Washington Nationals Recap: Nats Drop Series Finale To Rockies, 3-2


The Washington Nationals (60-60) fell to the Colorado Rockies (49-70) 3-2 Thursday night as the offense struggled to find any rhythm against Yohan Flande (3-1, 3.94 ERA) or the Colorado bullpen. Max Scherzer (11-10, 2.79) pitched well, but not well enough as the Nats have now lost seventh of their last nine games. The Rockies’ Jose Reyes went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI, and a run scored. With the win, the Rockies end up splitting the season series with the Nats. 

The Washington offense struggled all evening, not sending more than four hitters to the batters box once until the seventh inning, which is when they did all of their scoring. Bryce Harper hit a two-out ringing double down the right field line in the first, but was left stranded when Yunel Escobar grounded out immediately after.

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They didn’t reach base again until the fourth, when Harper drew a one out walk. However, two subsequent groundouts following the free pass left Harper standing on second base once again. Harper would finish the game 2-for-3 with a single, double, and a walk. In the fifth, Ryan Zimmerman drew a leadoff walk, but was ultimately out on the base paths when Wilson Ramos grounded into a double play two batters later.

In the seventh, Zimmerman walked once again, this time with two outs. The Nats were finally able to make Flande pay for those walks, as Michael Taylor knocked Zim in with a 474 foot home run to center field. That would be it for the Washington offense, however, as Flande would retire Ramos to end the inning, and the Colorado bullpen shut them down. Scott Oberg pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, earning two ground ball outs and a Clint Robinson popout. For the ninth, closer John Axford worked around a leadoff single by Harper to secure his 17th save of the year.

Max Scherzer, although not dazzling, certainly competed. Scherzer went 6+ innings while allowing three runs (all earned) on eight hits, striking out seven batters, and walking three. He allowed his first run of the game in the fifth on a Jose Reyes RBI double. He would however, work his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam to keep the Rockies from adding on.

They got to him again in the sixth unfortunately, when Flande gave the Rockies a 2-0 lead on an RBI infield single that drove in Matt McBride. Scherzer came back out for the 7th, but was pulled after allowing a leadoff single to Reyes, who eventually scored three batters later with Blake Treinen gave up a RBI single to Ben Paulsen in a 2-2 tie. 

Felipe Rivero initially relieved Scherzer, but allowed a base hit to the only batter he faced. Although neither Rivero nor Treinen was charged with the winning run, it was clear this was another game the bullpen was not able to shut it down. Matt Thornton pitched a scoreless eighth, but the Nats’ offense could not muster up a rally to tie the game and Washington lost, 3-2.

Next Game: The Washington Nationals will begin a three game series Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers (52-70) at Nats Park. You can catch the game at 7:05 PM ET on MASN2. Gio Gonzalez (9-5, 3.86 ERA) gets the start for the Nationals against Jimmy Nelson (9-9, 3.61) for the Brewers.

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