November 21, 2017

Washington Nationals Game 139 Review: Nats Waste Five-Run Lead, Fall to Phils in 11

Washington Nationals reliever Rafael Soriano did little to ensure his job security Friday night.

In a game in which the Nats led by as many as five runs over the Philadelphia Phillies, the 34-year-old right-hander took the mound in the ninth with three runs padding the Nats’ pathway to a win.

Instead, Soriano allowed a lead-off single to Domonic Brown and a two-run homer off the bat of Carlos Ruiz, pulling the Phillies within a run as they trailed 7-6.

Just an out later, Philadelphia came up with that run, by way of a Ben Revere solo shot to right.

The blown save marks Soriano’s seventh of the season.

Meanwhile, Tyler Clippard did his part to keep a Curly W within reach, but Craig Stammen had no such luck thanks to two costly mistakes by Nats’ fielders.

The eleventh inning started off with a fielding error by Bryce Harper that allowed Brown to reach second base. Brown advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt laid down by Ruiz and came home on a fielder’s choice by Maikel Franco. On the play, covering first base, Tyler Moore committed a throwing error that allowed Franco to advance to second.

The error would prove costly as, with two outs, Revere batted in Franco for the would-be winning run.

Moore did his best to erase his mistake in the eleventh when, with one out and two on, he singled in Anthony Rendon to make it 9-8 Phillies. But, Ian Desmond struck out on a foul tip and Harper lined out to end the game, costing the Nats a chance to add further padding to their lead in the National League East.

Prior to the blown save, Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg equipped Washington with a sure shot at a win. Through six innings pitched, he allowed just one run on four hits, no walks and five strike outs. His counterpart, Phillies starter Jerome Williams, allowed five runs – four earned – over nine hits, two walks and three strike outs.

After Strasburg stepped off the mound, Nationals manager Matt Williams took full advantage of the expanded rosters, subbing in four pitchers before Soriano even took the mound.

Nevertheless, moving forward,  Matt Williams & co. face the tough decision of who should hold the Nats’ closer role: Rafae Soriano, Tyler Clippard or Drew Storen?

 

About Alyssa Wolice

Alyssa Wolice is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals and Wizards. As a former production assistant, she covered the Nationals, Redskins, Capitals, Wizards, D.C. United and local collegiate teams. You can follow Alyssa on Twitter @awolice.

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