There were times Friday when the Nats were zombies on the field.
From Rendon’s miscue on a borderline grounder at third in the sixth inning to Dusty Baker failing to get tossed in the ninth after Zimmerman was called out running out of the base path, mental errors hurt the Nats.
On most nights, Rendon would make a throw to first before a fair/foul call by the third-base umpire. Friday, he thought the call on Javy Baez’s grounder was foul and lost his concentration. Chicago turned the mistake into two runs.
Whether Laz Diaz made the right call is irrelevant as Rendon never truly questioned it and Baker stayed in the dugout. The play could not be reviewed, but Rendon and Baker never pressured the umpires to huddle on the call.
Flash forward to Zimmerman’s play in the ninth, it was Jayson Werth who argued the hardest on the play. This was Baker’s best chance to fire the team and 43 thousand fans up for Saturday’s game and nothing happened. Sometimes a little dirt kicking goes a long way.
Because the Nats were so even throughout the season, it is understandable they were perplexed when behind. But, the regular year is over.
From failing to adjust to Hendricks pitches to being too professional, Washington did not show how bad they want the series. You cannot do that.