Washington Nationals: Michael Taylor shines in latest loss

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 24: Michael Taylor
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 24: Michael Taylor /
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The Washington Nationals lost to the San Francisco Giants once again, but Michael Taylor continued his resurgence with a solid all-around night.

After Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals dropped the first game of a three-game set in San Francisco, Tanner Roark was tasked with evening up the series. Unfortunately, his outing was similar to Gonzalez’s from the night before, as was the ultimate result.

Roark was solid in the middle-innings, but they were bookended by struggles. It took him 32 pitches to get out of the first, an inning in which he allowed a run on two hits and a walk. The hits and walk were bad, but the lone run scored on a wild pitch, capping a poor start to his night.

Incredibly, the first would have been even worse if it were not for Michael Taylor‘s gold glove-caliber defense. Gregor Blanco lined a ball into center field to begin the inning, but Taylor made an unbelievable diving catch to rob him of a hit.

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Roark went on to allow four runs on six hits and two walks over six innings. It was not an awful outing, but it was a night to forget. Some costly mistakes, such as the wild pitch to allow a run and the Mac Williamson homer on a hung curveball in the sixth, were the game’s deciding factors.

In addition to his run-saving catch, Taylor was responsible for all three of the Nats’ runs. Ryan Zimmerman worked a two-out walk in the fourth, which was followed by the first of two singles for Moises Sierra. Then, Taylor crushed a Ty Blach fastball over the right field wall.

AT&T Park is known as a pitcher’s ballpark, especially for right-handed hitters, so Taylor’s home run was an impressive one. Not many righties hit homers over the tall right field wall, but Taylor did just that.

Unfortunately, Taylor had some moments to forget as well.

In the ninth inning, with the Nats trailing by one, Taylor had one of the worst at-bats of his career. He struck out on three pitches, flailing at three balls out of the zone.

The Nats’ offense has been cold, so it is understandable that he wanted to hit a homer and tie the game himself, but he has to shorten up and just find a way to get on base. Swinging at balls outside the zone and striking out does not do the team any good.

Next: Shawn Kelley suffers scary injury

After the Nats’ latest loss, they have dropped four in a row and two consecutive series. Max Scherzer will get the ball against Jeff Samardzija on Wednesday afternoon, attempting to salvage the series.