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Phillips, Hamilton rob Nats in extras

May 20, 2014, 1:30 AM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

In a game that took four hours, 58 minutes and 15 innings to settle, the Nationals lost to the Reds on Monday night despite twice coming inches away from victory. Twice in extra innings they had would-be walk-off singles snatched out of the air on sensational defensive plays by the Reds.

The first was a diving grab by Brandon Phillips to end the 12th. With Denard Span on third and two outs, Wilson Ramos took the first pitch he saw from Manny Parra up the middle for a low line drive.

Span took off on contact and was close to scoring the winning run before Phillips leaped with full extension towards second base to secure the third out. Phillips laid on the ground for several moments after making the catch, apparently in disbelief himself.

“All you can do is hit it,” manager Matt Williams said. “Sometimes you wish you could steer it once you hit it, but that doesn’t happen.”

Instead of charging the field to celebrate the sudden death win, the Nationals played on and nearly won it again in the 14th inning.

With Logan Ondrusek pitching for Cincinnati, the Nationals saw Kevin Frandsen lead off with a double that landed on the foul line in left field. Frandsen then moved to third on a Span groundout.

Anthony Rendon came to the plate with two outs and, just like Ramos, made contact on the first pitch. This one was hit even harder and sailed into right-center field.

With Frandsen running home, and several Nats players getting ready to jump the dugout railing, Reds’ center fielder Billy Hamilton dove on a full sprint to make the catch and once again rip victory away from the Nationals to end an inning.

“I was probably about as surprised as you all were,” Rendon said. “I hit it good, I knew it. I knew he had a chance at catching it, but I was hoping it might die. It didn’t die.”

Both were exceptional defensive plays, both ended innings, and both kept the Reds alive in their eventual 4-3 victory. Afterwards, some Nationals could only tip their caps.

“You know Brandon’s done that year after year. It’s not like a first-time thing for him. And Billy, obviously with the speed he has, I think everyone in the stadium thought that was going to get down,” Frandsen said. “It’s a different element that you have to take into account. They made two great plays there.”

The 14th inning also saw a questionable decision made by Williams, one that he addressed after the marathon game. Once Frandsen led off with a double, he decided to first put pitcher Tanner Roark in the on-deck circle, then switch him for Jose Lobaton. Lobaton went up there looking to hit, instead of bunting Frandsen over, and ended up striking out swinging.

Williams had the option of using a pitcher to bunt and saving Lobaton – the last man on the Nationals’ bench – but explained his reasoning for using the switch-hitting catcher instead.

“We’ve got one guy left on the bench and we’ve gotta take our shot to win the game. You could bunt him to third, or try to bunt him to third with a pitcher, but Loby’s on the bench. We gotta take a shot. He hoped to get a ball over to the right side.”

The Reds broke through with a two-run home run by Todd Frazier in the top of the 15th, and held on despite an RBI single by Greg Dobbs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to one. After taking a tough defeat, Williams was ready to look forward to Tuesday’s game.

“It’s the game, it’s the way it goes,” he said. “There were opportunities out there, we just didn’t come through.”

You can watch both Phillips’ and Hamilton’s catches here via MLB.com:

  1. pchuck69 - May 20, 2014 at 2:15 AM

    If you can, listen to the Reds broadcasters talking about the havoc it would cause the Reds if the Nationals had bunted Frandsen over to third. They would have had to take extraordinary means to prevent that runner from getting home.

    • NatsLady - May 20, 2014 at 3:20 AM

      Five man infield? Six man infield? That’s about the only thing this game didn’t have.

  2. MicheleS - May 20, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    I am exhausted, it was long, but a good game. Stras looked pretty good outside those HBP. Sucky outcome. I need a quick day of work so I can go home and take a nap.

  3. Doc - May 20, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    The Nats hit it as well as they could under the circumstances—that’s baseball and that’s Brandon Phillips and Billy Hamilton.

  4. NatsNut - May 20, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    Man, what a game. I’ll tell you though, if they’re going to lose, that’s how I want them to do it. I wasn’t even really that bummed going home last night.

