May 20, 2022

Washington Nationals Game 113 Review: Greinke, Puig too much for Nats

HARPER SITS IT OUT WITH INJURED LEFT KNEE

Mama said there would be days like these.

Zack Greinke was his normally dominant self, Yasiel Puig had a monster night and the Los Angeles Dodgers spanked the Washington Nationals 5-0 at Chavez Ravine in the second of a three-game set.

The Nats fell to 58-54, and dropped to 2 1/2 games behind the New York Mets, 4-0 winners over Colorado.

Nats starter Joe Ross, sublime until this start, was victimized for his first extra-base hit to a right-handed batter in his eight starts, and Puig got to him twice, with a two-run homer to left center and a bases loaded triple to right — that a more capable fielder other than Clint Robinson might have tracked down.

The teams traded zeros until the bottom of the fourth. Andre Ethier tripled to lead off the inning — with the help of Michael Taylor misjudging the drive — and after Yasmani Grandal flied to center, Puig stepped in and crushed a 1-0 hanging slider into the bleachers in left center, the first extra base hit Ross had allowed to a right-handed batter in his 50 innings in the bigs.

In the next inning, the Dodgers loaded the bases on a Jimmy Rollins infield single, Alberto Callaspo single to right and a free pass to Grandal. This time, Puig swung on 0-1 and sent a slicing drive into medium right field. Robinson lumbered to the ball, but it fell just in front of his sliding effort and got past him, allowing the bases to clear.

It was the last pitch Ross (3-4, 3.44) threw. In total, the young righty gave up five runs on six hits and an uncharacteristic four walks, striking out just one. He threw 52 of his 89 pitches for strikes.

The rest was all Greinke. The Dodgers’ 1-a to Clayton Kershaw’s “ace”, Greinke went six innings and allowed six hits and a walk, striking out six. The Nats had no better luck against Yimi Garcia, who pitched two innings of shutout, one-hit relief, or Luis Avilan — the former Atlanta Braves — who tossed a scoreless ninth.

HERO: There were no heroes in NatsTown on Tuesday night. Yunel Escobar and Clint Robinson had two hits apiece, but joy was in short supply for the Nats in this one.

GOAT: Joe Ross. He’d been a revelation this season to this point, so he was due for a clunker. Unfortunately for the Nats, they can ill-afford poor performances as the Mets just seem to refuse to lose right now.

NATS NOTES: Robinson was in right field Tuesday night because Bryce Harper sat with what was described as a sore left knee. According to reports on Twitter after the game, Harper said the knee was swollen and though he was available to pinch-hit, it had not made much progress since hurting it Monday night, presumably in a sliding attempt at Dodger rookie Jose Peraza’s first major league hit.

Harper said he hopes to play Wednesday, but as with all medical conditions surrounding the Nationals, only time will tell. And even then, they sometimes aren’t so sure.

NEXT GAME: Wednesday at 10:10 Eastern. Jordan Zimmermann (8-7, 3.44) faces Clayton Kershaw (9-6, 2.51).

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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