Todd Wellemeyer had been his own worst enemy going into last nights game. Remember how I said that John Lannan walked too many guys? Well, Todd was worse. He walks the most in the NL averaging 5.36 walks per 9 innings. So the obvious tactic in last nights game would be to make the guy throw strikes. The Nats did that. The guy threw strikes.
Out of the 23 batters Wellemeyer faced he threw 11 first pitch called strikes and had 5 more first pitch events (hits/fouls). Only 7 times did he open with a ball. That's 18 times the Nats took the first pitch and yet Todd came through. Out of the 7 first pitch ball at-bats, he got 2 called strikes on the second pitch, and 2 events. Leaving only 3 batters in 23 to get to a 2-0 count. If you had told me the Nats would approach this game with the patience of Job and only get to 2 2-0 counts I would have called you a liar.
Wellemeyer did not have great stuff (16 called strikes and only 3 swinging ones) but he threw it in the strike zone and the Nats couldn't hit it. The Nats weren't overly patient either. While they fell behind in 2-strike counts a fair amount, only twice against Wellemeyer did they take a pitch to get to 2 strikes. They gave him an opportunity to go off the rails and when he didn't they tried to smack a base hit. Against a pitcher like Wellemeyer that's the right approach. Unfortunately the Nats caught him on the exact wrong night.