  5. chaz11963 - May 20, 2014 at 7:04 AM

    The Nats had many chances to win the game. They had some clutch hits that required super defensive plays. However, Det has got to be tight there, he can’t throw a pitch that can end up in the seats. He made a huge mistake in a clutch situation. He is still not that “special” weapon coming out of the bullpen that MW envisioned.

  6. Natsfool - May 20, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Little choice but to use Det. That being said, he doesn’t seem a good fit for BP or starting. At this point, he only has one pitch, and that won’t cut it. Tough luck on the game.

  7. Joe Seamhead - May 20, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    Wilson Ramos had a great catch of a pop up bunt by Hamilton to start the game. After that he later made a bad decision with guys on 1st and 3rd, the Reds player on 1st tried to steal 2nd while the guy on 3rd was several steps off the bag. Wilson threw to 2nd to try to get the guy stealing, but the throw allowed the guy on 3rd to steal home.
    Later, with Drew Storen pitching, guys on 1st and 2nd & 2outs, Ramos had a passed ball allowing both runners to advance.No damage on that one because Drew struck the batter out. Later he made a throw to third that appeared to me to be slightly errant and I thought Rendon made a great play on it. Meanwhile, though he made solid contact, but had tough luck, he went 0-7 at the plate. I mentioned that “Ramos was not having a very good game,” and got royally blasted for “trashing a heart and soul player” by Ghost of Steve M. If I offended anybody else for my observation, I want to say that I love Wilson Ramos being our catcher, have never questioned his heart, am thrilled that he’s back, but in my opinion last night he didn’t have a very good game.I do resent getting blasted for saying it, and for being admonished by Ghost. That all said,Steve? Let’s put on the gloves, go around back and beat the crap out of each other, then shake hands and come back in and have a beer, and talk baseball without any airs of superiority.

    • natsjackinfl - May 20, 2014 at 7:33 AM

      Aside from the play to start the game, I’m fairly certain Wilson himself would own up to not having one of his better games.

      • natinalsgo - May 20, 2014 at 7:54 AM

        Ramos carries the team on the win the day before and we are complaining because 7 balls he put in play turned out to be outs and he had a passed ball and threw out a runner trying to steal that was the trail runner allowing the lead runner to score on a spectacular play in the early innings of a game.

        15 innings in the croutch and he toughed it out. Big deal, he had a passed ball and on a steal attempt threw to 2nd base. Should we analyze why there were runners on 3rd and 1st? Lets see, Frazier gets HBP by Strasburg then Pena hits a slow roller towards 2nd and Danny doesn’t dive for it allowing Frazier to get to 3rd. Now runners on 3rd and 1st.

        By stats Ramos didn’t have a great game. He got robbed of a game winner by Brandon Phillips.

        I was at the game. Exhausted. I wasn’t squating for 15 innings. Hey Wilson, thanks for the 4 RBIs on Sunday. What have you done for us lately?

        A great game with enough blame to go around but you decide to stay silent because sometimes credit to the other team and we are doling out blame on Ramos? What next, complain about the parade route?

        This is why I don’t post much at all.

      • nats128 - May 20, 2014 at 8:08 AM

        Lots of players didnt have great games. Werth put Strasburg in an early hole with an error and didnt have a hit until the last inning and I am sure not going to complain about him. 15 innings on his birthday.

        Happy Birthday Jayson.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 20, 2014 at 8:12 AM

        And again, I never blamed Wilson Ramos,natinalsgo. I didn’t blame any of the players, including Strasburg, or Espinosa. All of the Nats played hard. Hell, I haven’t thrown stones at Matt Williams either. I did credit the Reds for playing great defense though.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 20, 2014 at 8:18 AM

        Actually, I did call out Ramos’ decision for throwing to get the tail runner when the guy stole home. I thought that it was the wrong play on his part.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 20, 2014 at 8:30 AM

        Incidentally, on the play where when Ramos threw out the tail runner, no stolen base was awarded to the guy on third, nor was Wilson credited with a caught stealing. It was ruled a fielder’s choice.

