In their first game back home off of a ten game road trip, the Washington Nationals’ offensive struggles continued. Going up against a pitcher in Zack Godley that was making his third Major League start, the Nationals were not able to get any offense going for the first eight innings. The Nats rallied back with four runs in the ninth, but they could not overcome Doug Fister (4-7, 4.60) giving up three home runs in a 6-4 loss to the Diamondbacks. With the Mets winning down in Miami, the Nationals, who have lost four in a row, are now out of first place in the NL East.
More from Nationals News
- Latest DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Code in Maryland: Bet $5, Win $200 Guaranteed
- Nationals Claim Jeter Downs Off Waivers
- Washington Nationals Tuesday Q&A
- A Washington Nationals Christmas Wishlist
- Robots in Baseball? The Possibility of an Automated Ball/Strike System in the MLB
Doug Fister was strong for the first couple of innings, but the Diamondbacks were able to get on the board in the top of the third. With one out, Nick Ahmed hit a solo shot to left center to give Arizona a 1-0 lead. It was Ahmed’s seventh home run of the season. The home runs would not stop there.
One inning later, with A.J. Pollock on first via a leadoff single, David Peralta hit a ball to center field that just missed Michael Taylor’s glove and went over the wall for a two-run homer. Peralta’s tenth home run of the season put the D’Backs up 3-0.
For the second straight night, a Nats opponent had back-to-back home runs. This time, it was Welington Castillo that followed Peralta with a solo shot of his own to center, his 12th of the season. Pollock would tack on another run with a sacrifice fly to right to make it 5-0, Arizona.
As for Fister’s outing, he went six innings, gave up five runs on eight hits, struck out six, and did not walk a batter on 111 pitches (72 strikes). However, by taking the loss, the Nats’ right-hander has now lost six of his last eight outings.
The Nats’ offense did not have many chances to score against Zack Godley (3-0, 1.50). Their one chance came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Washington had the bases loaded, two outs, and Ian Desmond was up with a 3-1 count. However, Desmond grounded out to short to end the inning. Godley went six innings, gave up no runs on three hits, struck out six, and walked two on 83 pitches in the win.
After Tanner Roark had an eight pitch, 1-2-3 seventh inning, Matt Williams went to his late inning duo of Drew Storen and Jonathan Papelbon since both of them had not pitched since Thursday. Storen threw seven pitches and struck out one in the eighth.
As for Papelbon, who was making his Nats debut, he gave up a solo home run to Jake Lamb with one out in the ninth inning to extend Arizona’s lead to 6-0. Papelbon gave up one run on two hits in one inning of work.
After being shut out for eight innings, the Nationals’ offense was able to mount a rally. With one out and Daniel Hudson on the mound, Ryan Zimmerman crushed a solo home run to left, his seventh of the season, to put the Nats on the board. Later in the inning, after singles by Clint Robinson and Desmond, Wilson Ramos singled up the middle to drive in Robinson to make it 6-2. Then, Michael Taylor hit a two-run double down the left field line to cut the Arizona lead to 6-4.
Chip Hale would go to the bullpen and bring in closer Brad Ziegler to face pinch-hitter Jayson Werth. Werth would ground out to Ziegler and Yunel Escobar flew out to left to end the game as Ziegler picked up his 19th save of the season.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (54-50) will be back in action tomorrow night against the Arizona Diamondbacks (51-53) at Nats Park. You can catch the game at 7:05 PM ET on MASN. Max Scherzer (11-8, 2.22) gets the start for the Nats against Patrick Corbin (2-3, 3.21) for the D’Backs.