With Stevenson making a u-turn back to the dugout, Alcides Escobar came to the plate and lined a single to the outfield. Too sharply hit to score Adams from second base, the Nationals now have the bases loaded with one out. A great scenario. A soft single to the outfield should score two, or a deep flyout will at least score one.
The hitter was Yadiel Hernandez, bringing a nine-game hitting streak into the game.
Hernandez looked at strike-one, no problem. The pitch was on the outside corner and Hernandez would have been hard pressed to do anything with that pitch anyway. He then awkwardly swung and missed back-to-back curve balls, making a quick return to the dugout.
This was just the second out of the inning, but by this point everyone already knew the next hitter was not going to get the runs in regardless of who it was. Josh Bell struck out.
Three key at-bats. Nine pitches seen. All strikes. Three strikeouts where Nationals hitters failed to put the bat on the ball. Failed to even foul off a pitch.
The Nationals have stranded runners all year. They have been pitiful all season with the bases loaded. And they were doing this with better hitters than these three. I should have been expecting the outcome. I was not. I was hopeful. One thing is for sure. This team is getting harder and harder to watch.