Aug 5, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Moore (12) pitches during the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park. Arizona Diamondbacks defeated Washington Nationals 11-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Middle Relief Implodes In Final Four Innings
The Nationals’ bullpen does have a solid late inning trio of Casey Janssen, Drew Storen, and Jonathan Papelbon, but Storen and Papelbon were likely not available last night after pitching back-to-back games. That would mean it would be up to the middle relief to get the big outs, but none of them were able to get the job done.
It started with Aaron Barrett. With two on and no out in the sixth, Barrett fielded a bunt by Nick Ahmed that he should have held, but instead he threw it into right field, which allowed both runners to score. After a Jarrod Saltalamacchia RBI single made it 4-2, Barrett’s night would be done three batters later for Tanner Roark after only getting one out.
Roark would not have much success either. After getting Paul Goldschmidt to line out to right with runners on first and second, Roark walked Castillo and Hill to give Arizona a 5-2 lead. While it looked like Hill went around on his swing, it was a bad pitch to throw 3-2 with bases loaded way out of the zone.
Two innings later, it was Matt Thornton’s turn, but he gave up a leadoff triple to Ender Inciarte and walked Goldschmidt with one out. Then, Castillo crushed a fastball over the wall in center field for a three-run homer to make it 8-2.
After Felipe Rivero struggled in the ninth, including a bases loaded balk, Williams decided to take him out after 30 pitches. He was out of options, so he had to go to a position player and Tyler Moore was the guy. Moore retired both batters he faced, but no manager ever wants to use a position player to pitch. To sum it up, it was a bad night for the Nats bullpen. They did make some history, but not the history that you want to be making: