Jul 1, 2010, 3:40 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
None of the Nationals looked comfortable at the plate tonight.
ATLANTA — On a night like this, when the Nationals couldn't touch Jair Jurrjens' rising fastball, scoring opportunities were at a real premium. So when one did finally present itself in the sixth inning at Turner Field, the Nats couldn't afford to squander it.
Of course, the way things have been going for the last month, you just had a feeling they'd find a way to miss out. And sure enough, when Ivan Rodriguez came to bat in the sixth with the bases loaded, nobody out and right-hander Peter Moylan fresh out of the Braves bullpen, that dreaded moment occurred.
Rodriguez took a hack at Moylan's first pitch and smacked it right at shortstop Yunel Escobar, who set in motion the 6-4-3 double play that all but killed any chance the Nationals had of winning this game.
"I think that's a good pitch to hit," Rodriguez said. "In that situation, with guys like that who throw sidearm, they're very difficult to pick up the ball. Sometimes, you've got to jump early, and the first pitch he throws for a strike you've got to make a swing at it. That's what I did. I hit it hard, right at him."
There's no sense debating hitting philosophy with a guy who may become the first catcher in history to join the 3,000-hit club, so you have to give Pudge the benefit of the doubt here. But the squandered opportunity did expose one of this team's biggest weaknesses: TheyRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- How did Zimmerman fare in first game action in Viera?
- Nationals play for NL East title tonight in Atlanta
- Has Strasburg earned Game 1 start in playoffs?
- Around the NL East: Braves on the verge of elimination
- After nailbiter, Nationals on the cusp of a clinch
- Strasburg dominates as Nats win 4-2
- Harper latest Nats player to come down with bug
- LaRoche named finalist for Man of Year award
- Zimmerman ready for game action in Viera
- Strasburg tries to exorcise Atlanta demons