Offense Misses Early Opportunities
Last night, the Washington Nationals were able to draw some walks against Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, but the Nats could not make him pay for those free passes.
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Bundy went six innings, gave up two runs on three hits, struck out four, and walked four on 98 pitches (54 strikes) in the win. Even when the Nats got a run in the first inning, Rendon flew out to center with two men on to end a chance at giving Cole a bigger lead to work with.
One inning later, Ryan Zimmerman led off the second with a double, but he ended up being stranded at third base. With two men on in the third, Wilson Ramos grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Overall, the Washington Nationals went 1-for-9 with men in scoring position in the loss. On this eight game road trip, the Nats have two hits or fewer with men in scoring position in six of those games (2-4 record).
If the Washington Nationals make it to the postseason and if they want to do some damage in October, they need to get those big hits when it matters most. This series is a good example because if the Nats can’t score early and get the lead, getting runs against Brach or Britton has been a difficult task for nearly every team this season.
Right now, while Strasburg and Joe Ross are on the disabled list and with the rotation featuring Cole and Lopez, the offense needs to pick up the slack for the next couple of weeks to make up for the pitching injuries. It starts with getting the lead early, so there isn’t much pressure on the rotation.