I'm not sure there's much good to say about this game. Being a non-televised game by Fox Sports Houston made it hard to see what was going on. But that was perhaps a blessing in disguise. Among the factors contributing to today's loss, there was one that really irked me. After having tied the game off of Stephen Strasburg, one of the toughest pitchers in the game to get any offense going off against, the odds were already in the Nat's favors before the game even started. However, we had just tied the game in the top of the 6th, the last inning Strasburg pitched. The odds were now in even favor and we had a chance to win the game.
But here comes the bottom of the 6th inning. Kyle Weiland, the starter for the Astros had pitched a manageable previous 5 innings, giving up two runs. But this 6th inning would lead to blowing a tied game and giving up 4 runs that the Astros could not recover from. It started out with Xavier Nady striking out. Cool, one out. Then big bad Rick Ankiel hit a groundball into right field. Okay, it was just a ground ball. Wilson Ramos flew out. Phew, almost out of this inning. And then BAM. Roger Bernadina walks. Runners on 1st and 2nd, two outs in a tied game. A coaching visit to the mound ensues. After a couple seconds, Doug Brocail turns back toward the dugout with the same stern look on his face that he has exhibited for months now. Young Kyle recoups, and throws the next pitch to Ian Desmond. It's a ball. Sweat now coming out faster than before, young Kyle Weiland wipes his face with his arm sleeve. The next two pitches thrown are strikes. The count is 1-2. 1 more strike gets us out of this inning. The pitch is thrown. Ball. Again. Ball. Full Count... Ball. The bases are loaded. Brad Mills sits in the dugout like a statue.
A lad named Steve Lombardozzi walks up to the plate. Again the count goes 1-2. But the batter doubles. 2 runs score. The next batter, 2 runs more score. Brad Mills, disgruntled, but not showing any facial expressions walks out to the mound and taps his left arm with two fingers. Young Kyle Weiland's day is done.
It's a somber story on paper, but it gets worse. Brad Mills did absolutely nothing to hamper the broiling inning as it unfolded. Weiland already showing his lack of control earlier on in the game at least necessitated special attention when he had two runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs. Yes, it was two outs, but it was one out too short of getting out of the inning. You would think Mills would make a change when the bases were loaded. But he remained still. When two runs scored, it was too late. Bradley Mills waited too long. The game's fate was decided, and the Nationals would win.
J.D. Martinez went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts, ending his 9-game hitting streak to start the year. Altuve, Buck had a double and a single each. Chris Johnson made perhaps the best offensive contribution by driving in 2 runs with his bases loaded single, snapping an 0-13 team batting line with the bases loaded to start the season. Schafer & Lowrie each had a single. Brandon Lyon pitched two innings in his rightful role
as team janitor in mop-up duty.
The past cannot be undone. The Astros will begin anew tomorrow. Let's make sure we put our best effort behind our Wandissimo tomorrow for Rally Cat can only play in so many games.