Rockies Beat Nats 6-4

The Colorado Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 6-4 on Sunday afternoon after a rough eighth inning relief appearance by Nats pitcher Drew Storen.

Starting pitcher Max Scherzer pitched six innings for Washington. He gave up four runs (and three home runs) on eight hits while hitting a batter, intentionally walking a batter, and throwing one wild pitch. Scherzer tallied ten strikeouts and threw 84 pitches (63 strikes). For Scherzer, this particular 10-strikeout performance marked his seventh such outing this season and the 32nd of his career.

Colorado took an early one run lead in the first inning thanks to a two-out solo home run hit by outfielder Carlos Gonzalez off Scherzer. But Washington answered back quickly in the second.

Back-to-back home runs crushed by first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and outfielder Jayson Werth  to lead off the second gave the Nats a 2-1 lead and marked the first time Washington hit back-to-back homers this season.

Zimmerman came up big again against Rockies starter Yohan Flande in the third inning with his second solo shot of the day to make  it a 3-1 ballgame. It also marked his 13th multi-homer game of his career and his first multi-homer game since Sept. 7, 2013 at Miami. The run put Washington up 3-1 before the Rockies followed suit.

Second baseman Daniel Descalso went long with two out in the fourth inning against Scherzer to come within one run of the Nationals’ lead and making it a 3-2 ballgame.

A pair of runs for the Rockies in the sixth inning, including a second homer for Gonzalez off Scherzer, helped Colorado flip the  lead by going up 4-3.

Washington tied it up 4-4 in the bottom half of the sixth when Werth scored on a fielder’s choice with one out but Storen’s relief appearance two innings later sealed the Nationals’ fate for the afternoon.

After giving up a lead off single to first baseman Ben Paulsen, Storen caught a rough break by  hitting catcher Michael McKenry during a bunt attempt. The play was reviewed by the umpire crew, allowing McKenry to reach base, which subsequently created an opportunity for the Rockies. Outfielder Kyle Parker reached on a fielder’s choice before scoring on a two-run, RBI-single hit by second baseman DJ LeMahieu off Storen giving Colorado a 6-4 lead.

Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon made quick work of the Rockies in the ninth before Washington stranded third baseman Yunel Esocbar, second baseman Anthony Rendon, and Zimmerman with the bases loaded. It came down to Werth and shortstop Ian Desmond to try and bring any of the three runners home, but Werth struck out against Rockies reliever Tommy Kahnle and Desmond grounded out to end the game.

THE HERO: Ryan Zimmerman for his pair of big bombs. Nice to see him have a productive day back in the lineup.

THE GOAT: Drew Storen for his work in the eighth. Today was not his day.

NATS NOTS:

  • Harper extended his hitting streak to nine games with a base hit through the left side of the infield in the fifth inning. Haprer is hitting .387 (12 for 31) with one double, one RBI, eight walks, and eight RBI’s during the streak.
  • Werth had his first multi-hit game since May 19 in San Diego and finished the game going 2 for 4 with a home run, a walk, and two runs scored. He has an RBI in four of his last five games.

UP NEXT: Gio Gonzalez (8-4, 3.75) and the Washington Nationals face Brett Anderson (6-6, 3.06) and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium, 10:10 p.m. Eastern Time.

About Rachel Levitin

Rachel Levitin is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals. For the past five seasons, she was credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals as an author for We Love DC. During her time spent with WLDC, Rachel composed game stories, covered off-the-field special events, and chronicled both of the Nats’ recent playoff runs. In addition to her work with WLDC, Rachel’s writing has been featured in the Washington Examiner and on MASNSports.com where she has been a featured guest blogger for the Nationals Buzz blog since 2011. Her love for baseball stems from having grown up on the north side of Chicago and falling in love with the sport’s history as a result of growing up just minutes from Wrigley Field. Rachel moved to DC in 2005 and has been following along with the Nats since their inaugural season. You can follow Rachel on Twitter @RHLevitin.

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