Aug 7, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) pitches during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Nationals suffered one of their most gut-wrenching losses of the seasons on Friday night at the hands of the Colorado Rockies. Heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Nationals handed a three run lead to their set-up man, Drew Storen, who had been dominant since being taken out of the closers role. Three outs and a Carlos Gonzalez grand slam later, they were down 5-4.
To make matters worse, the Mets managed a comeback against the Rays, which means, going into Saturday’s contest, the Nationals now sit 2.5 games back in the NL East. Washington can’t seem to keep any momentum going, failing to put wins together once again. After a Thursday game in which it looked like they were ready to break out of their slump, they fell victim to heartbreak.
Part of the problem was – no surprise – offense. While the Nationals managed to pile up four runs (not an insignificant amount), they squandered opportunities to add more. The team managed to go just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and they stranded eight on the bases. Storen was handed a three run lead to protect, but that could have easily been much larger.
But the real story of Friday night’s game was the pitching, which suffered from Jekyll and Hyde syndrome. On the good side, there was Jordan Zimmermann, whose brilliant pitching put the Nationals in position to win. On the bad side was Drew Storen, who suffered his worst outing since losing his job as closer and allowed the grand slam that cost the Nats the game.
Here’s a look at both sides of the coin.