      • adcwonk - May 20, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        Ramos carries the team on the win the day before and we are complaining because 7

        No

        This disconnect here, and it happens in other threads too, is that “not having a good game” is not the same as “complaining”.

        The guy can be Babe Ruth, but if Ruth ever went 0-for-7, he’s say he was having a bad day, too. It’s not an insult. It’s not a complaint. It’s just stating a fact, no?

      • RPrecupjr - May 20, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        Thank you Wonk, for saying what I was thinking this whole thread….I owe you an imaginary drink ;)

  8. rabbit433 - May 20, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    I didn’t watch the game but from what I did see and read, the Reds earned this one.

  9. rabbit433 - May 20, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    That is, I didn’t watch ALL the game.

  10. richardp6 - May 20, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    Can’t take much more of McLousy and his pitcher like batting average nor can I take much more of Span batting in the leadoff spot. This is shade of Davey Johnson’s blind devotion to his players and his perception being divorced from reality. Either move Span down to #7 or get him to start walking an stealing bases. McLousy is stealing money right now. Maybe they should check his eyes. I say Hairston and put Mclouth in for defense late in the game(in game platooning). Either that or forget him and just play Tyler Moore out there. Ahhh, I feel better.

    • adcwonk - May 20, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      Can’t take much more of McLousy and his pitcher like batting average nor can I take much more of Span batting in the leadoff spot.

      The Nats scored two runs. McLouth got a hit and scored one of them. Span got two hits and an RBI.

      Nobody else scored more than McLouth. Nobody on the Nats got more hits than Span.

      • Eric - May 20, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        +1

      • Hiram Hover - May 20, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        I think the “Ahhh, I feel better” was the key to that comment.

        The poster was venting. Sometimes, after a bad burrito, people vent as well.

        I appreciate your efforts to clear the air, tho.

      • richardp6 - May 20, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        I wasn’t speaking of last nights game. I agree they contribute But let’s be real, Mclouth can’t hit and Span does not have numbers befitting a leadoff man. Would you consider him a “sparkplug” at this point? The real question is how much longer can we afford him in the leadoff spot( last nights game notwithstanding

      • adcwonk - May 20, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        Well, too me, it seemed an odd time to criticize them.

        I think I’d rather see Rendon bat first, myself. FWIW.

      • richardp6 - May 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        True. But it’s been on my mind :)

  11. philipd763 - May 20, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    The real robber was Matt Williams and his dumb baseball strategy. Frandsen leads off the 14th with a double and dies there because Williams chose to have free swinging Jose Lobetron pinch hit and hit away. Lobetron may be able to frame pitches but he most certainly can’t hit. He whiffed on 3 pitches. MW needs to learn about the sacrifice bunt.

    • natinalsgo - May 20, 2014 at 7:59 AM

      I am with you there. If I had to complain about anything that was the spot where we see Roark with a helmet on and thinking bunt. Soto on 1st base. Have to bunt it to him and apply pressure on the Reds. With any luck they throw it away. Lobaton hadn’t played in almost a week. Matt Williams made a bad decision and went back on his own pre-season pledge of putting the pressure on the other team. The pressure was not on the Nats there in a bunt situation.

      BTW, all those bunting drills were a big waste. Span placed a bunt which was almost a disasster.

  12. philipd763 - May 20, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    Ross Detwiler needs to find a new line of work. Unfortunately, Rizzo has held onto him to the point where he has no trade value.

  13. rayvil01 - May 20, 2014 at 7:59 AM

    Det reminds me of Storen last yeat. Very similar situation. Fortunately they sent Drew down to get re – calibrated. It worked despite some upset people at the time. I wish they could do that with Det but I guess they can’t.

    Lefties that throw nineties are always going to find a job. The question is if it will be here or not.

  14. Candide - May 20, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    Getting tired of hearing that Detwiler isn’t getting enough work to be effective. He’s appeared in 13 games this season. You know who else has appeared in 13 games? Craig Stammen.

