Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Joe Ross Loses Command In Loss To Dodgers

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Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Loss Of Harper Felt On Defense Last Night

Anytime you do not have a player like Bryce Harper in your lineup, the margin for error becomes less and less because you know it might be a tough night for the offense. Washington’s defense let them down on a couple of critical occasions last night.

Let’s start by looking at the bottom of the fourth inning. Andre Ethier started the inning by hitting a ball that Michael Taylor misjudged both on the initial read off the bat and on the bounce off the wall.

Taylor did make up for it when he made a great throw to third base and it appeared Yunel Escobar made the tag for the out, but on the replay, Escobar missed the tag and the Dodgers won their challenge.

One inning later, with the bases loaded, Yasiel Puig hit a ball to right field that Clint Robinson made a good play on, but he could not make the sliding catch. It ended up being a bases clearing triple and Los Angeles would break the game open with a 5-0 lead.

Robinson has not been horrible out in the outfield, but he is definitely not the defender that Bryce Harper is. Could Harper have made that catch? I would think so, but it would be a tough play nonetheless.

One thing for certain, this team’s playoff hopes would be severely diminished if Harper is out for an extended period of time. While the 22-year-old hasn’t hit a home run this month, he is still hitting .361 and has walked eight times. Robinson is a nice fill-in, but with 50 games left, the loss of Harper long-term would impact the Nats both at the plate and in the field.

Next: Recap: Nats Shut Out By Zack Greinke

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