Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Casey Janssen Blows Game Late Vs. Reds

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May 30, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Yunel Escobar (5) prepares in the dugout at the beginning of a game with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals played the second game of their three game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon and guaranteed that they would lose their first series in a month by losing 8-5. This was a game the Nationals very easily could have won.

After the Nationals took the lead in the top of the sixth inning, Gio Gonzalez handed some runs back to cut the Nationals advantage from three runs to just one. The Nats hung on to that lead until the bottom of the eighth inning, when Casey Janssen allowed the Reds to blow the game open and end the inning up 8-5.

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Some of the Nats batters have been watching Aroldis Chapman enough the last two days that they should to realize he is not throwing high pitches for strikes. That allowed them to draw walks, which kept the Nats hope alive in the ninth. However, some of them did not learn that lesson and tried to catch up with Chapman’s high fastball, which reached 103 miles per hour at some point, which led to back-to-back strikeouts by Dan Uggla and Ryan Zimmerman.

The Nationals hit well enough to win this game, even with Bryce Harper out of the lineup due to a sore back from being hit by a pitch from Tony Cingrani in Friday night’s game. The ultimate problem that led to this Nats loss was poor decisions by manager Matt Williams regarding when he used certain pitchers.

Here are my takeaways from yesterday’s game:

Next: Should Gio Have Not Come Out for The 6th?

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