After being swept mid-week by the Atlanta Braves, the Washington Nationals headed to the Bronx for a weekend slate which appeared to be daunting in its own right. That is, until the Nationals buried the Yankees with six runs in the eighth inning to walk away winners in game one.
With Max Scherzer on the mound the following day, one would believe the Nationals had put themselves in great position to win the series. Even after the Nats blew a ninth inning lead in game two, they neutralized Yankees starter Domingo German in game three and were in prime position to take the series with a game three win.
In the end, they left losers in two of three games, where they just as easily could have swept the Yankees. Today we look at three players who had poor performances during this series.
3 Players who had disappointing performances in the Nationals series against the Yankees.
There is no elephant in the room, so we’ll just go ahead and put it out there. Brad Hand was awful this weekend. A 14-strikeout gem of an outing by Max Scherzer was wasted when Hand failed to hold the one run lead in the ninth inning of game two. He walked the leadoff hitter, then started the next three hitters he faced with ball one as well. After the Nationals scored a run in the tenth, Hand gave it right back by surrendering a single to Mike Ford. Ford was hitting less than .100 at that point and was trying to give himself up by bunting, though Hand fell behind 3-1 before the base hit.
We questioned the usage of Hand in that game, though manager Davey Martinez must not have. After throwing 29 pitches in blowing the save, Martinez ran Hand out in the ninth inning of game three in a 2-2 tie. Two schools of thought here. Closers have short memories, and need to get back on the horse, or give the guy a rest after throwing 29 pitches the day before, nearly half outside the strike zone. Martinez chose the former. Again, Hand greeted the Yankees with a free pass, this time walking the first two hitters, and the rest is history. A blown save followed by a loss, against a team he has always struggled against.