September 20, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 6 Review: Nats salvage Sunday in extras

Thus far into the 2015 campaign for the Washington Nationals, we’ve seen the offense struggle to score runs. Sunday in Philadelphia in the finale of the three-game set was no different. But the Nats scored twice in the top of the tenth, then survived a shaky bottom of the inning from Drew Storen, to salvage the matinee, 4-3, before 30,094 at Citizens Bank Park.

Yunel Escobar led off the decisive inning with a double to right field. After a failed sacrifice attempt, Bryce Harper grounded to first and Escobar moved up to third. The Phillies brought in Justin De Fratus, and the new reliever preceded to throw one away and Escobar came in to score.

Clint Robinson then doubled to center, and he scored on Wilson Ramos’ line drive single to left.

Storen came on in the bottom of the inning, and walked Freddy Galvis and Cody Asche to lead off the frame. Storen got Grady Sizemore swinging and Chase Utley flied out to right, with Galvis tagging and going to third. But rookie Odubel Herrera’s infield single brought in Galvis to cut the lead to one.

But Storen coaxed a grounder to the right of first baseman Ryan Zimmerman by Cesar Hernandez. Zimmerman snagged the grounder and tossed to Storen covering, recording Storen’s second save of the season.

Max Scherzer made his second start of the season, and once again was staller with no decision. He allowed one run on six hits and two walk in six innings, striking out eight. He left with a 2-1 lead, but reliever Xavier Cedeno gave up a solo home run to pinch-hitter Darin Ruf, the first batter he faced in the seventh inning.

The Nats took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, as Bryce Harper drilled his second homer of the year. against Phillies starter Sean O’Sullivan. They picked up another run in the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman singled to left to lead off. Robinson singled to right and Zimmerman went to third. Ramos lofted a sacrifice fly to right, and Zimmerman made it 2-0.

HERO: Wilson Ramos. The catcher was 1 for 4, but drove in two of the Nats’ four runs.

GOAT: Matt Williams. Asking Harper, who homered earlier in the game, to bunt in the 10th was more than just a curious choice. The Nats pushed across the winning runs in the inning despite their manager’s poor strategic choice. Simply, asking your best power hitter and third place hitter to bunt is wrong.

NATS NOTES:

  • Back in the saddle: Jayson Werth, after a short rehab assignment with High-A Potomac, rejoined the team for its road trip to Boston and is expected to be reactivated for the series against the Red Sox on Monday.
  • First win: Aaron Barrett made his first appearance, notching the win. He pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out two.
  • Unforced errors: The Nats made another error on Sunday, with Wilson Ramos charged with a throwing error.
  • Making the most: Clint Robinson was 3 for 5 and he owns a .400 batting average so far this season.
  • Tough day: Michael Taylor went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

NEXT GAME: At Boston at 3:05 pm. Jordan Zimmerman (1-0, 1.50) faces Rick Porcello (0-1, 4.50).

 

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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