A loss avoided. It would have been the sixth in a row and 62nd of the season. A shutout avoided. It would have been the eighth time this year the Washington Nationals have failed to plate any runs in a game. Another dreadful offensive performance. Well, for eight innings at least. Thankfully, the team woke up in the ninth inning to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
While Josiah Gray did all he could to keep the Nats in the game, the Nats offense just couldn’t get anything started against the gutsy and reliable veteran pitcher they were facing. Charlie Morton is a good pitcher and is having a great season. Nationals hitters made it seem like Uncle Charlie should be getting a Cy Young Award for his efforts.
Three hits is all the Nationals could muster against Morton. They did have multiple opportunities to score. They bungled those. I’ve watched a lot of baseball in my day. I’ve seen a lot of bad baseball as well. The Nationals are truly making it hard to keep watching this season.
In the latest game against the Atlanta Braves, three Nationals at-bats stood out as being quite possibly the worst in a long time.
After going down 1-2-3 in the first inning, the Nationals began the second stanza with a Josh Bell double. The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the inning prior and here was the Nationals chance to make things even.
The hitter was Gerardo Parra and he really didn’t need to drive the run in himself. He just needed to have a productive out and get Bell to third base.
Parra looked at strike one, no problem. He then waved at back-to-back curve balls, making a quick return to the dugout. Big problem. Bell didn’t advance. Parra looked ridiculous flailing at a pitch Charlie Morton is well-known for. Does that make it easy to hit? Well, no, but a hitter has to put the ball in play there and move the runner around.
The next hitter, Carter Kieboom, grounded out to second, which would have scored Bell from third had he been there.