Sep 15, 2013, 1:21 AM EDT
With the clock ticking down on their 2013 season, the Washington Nationals have put themselves in an unfortunate position where every little mistake and miscue in a nail-biting defeat becomes something much larger than it really is.
In the Nats’ 5-4 loss to the Phillies, the players harped back on several minor moments in what amounted to a 3 ½ hour battle of a game.
One pitch by Gio Gonzalez did him in, he said. One baserunning mistake by Ian Desmond was, in his eyes, the biggest of his major league career. And one questionable called strike three ripped the heart out of a club on the cusp of a comeback.
But for the Nationals, their defeat on Saturday night was rooted in a variety of reasons. The team that entered the game having won seven straight reverted back to the mental errors that put them in this bind. They squandered chances with runners in scoring position, like they have for much of the year, and saw their bullpen fail to stop the bleeding, like it has for much of the year.
It was just one game, loss No. 70, but with the Cincinnati Reds winning on Saturday, they now stand 5 ½ games out of the final NL Wild Card spot. 14 games remain and they can’t afford the little mistakes, much less many of them.
“I still thought we had a chance to come back on em,” Davey Johnson said. “We had our opportunities, we just didn’t capitalize.”
NL EAST STANDINGS
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 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
- Nats make deadline move for Asdrubal Cabrera
- Gio, Nats host Phillies for first of four-game set at Nationals Park
- On deadline day, Nationals have decisions to make
- Nationals Stock Watch: Roark leading Nats' rotation
- Nationals get a big rally, then hang on for dear life
- Nats end road trip with much-needed 4-3 win over Marlins
- Bryce Harper rediscovers his hitting stroke
- Nationals need win today to avoid losing road trip
- Depleted Nationals lineup shut out by Marlins
- Nationals can't fight back against Marlins, lose 3-0