The Washington Nationals bullpen continued to struggle Friday night as they played a key role in the 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Washington Nationals opened up their first out-of-division regular season series Friday night as they welcomed the Pittsburg Pirates to town to start a three-game series.
The Buccos struck first in the top of the second when power-hitting first basemen Josh Bell launched a solo home run to left, giving the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
After giving up the homer Corbin took matters into his own hands in tying the game up, blooping an RBI single to left in the bottom of the second tying the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the third, the hottest hitter in Major League Baseball Anthony Rendon launched his fifth home run of the season to deep left, continuing his red-hot start and giving the Nationals the lead.
After the early homer given up to Bell, Corbin started to show why the Nationals gave him the biggest contract to any free agent pitcher this offseason. The lengthy left-hander simply took over the game, finishing seven innings with just one run allowed and 11 strikeouts. Corbin left the Nats with a 2-1 lead, and it was up to the bullpen to finish this one out.
As has become a regularity so far this season, the Washington bullpen could not do the job. Tony Sipp came in to start the eighth inning and gave up two hits, and was replaced by Kyle Barraclough with two men on and one out. Barraclough was once again not able to come through, giving up a two-run single to Starling Marte, giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Washington struck back courtesy of who other than Anthony Rendon. The Nationals third basemen launched his second home run of the game to left, tying the game at three and continuing his ridiculous start to the season.
After the Nats were unable to win it in the bottom of the ninth, it was once again up to the bullpen in extra innings to keep the game tied.
Once again, I think you know how this story goes by now, the bullpen failed to do that job, as Matt Grace allowed the first two runners to reach base and was replaced by Justin Miller who served up an 0-2 three-run homer to pinch hitter Colin Moran, giving Pittsburgh the 6-3 lead.
Ex-National Felipe Vazques came in to save it in the bottom of the ninth, closing out Washington and giving the Pirates the 6-3 victory.