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Orioles 5, Nats 4: Another late lead blown by bullpen

Sep 24, 2015, 7:10 PM EDT

AP

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: There’s nothing more harrowing for the Nationals these days than a close ballgame in the seventh inning, a frame that more than any other has left this underachieving ballclub on the precipice of elimination. But when they actually strung together a rally in the bottom of the seventh this afternoon, turning a 1-run deficit to the Orioles into a 1-run lead, they might just have flipped the script at long last.

Well, until the eighth inning arrived and made the seventh-inning rally moot. Blake Treinen, entrusted to protect that 1-run lead in the eighth, couldn’t even do it for two batters. The right-hander immediately allowed a single to Steve Pearce and then a towering home run to Matt Wieters that turned that 1-run lead right back into a 1-run deficit.

So it was that the Nationals lost yet another game having blown a late lead. They were swept by the Orioles and now trail the Mets by 7 games with 10 to play. This loss also officially eliminated them from the NL wild card race.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: It looked like it would be a monumental blast for Wilson Ramos, whose seventh-inning homer off Chaz Roe tied the game and brought some life back to the ballpark. The ball landed in the second-to-last row of the left-field bleachers, nearly reaching the concourse, measured at 430 feet. That’s one of only a handful of balls to be hit that far to that part of Nationals Park since it opened in 2008. Alas, it was but a footnote by the end of this game.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: He’s not the only member of the Nationals’ rotation to be victimized by the home run ball this season, but Tanner Roark has been among those most victimized by it. And today’s game was only the latest example. The big blow off the right-hander was a 2-run homer by Jonathan Schoop, who sent a 1-0 fastball soaring over the center-field wall and onto the grass batter’s eye. It was the 15th homer allowed by Roark in only 98 1/3 innings this season, a rate of 1.4 homer per nine innings that has doubled his rate allowed last year. Roark also has failed to reach the sixth inning in any of his last five starts. He hasn’t thrown more than 82 pitches in any of those outings.

KEY STAT: Bryce Harper went 0-for-6 with seven walks in this series, the first time this season he has gone three consecutive games without recording a hit.

UP NEXT: The Phillies come to town for a weekend series that begins at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Jordan Zimmermann (13-8, 3.49) makes what will likely be his final home start with the Nationals in the opener, with right-hander Jerad Eickhoff starting for Philadelphia.

  1. pchuck69 - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    The bullpen is on Rizzo.

    • alexva6 - Sep 24, 2015 at 8:24 PM

      he’s acknowledged as much.

      but losing Stammen set a whole lot of other problems in motion

  2. natsfan1a - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:29 PM

    Ugh.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:35 PM

      Rocky!

      • Drew - Sep 24, 2015 at 8:01 PM

        Brad! Janet!

    • natsfan1a - Sep 24, 2015 at 8:55 PM

      [oh, now I get it] Dr. Scott!

  3. NatsLady - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:34 PM

    Will go to these last games (including Monday) and enjoy them as games. Nats are not mathematically eliminated (from the Division). The Mets are doing their best to give it to the Nats, Nats just aren’t having any.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:36 PM

      “If the people don’t want to come to games, you can’t stop them.”

      • natsfan1a - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:40 PM

        Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.

      • npb99 - Sep 24, 2015 at 8:14 PM

        “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

        Except it sort of feels like the fat lady has sung, showered, and left the building.

  4. natsfan1a - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:41 PM

    I’ll be at the last 4 games as well.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:55 PM

      …and I’ll keep watching, I’m sure. But these have a much different feel than the meaningless games in the Septembers of 2006-2011. Unlike some posters who apparently possess clairvoyant powers, I have no idea what’s going on within players’ minds, inside the clubhouse, between the manager and GM, or between the GM and the owner(s). But — from afar — the feel is wrong. It’s a shame, given how optimistic everyone (fans and players alike, I believe) was in the Spring.