    Then I hear that Detwiler’s being used in unaccustomed roles – LOOGY, long relief, mop-up. Seems to me that whatever his “role” is, they all have one common requirement: retire the guy at the plate. And he’s not doing that. As of this morning, his ERA is higher than the Reds’ bullpen that Carp and FP and Johnny and Ray were all maligning last night.

    • NatsNut - May 20, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      Not me, I still feel for Detwiler. I won’t pretend to know what it is – mental, phsyical or just adjusting to the (weird) new role, whatever – but it has all just gone SO WRONG for the guy that I can’t help but still blame MW for not figuring out how to get the best out of a first round pick, hard-throwing lefty who has been pretty darn good for years. The fact that he actually has done well in the bullpen before confirms that even there he’s been used wrong.

      This whole Detwiler situation keeps making me think of Frank Robinson back in the day, upset wtih *himself* for putting Matt LeCroy in such a crappy position that failure was inevitable.

      • Candide - May 20, 2014 at 8:55 AM

        Not me, I still feel for Detwiler.

        Don’t misunderstand – I don’t have any personal resentment for him. But he’s simply not doing the job.

        …still blame MW for not figuring out how to get the best out of a first round pick, hard-throwing lefty who has been pretty darn good for years.

        What’s to figure out? He has basically one pitch. All the batters have to do is sit on their favorite location, and when he throws it there, hit it. The league’s figured him out, and he can’t adjust, because he doesn’t have anything to go to other than his fastball. And, in the words of the immortal Crash Davis, “In the Show, everybody can hit the fastball.” What is MW supposed to do about that?

        And, “pretty darn good for years?” He’s been in MLB since 2009 and has had two good years – 2011 and 2012. His career WHIP is 1.390.

        Some team out there is looking for a reclamation project.

      • Hiram Hover - May 20, 2014 at 9:16 AM

        “I can’t help but still blame MW for not figuring out how to get the best”

        Dunno why the rookie manager is to blame when Nats haven’t been sure what to do with him for years.

    • Nats Amore - May 20, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      Det may yet figure his problems out, here or somewhere else. It does seem like he is being given the “Rick Ankiel don’t let the door hit you on the way out” treatment, however. But the more you see the other bullpens in the league, the more you realize how good the core bullpen is here. It’s amazing that Det is really the only underachiever at the moment. I think last night was the first night I can recall seeing JJ Hoover pitch and not give up any runs. Count your blessings.

      • Hiram Hover - May 20, 2014 at 9:14 AM

        +1 about the BP.

        The only relievers Nats didnt use last night are Blevins and Stammen. The only reliever they didn’t use last night is Sean Marshall, who even before giving up 5 runs in 2/3 IP in Philly on Sat had a 6.00 ERA. I’ll take that any day.

        Cueto is tough. Nats have to get to the Reds’ BP tonight.

  15. natsguy - May 20, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Ramos actually made 2 bad throws last night. The second one was to first when he should have thrown to the lead base. Dobbs got blamed but that was a major error by Ramos. I don’t know where his head was last night in the throwing department. I am not blaming him for the unlucky times at the plate, that s the way it goes sometimes. The fielding by this team is just beyond bad at times.

    If Detwiler cannot throw a breaking pitch (or learn to throw one) he will get hit, and hit hard, and often. You cannot just survive on velocity.

  16. natsguy - May 20, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Same story as last year.

    • rayvil01 - May 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM

      Too simplistic. This team has much more fight in them than last year’s effort. They came back in the ninth to tie. Don’t have stats in front of me but that didn’t happen often last year.

      • natsguy - May 20, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        Same people making same or different stupid mistakes. Bad fielding, bad RISP hitting, lots of injuries to key players, number 4 pitcher late to the party. Sound familiar.

    • rayvil01 - May 20, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      I see I chose the wrong word. What I should have said is “Too fatalistic.”

