This game was a classic pitching duel. Gio Gonzalez and Tim Hudson combined to allow one earned run over 14.1 innings, and at 1-1 heading into extras, it was quite an exciting scene. However, everything fell apart late for the Nats. They squandered a golden opportunity in the ninth, and the bad version of Henry Rodriguez allowed the Braves to walk off in the bottom of the tenth. The offense dissolved again, while the bullpen was only as strong as its weakest link. There’s not much use judging this; the Nationals will never contend with their current lineup. Only when healthy can we assess where they are as a team.
Most Important Nationals Hit: Adam LaRoche‘s double (+24.0%)
With no outs and a runner on first against Craig Kimbrel, LaRoche doubled to put two runners in scoring position and seemingly give the Nationals a prime opportunity to take a very late lead. However, Ian Desmond would strike out, and Roger Bernadina grounded into a fielder’s choice that got Ryan Zimmerman thrown out at home before Danny Espinosa flew out to end the offensive opportunity in pathetic fashion.
Most Important Nationals Pitch: B.J. Upton‘s walk-off single (-29.8%)
Henry Rodriguez set this up in the most H-Rod way possible. He walked two batters and got only one out before Upton’s single scored pinch runner Jordan Schafer from second and gave the Braves the series-tying win. He has been decent this year, with a 4.00 ERA, but every outing is an adventure, to say the least. If he has more outings like his one last night, public sentiment will turn against him even more than it has.
Champ of the Game: The game’s lone bright spot was Gonzalez (+29.6%). He threw seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk while striking out seven. For the Braves, Hudson (+34.2%) was even better, with no earned runs (one unearned) in 7.1 innings with the same number of hits and walks but three fewer strikeouts.
Chump of the Game: For obvious reasons, this was Rodriguez (-37.0%). He allowed three baserunners while getting only one out and took the loss. Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman (-20.5%) was 0-4 with a strikeout.