In the 9th the Nats got
- the other team's starter replaced even though he was easily handling the Nats, had retired the last 7 men he faced, and was sitting at 99 pitches. Thank the Mariners for not scoring one more run and keeping the "save situation" alive!
- Got a ball booted by the other teams first baseman
- Got the call on a close 2-2 pitch to Bernadina
- Got the liner off the closer to bounce harmlessly away rather than right to a defender
- Got the liner off the closer to knock out the closer
This matters because the Nats face possibly the hottest pitcher in the AL since May and the possible frontrunner for ROY in the next two games. They could easily lose both. Lose last night and they could be 5 games under and a feeling of "ok back to the usual Nats season" couldn't help but creep back in. Now lose the next two and they are only 3 games back and fans look to get those games back in the next series. It's the difference between a team getting hot and a team getting better.
A couple notes
Mike Morse has obviously been super hot, but so has Danny Espinosa. a .304 / .356 / .598 line in the past 4 weeks. Now can he go to the All-Star game?
Roger Bernadina is hitting over .400 with 3 home runs in the past 2 weeks. Do I think he'll keep it up? Not a chance. Do I thank Rick Ankiel for getting injured. Yes. Yes I do. You were a mistake Rick, but at least you've done the team the courtesy of taking yourself out of the picture so better players can play.
I never mention Clippard in trade talks but he is a viable piece to deal. My issue is that I don't know how much a middle reliever will bring back. I kind of doubt it'll be enough to make a deal worthwhile. He also has a ton of cheaper years coming up and he was a starter for a long time (I like that in a reliever). Young, good, cheap is what you want right?
Quietly Ian Desmond has done the same terrible offensive job as always. Steve Lombardozzi has been promoted. Matt Antonelli.com is hitting .314 / .385 / .467 in AAA. You've got this season Ian, but don't expect any more rope than that.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if the Nats comeback in the late innings again soon DO NOT call them the "Cardiac Nats" PLEASE I BEG YOU