  17. adcwonk - May 20, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Wonk’s Tuesday’s Tidbits

    - Nats tied for longest game ever (15 innings) (I think)
    – Nats’ bullpen had a 27 2/3-innings scoreless streak going last night.
    — Ryan Mattheus, in five innings this season, hasn’t allowed any runs.
    —- Strasburg (despite grumbling among some here) leads the Nats starters in ERA.

    - Mike Leake has been pitching great — ERA of 2.91, and four straight starts of allowing 2 runs or less. But he still hasn’t won since Apr 15 (his last six starts).

    - Nats and Mets combined to go 4 for 42 RISP last night!

    - Michael Brantley walk off 2-out solo homer in the 10th off of Al Alburquerque. Nothing notable other than I love that pitcher’s name!

    - After Brewers’ rookie Wei-Chung Wang surrendered five runs on 40 pitches to the Braves in 2/3 of an inning, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke brought in first baseman Lyle Overbay off the bench to pitch. Overbay, 37, pitched for the first time in his 14-year major league career, retiring Doumit on a popup.

    - Royals up 5-0 after the first inning, lost 7-6.

    - Astros — 10 hits again! Third straight win, their longest winning streak of the season (and 6 of the last 8). Now at least nine hits in nine straight games (opening up a .002 lead to stay out of last place in AL team BA). The have moved up to just 1/2 behind the _third_ worst record in MLB. Go Bo!

    • TimDz - May 20, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      Nats ans Reds…..just sayin’ :)

      • TimDz - May 20, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        AND….not ans

        HATE it when that happens…

  18. jd - May 20, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    MW is dead wrong here. In a game where you used up Soriano, Storen and Clippard, where your starter gave you 7 strong innings, where Cinci had used up all of their good relievers you have to win this game in the 14th, you just have to.

    When Frandsen led off with a double it should have been game over and when all you need is 1 run you absolutely get the runner over to 3rd, no question. This takes away a pitchers ability to throw sliders in the dirt, the infield has to come in. I have no doubt we would have scored that run if Frandsen was standing at 3rd with one out or very little doubt. Lobaton ain’t Trout or Utley and there’s only a 25% chance he gets a hit in any event.

    This game is squarely on MW shoulders and if he doesn’t realize that he’s doomed to doing it again and again and that’s a shame.

    I don’t have a problem with using Detwiler there. In the 15th inning you don’t have many other choices. The plays the Reds made were great but it shouldn’t have mattered.

    • dcwx61 - May 20, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Well said, JD. The only move is to try and bunt the runner third for the walk off. I can’t remember a time in a similar situation where the home team did not bunt the guy over. Hopefully, a brain mistake….Time to eat some humble pie Matt, admit and learn from your mistake and loosen up. Too defensivei there and in press conferences. The whole team is likely asking the same question but will hopefully not lose confidence in him.

      • Hiram Hover - May 20, 2014 at 9:58 AM

        I honestly don’t care if he publicly admits the mistake or not. Just learn from it and move on.

      • dcwx61 - May 20, 2014 at 9:39 PM

        On the battlefield at Gettysburg and after the failure of Pickets Charge, General Robert E. Lee rode among his troops and took the blame on himself. He did not try to lie about his mistakes, he owned them and moved on. No wonder his troops would do anything for him.
        A sign of a great leader that few can understand but many will follow.

      • Hiram Hover - May 20, 2014 at 10:26 PM

        Well, comparing Lobaton’s plate appearance to Pickett’s charge is a wee bit much for me, but I’ll let that part slide, and just note that I said “publicly.”

        What MW tells his players, and what they need to hear, is one thing (whether they really need to hear him say “my bad” on this one, I wonder).

        What bugs me are the fans who are sure they’re right and MW was wrong,and need him to come out and grovel at their feet as proof.

      • dcwx61 - May 21, 2014 at 9:10 AM

        Oh my..I guess we must disagree on what makes a great leader. Where did I say that the fans need to hear anything or his mistake is anything akin to Picketts charge. IMHO,I don”t think it looks well when you defend yourself in public and say something else to the team.
        What’s the big deal with just saying I made a mistake and move on….How is this groveling ?? But I guess we disagree with the characters of a good leader. MW will learn.
        One thing is for sure MW is right a lot more often than me or you.

