Coming into today’s afternoon finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Nats were all smiles as they rode in an eight game winning streak. Unfortunately, that streak failed to continue as the Washington ball club was downed 7-4 as both pitching and hitting struggled mightily. The Nats slip to 71-44 on the year, but nevertheless still hold the MLB’s best record and four game lead over the Braves in the NL East.
Ross Detwiler was certainly less than great in this one, as the young lefty lasted just four and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs and a walk on 93 pitches. The first run scored by the D-Backs came unearned as a pair of errors by Ryan Zimmerman and Kurt Suzuki allowed Paul Goldschmidt to round the bases and put Arizona up 1-0 in the second. In the third, Detwiler continued to miss his targets when Chris Young pounded a leadoff double to start the inning. “The National Det” then hit Jason Kubel by a pitch to put runners on 1st and 2nd, and Goldschmidt quickly nailed a bases clearing 2-RBI double to extend the lead to 3-zippo. Detwiler would give up one final run in the 5th inning after a Young walk and Aaron Hill double put the score at 4-0.
Unfortunately for Nats fans, things would only get worse as Davey then hooked Detwiler and put in the mostly reliable Craig Stammen to hopefully deliver a solid relief outing. Clearly “Champ of the Game” for Arizona, Mr. Goldschmidt would give Stammen a rude awakening as he laced an RBI single to score Hill from 2nd on the fourth pitch of the at-bat. Justin Upton then got into the act with an RBI single of his own, and finally, catcher Miguel Montero would put the 7th run on the board for the home team with an RBI double. Ugh, ugh, and more, UGHHH. 7-0 through six.
Until the 7th inning, Arizona starter and rookie Patrick Corbin was absolutely sensational. He gave up just one hit (by Bryce Harper which could easily have been ruled an error) until his last inning and didn’t walk a batter while striking out seven. It got a little shaky for Corbin when finally the Nats’ bats came alive and Danny Espinosa ripped a double in the 7th to leadoff the inning. Zimmerman then followed with an RBI single to end the shutout, and later in the inning an Adam LaRoche sac fly would score Cesar Izturis, the recent acquisition who was pinch running for Zimmerman.
Nothing to report for the 8th, but despite the original 7-0 lead, the Nats continued to fight in the 9th when a couple of doubles by Izturis and Michael Morse and RBIs by Jayson Werth and Tyler Moore would bring the tying run to the plate with two outs. We thought maybe Roger Bernadina aka the “Shark” could deliver a little more late-game magic, but unfortunately the young center fielder would strike out to end the game.
Champ of the Game: For the Nats, this award certainly goes to Michael Morse. He went 2-4 with a run scored and were it not for those dreaded and lowly Phillies, a 21-game hitting streak would still be intact for the Beast (now officially at 10 games).
For Arizona, Paul Goldschmidt (see above).
Chump of the Game: Gotta go unfortunately to Ross Detwiler, a man who failed to bring his best stuff to the mound today after a terrific outing in Houston August 7. On the bright side, this is just Det’s second loss since June 29.
For the Diamondbacks, Chris Johnson gets the nod. The third baseman went 0-4 with two Ks and an error.