Nats lose Series to Angels, 2-1
Game 1: NATS 6, Angels 4
Although he struck out Shohei Ohtani in the first inning, it was another ugly beginning for Nationals left hander Patrick Corbin. Corbin gave up two runs on two walks and two scorching singles in the first inning. At that point, Nats TV broadcaster Bob Carpenter stated that Corbin had given up 19 hits in his first 9.2 innings of work of the season.
The Nats responded in the top of the second inning and cut the lead in half with consecutive hits from Dominic Smith, Victor Robles, and CJ Abrams. For the Nats in the game they banged out 14 hits to the Angels seven.
Corbin struck out Mike Trout in the third inning and, with the help of some slick defense by first baseman Dominic Smith, wiggled out of a problematic spot with no runs allowed. Corbin gave up “only” one home run on this evening, down from three and two in his prior two starts, respectively.
The Nats would fall behind 4-1, before they mounted a comeback.
Despite Michael Chavis failing to score on a golf-shot bunt hit that died in the third base rough, Lane Thomas saved him when Thomas beat out an infield single and got the Nats closer, at 4-2.
Jeimer Candelario then tied it at two with a two-out, two-RBI shot single up the middle.
In the top of the 7th, Smith would score from second on an incomplete double play ball to give the Nats a two-run lead at 6-4. The new Nat continues to make inspirational plays.
Kyle Finnegan struck out Mike Trout to end the game. Yeah. That Kyle Finnegan got his second save of the season. Relievers Hunter Harvey, Mason Thompson, and Carl Edwards Jr. recorded holds as they did not allow as middle relievers.
Patrick Corbin got his first win of the season even though he gave up seven hits and four runs in five innings. Victor Robles continued his fine start to the season with two hits, an RBI, and a stolen base. Dom Smith was 2 for 4, with a walk and two runs scored.
Nats improve to 4-7.
Time of game: 2:40.
Game 2: ANGELS 2, Nats 0
Shohei Ohtani was the star of this show. Ohtani improved to 2-0 on the season and gave up one hit and no runs on seven strikeouts in seven innings. He did walk five, however, but his ERA stands at 0.47. Ohtani has now given up just six hits in 19 innings across three starts. In his last ten starts, Shohei has allowed two or fewer runs, which is a new Angels record. At bat, Ohtani got one hit but struck out twice. He got as many hits in this game as the entire Nationals team.
Josiah Gray looked solid again, but for the second straight game, got zero run support in a tough luck loss. Gray pitched 5.2 innings, giving up four hits and two earned runs on three strikeouts and two walks.
Gray plowed through an ugly stretch when he hit two Angels batters consecutively on full counts. (Taylor Ward and Mike Trout). After a single by Ohtani, former National Anthony Rendon knocked in Ward with a sacrifice fly to right field. LA catcher Logan O’Hoppe homered off Gray in the bottom of the sixth inning to finish the scoring.
Nats batters had as many walks (six) as strikeouts. The lone hit for the Nats was a double by CJ Abrams.
NATS fall to 4-8.
Time of game 2:26.
Game 3: ANGELS 3, Nats 2
In the series finale, the Nats stroked six hits, but they were all singles. Washington’s leadoff man reached base safely only twice in nine innings and eighteen of the last 19 DC batters were retired. In the top of the fourth inning, four consecutive hits for the Nationals produced just one run before an RBI ground out by Luis Garcia led to their second and final run.
In the top of the sixth, Keibert Ruiz was robbed of extra bases by Angels CF Brett Phillips.
On the mound, MacKenzie Gore was a little wild and let his emotions get the best of him. Gore wound up with a no decision and Mason Thompson took the loss giving up a run on three hits in 1.2 innings of relief.
The Nats turned three more double plays and have 15 for the season, which is tied for the MLB lead with the Rockies and Mets according to Baseball Reference. Former Nat Anthony Rendon (Tony Two Bags) was on the wrong side of two of the DPs.
The Nats went quickly and quietly in the 9th inning.
The Angels outplayed the Nationals in the series even though Trout and Ohtani combined did next to nothing with their bats. After pitching the night before, Ohtani was not in the lineup on Thursday afternoon for Los Angeles. Trout went hitless (0-11) in the series and struck out 4 times, while Ohtani was 1-7 with 4 strikeouts.
The Nats finished the road trip 3-4. Up next for Washington is an off day on Thursday before hosting the Guardians for a three-game series over the weekend.
NATS fall to 4-9.
Time of game 2:22.