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.”
ON THE RADIO
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.
- Injury updates on Zimmerman and Hairston
- Baseball in the District: Thom Loverro of ESPN 980 talks Nats
- Gio, Nationals try to avoid getting swept by Angels
- Nationals Stock Watch: Harper has rough week
- How secure is struggling Jordan's rotation spot?
- Pujols gets 500th, Nats fall to Angels
- Pujols launches 500th homer at Nationals' expense
- Who is the Nats best 8th inning option?
- Fister pitches 3 innings, on track for May 7 return
- Nats Game Thread: No rest for Desmond