Earlier in the week, we highlighted how well 26-year-old right-handed starter Jake Irvin has pitched to begin his major league career.
On Friday night, Irvin had a much different fate. In his fourth start for Washington, the rookie surrendered six runs while only recorded eight outs, putting the Nationals in a quick hole that they couldn't climb out of. Although they battled late, they still lost 8-6 to the Tigers.
Irvin's command was off from the moment he stepped on the mound. In his two and two-thirds innings, he walked four batters while only striking out one. He also gave up two home runs, including a blast to Zach McKinstry to lead off the game.
Following the leadoff homer, Irvin committed an error on a ground ball from Javy Baez and walked Riley Greene. At that point, it was clear that the wheels were off the tracks for Irvin.
The Tigers scored three runs in the first inning, then three more in the third - although the latter was aided by an error by Luis Garcia, who may have had his worst night of the season on the defensive side.
The star hitter of the night for Detroit was Silver Spring, MD native Akil Baddoo, who had two hits, including his first home run of the season, stole a base and drove in four runs. The other homer on the night for the Tigers belonged to Greene.
Amidst the pitching and defensive struggles early, the Nationals bats were silent, as Tigers starting pitcher Matthew Boyd carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning
To their credit, however, after falling behind 8-0 in the sixth, they battled back to make the game look closer than it was. They plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth, featuring a team-leading sixth homer of the season by Lane Thomas. Then they scored three more in the seventh, aided by a Keibert Ruiz four-bagger.
Meanwhile, Washington's bullpen had a very solid night. Hobie Harris, Thaddeus Ward and Andres Machado each tossed at least two innings and collectively held Detroit to two runs. Ward and Machado were particularly stellar, allowing only one hit - the home run by Greene.
In the end, Jason Foley and Alex Lange were able to seal a Tigers win by recording their last six outs of the night.
Washington will look to bounce back with the resurgent Patrick Corbin (2-5, 4.65 ERA) on the mound. Although his season-long numbers are far from exceptional, the left-hander has been much better lately, as evidenced by his 2.84 ERA over 19 innings in his three starts this month.
Corbin will be opposed by 27-year-old right-hander Alex Faedo (0-1, 4.22 ERA), who will be making the 15th start of his major league career. The pitching matchup seems to favor the Nationals, but the same was true last night, as Boyd entered the game with an ERA north of 6.00. Can the Nats reverse the script and end their four-game losing skid?
Washington Nationals Record: 18-27