The Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres started their series in San Diego where it never rains. However, last night was the exception as the teams endured a two hour rain delay which began one batter into the game. There’s more rain in the forecast for this weekend. Here are some of my takeaways from last night’s loss.
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Doug Fister Didn’t Like The Rain Delay Or The Umpire
Doug Fister started the game just fine when he came out in the bottom of the first. He got the first two outs quickly. Then things started wrong. The Padres started going after the first or second pitch of the at-bat and made solid contact. Fister was leaving pitches up and getting hammered. Matt Kemp and Justin Upton hit back-to-back singles, and then Derek Norris hit a three run bomb to left field.
In the bottom of the second, again with two out, Fister threw strike three to Cory Spangenberg. Unfortunately, a pitch clearly in the strike zone was called a ball. Instead of the third out and Fister back in the dugout, the inning continued. Spangenberg, of course, hit a home run. Will Venable walked, Kemp singled and Upton singled to drive in another run. Then, Norris, the former Nats catcher, tripled to drive in two more.
Fister batted for himself in the bottom of the second to lay down a sacrifice bunt, and then his night was done. He lasted two innings, which was his shortest outing as a National.
All seven runs were scored with two outs in the inning. Fister just could not get that last out when he needed it. He even started pitching out of the stretch with no one on at one point trying to find his control and get straightened out.
Derek Norris was with the Nationals organization until he was traded to the Oakland Athletics as part of the deal that brought Gio Gonzalez to Washington back in December 2011. Since then, he has seemed to make it a mission to punish his former team in the few times that he has gotten the chance.
In fourteen at-bats against the Nationals since the trade, he has twelve RBI’s and four home runs. He hit two home runs against Gio Gonzalez in one game when the Nats played the A’s last year and had six RBI’s in that game. Like Freddie Freeman and Giancarlo Stanton, he really seems to have the ability to hurt the Nationals every time they see him. Thank goodness the Nats don’t see the Padres too often.
Entering last night’s game, Cory Spangenberg had precisely no home runs this year and two in his MLB career, which started with twenty games last year. In this game, he hit two bombs: one off Fister and one off Blake Treinen. Spangenberg may also be another player that loves to see the Nationals on the schedule.
Wilson Ramos Extends His Hitting Streak, Harper Walks Again
With a single in the top of the fourth inning, Wilson Ramos singled to extend his hitting streak to sixteen games. That is the longest current hitting streak in the Major Leagues. Ramos also hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to add another RBI to his total.
Bryce Harper drew three walks, giving him 33 unintentional walks so far this year. That still leads the league. He scored on Ramos’ single in the fourth as a result of the first walk.
Blake Treinen pitched four innings in relief of Fister and only allowed one run. This was a good outing for Treinen, and hopefully will help his confidence going forward.
Those were the bright spots for the Nationals.