Washington Nationals Recap: Nats Lack Clutch Hits In 4-1 Loss To Cardinals

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Even though Max Scherzer had another good outing for the Washington Nationals this afternoon, it was the offense that was not able to get the big hit in multiple spots. The Washington Nationals (7-9) went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left seven players on base in their 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals (10-4) as they lose the final two games of this three game series.

Just like last night, the Cardinals got the scoring started in the top of the first. With Matt Carpenter on third and Jayson Heyward on first right out of the gate, Scherzer would throw a wild pitch two batters later to Matt Adams that would allow Carpenter to score and make it 1-0. While Scherzer would strike out two in the inning, St. Louis did find a way to get on the board.

The Nationals would have two on base in the bottom of the first with one out, but Ryan Zimmerman flew out to right field and Clint Robinson flew out to left against Cardinals starter Michael Wacha to end the scoring threat.

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In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Nationals started the inning with a Zimmerman single to right field and a Robinson walk. However, Washington would come up empty due to a Yunel Escobar double play and a strike out by Jose Lobaton.

Even though they missed scoring chances early, Washington tied the score up in the fifth. After Danny Espinosa barely missed a home run by inches in the fifth on a leadoff double to right, Max Scherzer would reach first base on an error by Matt Adams. It was originally ruled a ground out to short, but the Nats challenged and the replay showed Adams was off the bag. Denard Span would drive in Espinosa on a RBI single to center to tie it.

The Nats had the chance to score more, but Ian Desmond popped out to second, Bryce Harper struck out swinging, and Zimmerman grounded out to shortstop to keep the scoring at one run for the inning.

In the end, Michael Wacha was able to get out of some key jams today. He went seven innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out six, and walked two to pick up the win.

St. Louis would take the lead back in the sixth inning. Scherzer would get the first two outs in the inning, but Heyward would keep the inning going with a two-out single to center. After Matt Holliday was hit by a pitch, Adams would give St. Louis the lead with a RBI single to left.

It was Scherzer’s second hard luck loss of the season as he gave up two runs on six hits over seven innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.

The Cardinals would continue their two-out success in the eighth inning. After a Holliday single against Matt Thornton, Aaron Barrett would come in to the game to face Mark Reynolds. Reynolds would drive a ball into the gap in right center. Holliday would come around and score, but Barrett made it 4-1 when he threw the ball to center, allowing Reynolds to score as well.

Despite being down three runs, the Nats had yet another chance to come back. Ian Desmond led off the bottom of the eighth with a double against Jordan Walden to extend his hit streak to nine games. Harper would then draw a walk to bring the tying run to the plate. But, the Nats couldn’t score again. Ryan Zimmerman grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Clint Robinson flew out to center to end the inning.

Next Game: The Washington Nationals will now head on the road for a ten-game road trip. First up is a three game series on the road against the Miami Marlins (5-11). First pitch for tomorrow’s game is at 7:10 PM ET on MASN2. Jordan Zimmermann (1-2, 6.14) will start for Washington against Mat Latos (0-3, 10.24) for Miami.

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