Washington Nationals Game Recap #12 - Shut Out by Shohei

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels
Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The Nationals ran into a wagon on Tuesday night and his name was Shohei Ohtani. The superstar do-it-all player not only is an MVP candidate at the plate, but also is a Cy Young candidate on the mound. Ohtani entered the night with an insane 0.75 ERA. After last night's game? It is now 0.47. The Nationals could not get anything going all night long and it was not unexpected against Ohtani. They only mustered one hit and were ultimately shut out, losing by a final score of 2 to 0.

The real disappointment is that for the second start in a row, Josiah Gray pitched really well for the Nationals. After going 6 innings of 1 run baseball in his last start in Colorado, Gray followed it up with 5.2 innings of 2 run baseball last night. In those two games, the Nationals were unable to score any runs and they are the only two shutouts the team has had on offense all season long. Gray now sits at 0-3 on the season, but he should easily by 2-1 or at least not have 3 losses already. He also clearly needs to throw more changeups after the one we saw last night.

If you did not get to watch the game, the kicker is that Ohtani did not even have his best stuff. He struggled with command, issuing 5 walks in his 7 innings. But that is how good Shohei Ohtani is; he can walk 5 guys in a start but still have a WHIP below 1.00. The Nationals were just no match for arguably the best pitcher in the league, which was to be expected.

Nationals Game Review

What went wrong?

Honestly? Shohei Ohtani. Every problem the Nationals had last night was Shohei Ohtani related.

  • Only got one hit? Shohei Ohtani.
  • Only had two runners in scoring position all night? Shohei Ohtani.
  • Were hitless with those two runners in scoring position? Shohei Ohtani.
  • Left 7 runners on base? Shohei Ohtani.

This is a game you just chalk up to being an outlier in the grand scheme of the season because the Nationals will not face Shohei Ohtani again this season, barring a midseason trade. What you do from here is flush it and try to regroup and refocus to win the series tonight.

What went right?

Well, not much. Why not? Shohei Ohtani. Most of the highlights were from the pitching staff, who continued to do well and continued to keep Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in check.

  • Josiah Gray battled all night long. He labored in the 6th inning and was clearly tired, but thanks to a clutch strikeout by Thaddeus Ward, Gray's statline still looked good: 5.2 innings, 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks (both came in the 6th inning) and 3 strikeouts. He did also allow a solo homerun in the 6th inning.
  • The aforementioned Thaddeus Ward had a great performance after not pitching in the series against Colorado, going 1.2 scoreless innings with no walks, one hit and 2 strikeouts.
  • CJ Abrams also showed great poised against Shohei Ohtani, doubling down the RF line in the 4th inning. The young hitter will be overmatched at times as he is only 22, but you can see him growing and developing by the day and it is hard not to be excited about his future.

Washington Nationals Record: 4-8

When is the next Nationals game?

The Nationals have their rubber match against the Angels today at 4:07p as MacKenzie Gore (2-0, 2.38 ERA) takes the hill for the Nationals as they look for their first series win of the season. They will be opposed by RHP Griffin Canning of the Angels who is making his first start this season. He had a 5.60 ERA in 13 starts last season and has a career 4.73 ERA.