Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Nats Late Inning Collapse Crushes Playoff Hopes

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Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Nats Offense Finally Figures Out Harvey

Nationally, all of the talk coming into last night’s game was about Matt Harvey and his innings limits. The Nats only scored one run against Harvey back on July 31, but they doubled that total in the first inning last night. Instead of working Harvey’s pitch count, the Nats went with a different approach and it paid off, even without Ryan Zimmerman, who missed the game last night due to an left oblique injury.

With two outs and Anthony Rendon on first, the trio of Yunel Escobar, Clint Robinson, and Ian Desmond all hit singles to right with Robinson’s and Desmond’s RBI singles giving the Nats an early 2-0 lead. The offense would keep the two-out hitting going in the second when Rendon doubled down the left field line to drive in Michael Taylor.

Harvey would settle down over the next three innings, giving up just a Robinson single in the third inning. Then, the Nationals’ offense broke out in the sixth. After an Escobar single and a Robinson walk, Ian Desmond laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Harvey went to third after bobbling the ball and he couldn’t get the out.

Wilson Ramos would strikeout, but Michael Taylor delivered in the big spot once again. Taylor hit a single to center that bounced away from Yoenis Cespedes in center, which allowed everyone to score. While Taylor only gets credited for one RBI, he has been great at the plate lately. Despite batting a knee injury, the Nats’ center fielder is 5-for-12 at the plate in his last four games with a home run and six RBI’s.

In the end, Harvey went 5.1 innings, gave up seven runs on eight hits, struck out two, and walked two in a no-decision. While most of the Nats had success against the Mets’ right-hander, Bryce Harper went 0-for-3 against Harvey and is now 0-for-20 in his career against him. Harper has not had much success against New York this season, but we will get to that at a later time.

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