There's no "interesting" about last night. Even a soulless automaton can tell that was a disaster. To lose a three run lead late is one thing. One off reliever can manage that. To lose a six run lead? With two outs? That's takes a complete failure by the pen, and that's what the Nats got. Three relievers, three hits, and six, count 'em, six walks. Worse, of the six walks, only one took place with two strikes. The Mets could have almost come up to the plate without bats that inning. After the Nats lost the lead, the Mets won the game on Nieuwenhuis' pinch hit home run and now the Nats stare into the abyss.
How did MW do? Maybe he pulled ZNN too soon but it was a two-run game at that point and he wanted the lefty-lefty match-up. Plus ZNN was already at 100 pitches. I can't argue that was wrong. He probably kept Storen in two batters too long but that only cost the Nats a run (and that's assuming the next guy doesn't do worse than the "walk - out" that Storen put up) And then he rightly went to Papelbon to hold the lead. Honestly his pen work was fine.
Of course that doesn't mean he didn't blow something. His big honking mistake was made in the ninth. After Jayson Werth singled, MW decided to put the bunt on to give Bryce the opportunity to tie or win the game. That was an iffy call to begin with. Even if he hasn't returned to 2014 form, do you really want Anthony Rendon bunting? And even if the bunt is successful it's likely that Bryce doesn't get a chance to do anything. It's far more likely that he gets walked (or at least pitched around) and you are putting the game in the hands of Escobar and a pinch hitter that's very likely Uggla? (Desmond was double switched out). Ok so the bunt was a bad call, but what made it so much worse was that Familia couldn't find the plate and Rendon was staring at a 3-1 count. If Familia has one big issue its control and while he's been much better in 2015, you have to give Rendon the chance to either work a walk or swing away at a hitters pitch. Matt kept the bunt on and there you go. Out given up. Bryce would get pitched around and Escobar would DP. Game over.
Is the season over? A lot of heads are saying that but that's just because they are as susceptible to "Uggla hit a HR! The seasons changes from here!" as Joe Q Fan. They just like to pretend they aren't. Last night was a huge loss and dammit if they don't want to buy into that narrative. But realistically what makes 6 out with 4 H2H games left that different than 6.5 with 6 H2H left, which is where the Nats were a week ago? It really isn't. If you wanted to, you could have said the season was over once the Mets took a 6.5 game lead. The chances of a Nats comeback from there were slim enough to throw in the towel. After that moment it became a personal decision. I think if the Nats can win tonight than the season isn't over. I said that going into the Braves series, I said it yesterday. Five games out is a bad spot but with the 3 game set to end the year the Nats merely need to make up 2 games in 20 to keep the season on life support. There's absolutely no reason to believe they can sweep the Mets to win the division at the end the year, given the results we've seen in the last two series, but whatever. You want to get there with a chance, if not reasonable than at least existant.
Lose tonight though, fall 7 games out with 23 to play, then you have to go beyond faith and numbers into crazy town to think the Nats can come back to even make that last series meaningful. But hey, if it gets you through the next few weeks, more power to you.
We'll talk about firings, and trades, and blame later. We'll likely have plenty of time to do that in the next few weeks. Win tonight. Give your fans something.