December 10, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 126 Review: Nats Squeak by Padres, Injuries Arise

The Washington Nationals beat the San Diego Padres 4-2 on Thursday night in D.C. but suffered quite a blow in regards to injuries.

Outfielder Michael A. Taylor and third baseman Yunel Escobar were down for the count by the end of the night but Washington still managed to sneak by the Padres.

Taylor ran into the outfield wall tracking down a fly ball and came up lame and needed help get off the field with a knee contusion. Escobar was hit by a pitch in his wrist — which drove in a run — and left the game.

Starting pitcher Joe Ross threw six innings of one-hit, one-run ball while walking two batters and striking out seven for the Nats. He threw 77 pitches and 48 strikes.

San Diego scored first on the night when a sacrifice fly hit by third baseman Yangervis Solarte sent second baseman Cory Spangenberg home to make it a 1-0 ballgame in the fourth inning.

Washington answered back with a two-run rally in the fifth inning against Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner. That’s when times started getting harder for the Nats. Outfielder Jayson Werth led off the inning with a walk followed by a pair of singles hit by second baseman Anthony Rendon and outfielder Bryce Harper to load the bases while down a run. Then, Escobar stepped to the plate. Unfortunately, a pitch missed the strike zone and his bat by crashing into his right hand. He’s now listed as day-to-day and the Nats will continue to monitor his progress.

Werth scored amidst the commotion caused by Escobar’s brush with the ball due to the hit-by-pitch situation and Rendon followed him home shortly thereafter thanks to a RBI-single hit by first baseman Ryan Zimmerman making it a 2-1 game and giving the Nats the lead.

A couple of home runs — including one from Werth in the sixth off Cashner and another by Zimmerman in the seventh off Padres reliever Kevin Quakenbush — put the Nats up 4-1 with a couple innings still left to go.

Washington’s bullpen went to work following Ross’ exit after six innings pitched. Righties Casey Jansen, Drew Storen, and Jonathan Papelbon finished out the night with a inning’s worth of work each. Jansen tallied notched two strikeouts before Taylor injured his right knee trying to make a defensive play in center field on a pitch hit by Padres outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. and ran right into the wall. Taylor’s now listed as day-to-day as well and the Nats will continue to monitor his progress.

Storen pitched a quick three up, three down inning before Papelbon came in to close out the night. The inning’s lead off man Spangenberg scored after walking initially and advancing to second on a balk but Papelbon shut the Padres down and ended the night with a 4-2 victory.

HERO: Due to all the injuries throughout the night, the Nats defense should all count as heroes for swapping positions as needed and making it work. Especially with a thin bench due to Span now being down for the count (see: Nats Notes below). Danny Espinosa came in off the bench to play second before moving to left field. Harper moved from right to center field. Werth moved from left to right field. Trea Turner went in to play second base. It was a  game of musical chairs but they made it work and got the win.

GOAT: No official goat tonight. The injuries sustained filled the bad mojo quota.

NATS NOTES: 

  • Span is headed to the disabled list and is likely done for the season (since September starts next week), unless the inflammation in his left hip dies down and his back/hips stop bothering him.
  • Escobar and Taylor are listed as day-to-day.

UP NEXT: Adam Conley (1-1, 4.88) and the San Diego Padres face Max Scherzer (11-10, 2.79) and the Washington Nationals in D.C. at 7:05 p.m.

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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