  5. Drew - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:46 PM

    Ya know, the Mets can use a shortstop.

    How about Escobar for Clippard?

    (Too soon?)

    • NatsLady - Sep 24, 2015 at 8:25 PM

      Clip was my ABSOLUTE fav for years. Not sure I’m ready to have him back. Also, he’s having a bit of a rough September.

    • Guapo - Sep 25, 2015 at 11:20 AM

      Drew???

      You looking to get your room mate back?

      Clippard’s cost/benefit ratio is bad. He’s too expensive to justify his performance.

  6. bigcat492 - Sep 24, 2015 at 7:56 PM

    I thought Dudley DoRight AKA The Marine was supposed to bring in a stringent refocusing on the fundamentals of the game. That includes bunting, stealing bases, working with the catchers on footwork and tagging runners at home, outfielders throwing low line line drive throws to cut off men in the proper position etc. I gasp as I say this….my stomach knots up…..but …but ….I’d rather have Riggleman back as manager next year.

  7. bigcat492 - Sep 24, 2015 at 8:02 PM

    As much as I bitch and moan I love Rizzo. As long as we keep him we will be compeitive.

    • NatsLady - Sep 24, 2015 at 8:24 PM

      He’s one smart cookie. Too bad he couldn’t stop Treinen from giving up the lead. I really hope Max overcomes his dingers too.

  8. JayB - Sep 24, 2015 at 8:26 PM

    This team is worse to watch than 2008 mess….was that Rizzo’s mess too?

  9. thewerthwhisperer - Sep 24, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    On the bright side:
    1) We’ll save lots of money on playoff tickets
    2) We’ll get a lot more sleep not staying up until midnight or later and
    3) We’ll get to see our shortstop of the future play a few games

    Yogi: RIP
    Nice to be old enough to have seen him play

    • Guapo - Sep 25, 2015 at 11:22 AM

      4). the sooner the Nats are eliminated, the sooner Desmond has to be benched.

      He’s not coming back next year. Rizzo can use the last few games to get Escobar and Turner reps at SS and start figuring out the IF for 2016.

  10. raleighnat - Sep 25, 2015 at 9:02 AM

    Treinen is an enigma. He should be better than he is. Bullpen has turned out to be an absolute catastrophe.

    • Guapo - Sep 25, 2015 at 11:21 AM

      The entire staff has under performed. Generally, when that happens. pitching coaches get canned.

      • jeffreycbullock - Sep 25, 2015 at 4:01 PM

        It should go up the line – McCatty Knorr, Williams, Rizzo.

  11. bigcat492 - Sep 25, 2015 at 1:10 PM

    So Phil Wood was saying Nats might get Wietters.? That would be great cause Ramos has been a major disappointment here. He looked like a solid 10 year catcher for us 2 years ago, but he has degressed. He is a horrible hitter now, chasing almost as many balls out of zone as Desmond. The only time he gets a hit is when the pitcher hits his bat. He has dropped probably 75% of all throws home. His receiving behind the plate is horrible. It looks like he has boxing gloves on. And last but not least, he is the slowest runner in organized baseball. He has killed ralies from coast to coast with his dp grounders. Even high hoppers in whole turn in to dp’s. He needs to go. The sooner the better. I would play the rookie for the rest of the year, cause Lobaton is an ok glove but can’t hit his weight

    • jeffreycbullock - Sep 25, 2015 at 4:00 PM

      Ramos needs to close his stance some – I would pitch him outside ALL DAY LONG because he’ll have to be protecting the plate with two strikes.

      • wskyrnr21 - Sep 25, 2015 at 4:50 PM

        OK now we are on the right track lets first make a list of the departed:

        Williams
        McCatty
        Schu
        Jansen
        Storen
        Escobar ( trade value)
        Ramos
        Thornton
        Fister
        Zimmerman ( lots of boos I know but cant stay healthy)
        Span

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