Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Doug Fister’s Struggles Continue In Loss To Pirates

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Jul 23, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Clint Robinson (25) scores a run on a wild pitch by Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (47) during the fifth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Offense Misses Chance At Big 5th Inning  

Through the first four innings, the Nationals offense had trouble making any contact against Francisco Liriano. The Pirates’ starting pitcher did not give up a hit in those innings, struck out nine batters, and the only runner to reach base was Tyler Moore via a walk in the third inning.

Down 2-0 going into the fifth, the Nats were able to get the first two runners on to begin the inning. Clint Robinson drew an eight-pitch walk and Ian Desmond lined a base hit to left field. Once those two batters reached, Liriano lost some of his control. With Dan Uggla at the plate, Liriano threw a wild pitch, which allowed both runners to advance into scoring position. That would be the first of three wild pitches from the Pirates right-hander.

During that at-bat with Moore, Liriano threw a pitch to the backstop, but Robinson did not attempt to score. He would later score on a third wild pitch, but the Nats were down 2-1 instead of possibly being tied. Robinson told the media after the game why he didn’t attempt to run on the first of the two wild pitches:

As the inning went on, Doug Fister failed to lay down a bunt for the second time on the night and struck out and Michael Taylor grounded out to short to end the inning. The Pirates would come right back to score two more runs and increase their lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the inning. Yes, it is hindsight that Robinson should have went on the play, but the Nationals did miss an opportunity to take the momentum away from Pittsburgh during that inning.

Next: Robinson Struggles In Left Field