      • Hiram Hover - May 21, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        Well, we actually seem to agree on the fundamental point that a good leader needs the confidence of his subordinates and that one way to inspire that is to admit mistakes and take responsibility on himself, and off them.

        I did disagree with your Gettysburg analogy, both because it seemed over the top and because it missed the “public” part of my initial comment. What Robert E Lee told his troops on the battlefield is akin to what’s said in the locker room, not to what’s said in public in the age of the internet, twitter, youtube, and 24 hour cable channels.

        Esp. in that environment (tho this was true of Lee too), MW or any leader has to say different things to the public than in private, sometimes because he doesn’t want to reveal info and his thought process, and sometimes because that’s what he needs to do to protect his subordinates. I think his players are savvy enough to understand that.

        In this case, MW didn’t throw any of his players under the bus in his public comments, so there’s no reason for them to feel betrayed or disenchanted. I’m willing to bet they moved on from this a lot more quickly than some folks here.

        Which goes to my last point–I didn’t say that *you* demanded groveling, but some other NI posters have not matched your sweet and reasonable temper, and do seem to want it. But if you read them differently, so be it.

    • texnat1 - May 20, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      He has already done it before when he didn’t bunt with Walters earlier this season (or pinch hit him with a pitcher to bunt if you prefer).

      So there is evidence that he just doesn’t believe in the virtue of bunting the guy over from 2nd with no outs—or at least that he demands an excellent bunter before he thinks it is the smart play.

      He needs to clean his act up. He may be a rookie manager, but this is a big boy team expected to compete for the playoffs. There are plenty of non-rookie managers available.

      He doesn’t get to learn on the job, at least not when it comes to make little league level blunders.

      I hope Rizzo had a long talk with him this morning.

    • 6ID20 - May 20, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      You can’t just assume that Roark would have been able to bunt Frandsen over. It takes a much better bunt to move a runner to third than it does to move him to second. Soto failed at the same task for the Reds in top 13.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 20, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        There was no force at 3rd and think how an inexperienced 1st baseman like Neftali Soto would have to field that bunt as a righthander, field and turn 180° across his body to throw out Frandsen at 3rd and then it’s who is covering 3rd? Is Frazier backpedaling or do they have the “wheel” play on?

        If you bunt to Frazier charging from 3rd it’s also a difficult play to execute a wheel play.

        The main thing is not bunting back to the pitcher or close to the catcher. Again, not a force play.

        Tanner Roark has 4 Sac Bunts already this year in 16 plate appearances.

        As mentioned above this is all about applying pressure to the Reds. As JD pointed out you limit what Ondrusek can then pitch to Span with a man on 3rd.

        As TexNat pointed out, this is also a poor repeat of past decisions and while maybe Walters isn’t a good bunter, this time he had Roark or JZim to choose from to lay one down.

        By the way, Neftali Soto has 30 MLB games to his credit. That’s where you want to bunt to and hope he throws to 3rd where they don’t turn an out. I’ve seen that play botched many times.

      • 6ID20 - May 20, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        Also, in choosing between hit away and bunt you have to factor in worst case outcomes. If you hit away, worst case is the batter makes an out and you’re left with runner on second and 2 out. Worst case for bunt though is that they get the runner at third and you’re left with runner on first and two out. It’s a different scenario than having a runner on first, where you always bunt to avoid a possible DP.

      • Section 222 - May 20, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        All good points. It’s true you can’t assume that a bunt will work, but it’s a higher percentage play than hoping Lobaton will win the game with a base hit, or hit the ball to the right side. For me, that was the real tell in MW’s post game presser. He said something like “we were hoping he’d hit it to the right side,” as if Lobaton was up there to advance the runner. If that’s really what you want, then lay down a bunt. Lobaton is not a pull hitter, and Roark is probably a better bunter than he is.

