Washington Nationals: Takeaways From 4-3 Loss To Cubs

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Jun 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) doubles as Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy (20) looks on during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) doubles as Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy (20) looks on during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa (8) hits a bunt single against the Chicago Cubs during the third inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

 Offense Fails To Get Timely Hit

Last night, the Washington Nationals scored all three of their runs via the sacrifice fly, but they missed out on opportunities to have that big inning against John Lackey.

In the bottom of the third, the Nats had bases loaded with one out. Jayson Werth drove in the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly to right. Two batters later, with the bases still loaded,Daniel Murphy hit a hard line drive to right, but it went right to Jason Heyward.

Later in the game, the Nats had runners on second and third with no out and Cubs manager Joe Maddon went to Pedro Strop to face pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos (struck him out on three pitches). Ben Revere drove in another run with a sac fly to left, but that was all the offense in the inning as Werth struck out swinging for the third out.

One inning later, with runners on the corners, Anthony Rendon hit a sacrifice fly to right to tie it at three against closer Hector Rondon. Even though the Washington Nationals didn’t come away empty-handed in any of those situations, they failed to get that crooked inning against Lackey or any of the relievers in the Cubs bullpen.

In this game, the Nats offense was 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. While they did find a way to come back to tie the game, and ended up getting Rondon to blow his first save of the season, those missed opportunities to drive in more runs ended up costing them at the end.

Next: Gonzalez Finds Success With Curveball

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