After pitching six scoreless innings, Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg did something that he hasn’t done since May 4. The right-hander gave up at least two-earned runs in one game. Besides the two-earned runs, Strasburg was solid and gave up just six hits and struck out four.
The ending, however, brings up an interesting trend for the D.C. ball club this season. The Nationals are now 4-5 in extra-inning ballgames and are 0-3 when they head to extras at home. When it comes to the late innings, things just don’t go well for the Nationals.
Thursday night saw a sacrifice-bunt score the game winning run for the Diamondbacks in the top of the 11th inning. The Nationals then couldn’t string any hits together in the bottom of the frame and fell 3-2. If the Nationals want to be able to make a late-season playoff push, winning extra inning games is going to be key to their success.
Good teams find a way to keep games close in the late innings. Great teams, however, find a way to win close games in the late innings. That, all season long, has been one of the biggest problems for the Nationals this season. In games when they give up between one and three runs, they have barely been able to do better than a .500 winning percentage in those games.
Along with the awkward bunt-for-an-RBI-single for the game winning run, in the bottom of the 11th inning, the stadium lights caught on fire at Nats Park and multiple sections had to be evacuated. Fortunately, nobody was injured and the fire was extinguished.
What a weird night at the ball park.