      • 6ID20 - May 20, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Again, to move a runner to third, force or not, you need a perfect bunt. To move the runner to second you can get by with an adequate bunt. Thus bunting a runner to third is a much harder task. You can’t just assume a perfect bunt, from anyone.

      • 6ID20 - May 20, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        You don’t need Lobaton to win the game there. You just need him to keep the line moving, and if he can’t do that then at least not make the situation worse. Most any base hit will score a runner from second with two outs. But it takes an XBH and a fast runner to score a guy from first. Who are you pinch running for Roark after he bunts into an out at third?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 20, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        I don’t agree that it takes a perfect bunt because it’s not a force play. The ability to catch and throw and make a tag from anyone but the catcher requires a perfect throw to 3rd.

        Again, the pressure is on the pitcher, fielders the most and Roark is a cool character under pressure. I expect him to push bunt it to Soto.

        222, with good points deciphering what MW said. Very few mistakes were made but that was a mind boggler.

        Nats drop to 1-4 in extra inning games and 6-7 in 1 run games. Davey was 13-7 in extra inning games in 2012 which was a tribute to his aggressive management style in those games. Nats were 7-8 in 2013 and I think extra innings games speak loudly to overall success.

        There’s no guarantees even with a man on 3rd and 1 out that you score him but I like my chances better than 1 out and a man on 2nd.

    • Section 222 - May 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      I’m afraid I have to say +1 on the decision not to sacrifice Frandsen to 3rd. Bad managerial decision by the numbers and by common sense. And I completely agree that to come down hard on Det is a bit unfair. Yes, it’s great we have a bullpen that can throw 8 innings of shutout relief, but you can’t assume or expect that’s going to happen. The Nats pushed across the tying run in the 9th. Good for them, and thanks to Hairston and Frandsen for the professional ABs against Chapman. Once Chapman, Broxton, and LeCure were used up, we should have been able to push across the winning run before the 15th.

      All that having been said, like NN, I can’t get too upset about losing this game. Tying that game up against one of the best closers in the game was completely unexpected. Once you get past the 10th in any game, anything can happen. What happened here was some fantastic defensive gems by the Reds. It’s pretty hard to be upset at the Nats for that.

      MFN Index last night appears to have been just over 20%. That must have been a relief.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        He said that he had to watch The Voice.

  19. Ghost of Steve M. - May 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    “6ID20 on May 20, 2014 at 11:04 am
    You don’t need Lobaton to win the game there. You just need him to keep the line moving, and if he can’t do that then at least not make the situation worse. Most any base hit will score a runner from second with two outs. But it takes an XBH and a fast runner to score a guy from first. Who are you pinch running for Roark after he bunts into an out at third?”

    Why do you keep thinking Roark would fail to advance Frandsen?

    I don’t think you grasp how tough that would be with Frazier charging to execute an out at 3rd.

    • Section 222 - May 20, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      Agreed. Obviously, there are no sure things in baseball. But it does not take a “perfect” bunt to advance a runner from 2B to 3B. It just takes a decent bunt to either the 1B or 3B side. Having a man on 3rd with one out in a walkoff situation is a position you very much want to be in in an extra inning game. Tons of pressure on the pitcher (WP walkoff anyone?), the fielders (infield in, need a good throw to home), and the outfielders (how close to play, need a great throw to the plate). Lots of options for the hitter, especially one who can handle the bat like Span — suicide squeeze, safety squeeze, elevate the ball, hit the ball hard on the ground through the drawn infield. And then you have Rendon in the hole.

      What Lobo ended up doing was the worst possible outcome.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 20, 2014 at 11:37 AM

        I agree 100% with you 2′s. You get it. This wasn’t a situation where LaRoche was coming up to bat where you had to swing away, this was the vacated pitchers spot where you are going to a pinch hitter anyway in the opportune scenario to choose a starter who is a good bunter to execute and MW plain and simple botched it.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 43 --
ATLANTA 54 46 2.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
NEW YORK 47 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 13.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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