December 2, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 152: With 10 games left, Nats take hard fall back to reality

No one imagined that the Washington Nationals would ride a perfect stretch through the end of the season. But, after two dramatic wins against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, the now 81-71 ball club dropped an early lead to fall 5-2 Wednesday night.

Ross Ohlendorf (L, 4-1) began his second start in place of Stephen Strasburg by retiring 10 straight batters.

In the meantime, the Nats finally got to starter Alex Wood in the fifth. Anthony Rendon led off with a single before taking third on Freddie Freeman’s fielding error, which allowed Denard Span to reach first safely. Ryan Zimmerman walked to load the bases before Jayson Werth walked in the first run of the game.

As Manager Fredi Gonzalez came out to calm Wood, Wood shouted some choice words at home plate umpire CB Bucknor. Of course, Gonzalez himself earned an ejection as he followed Wood’s  performance with one of his own.

Although the shouting quieted, the Nats themselves did not until after Bryce Harper’s sacrifice fly put Washington up 2-0.

With that, Braves bench coach Carlos Tosca decided to pull Wood, but Wood once again shouted at Bucknor, who then opted to eject the pitcher even after he had been pulled.

Nevertheless, reliever Kameron Loe took the mound in time to force Ian Desmond to ground out to end the madness.

It took the Braves no time to answer. Dan Uggla led off the sixth with a solo shot to left to cut the Nats’ lead to one run. Jordan Schafer then singled on a bount grounder and, with two outs, Justin Upton homered to make it 3-2 before Ohlendorf’s evening was over.

Much to his dismay, Craig Stammen handed the Braves an insurance run in the seventh after Evan Gattis singled and Brian McCann doubled him home to make it 4-2 Atlanta.

And, if that wasn’t enough, with Ryan Mattheus on the mound at the start of the ninth, Brian McCann drew a one-out walk before Chris Johnson singled. Then, Xavier Cedeno gave up an RBI single to Schafer before Erik Davis finally recorded the third out of the inning.

It, of course, was too little too late as the Nats went down in order in the ninth to guarantee the Braves a 5-2 win. With the loss, Washington is now 5 1/2 games out of the second NL Wild Card spot – a nearly impossible hole to overcome.

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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