Nats Getaway with Win in LA

Game 1: DODGERS 6, Nationals 1

Trevor Williams nursed the 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth. Through four innings, Williams gave up two hits and a walk. But he walked the first batter (Heyward) he faced in the fifth. Williams walked another batter in the inning and JD Martinez increased the Dodgers lead to 6-0 with a 3-run HR to right-center field.  To summarize, six unearned runs were scored for the Dodgers in their half of the fifth inning.

Williams took the loss and is now 2-3 on the season.  He pitched five innings and gave up six unearned runs on six hits and three walks.  Williams struck out three but also gave up a home run.  Thad Ward (two innings) and Erasmo Ramirez (one inning) held the Dodgers hitless over the next three innings.

CJ Abrams knocked in the only Washington run, but also made the error that led to the six runs for the Dodgers.

Fielding and Running Mistakes

For the second game in a row, a fielding error hurt the Washington Nationals’ chances to win a baseball game. The Nats took a 1-0 lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the top of the second inning.  Abrams singled sharply to right field and Joey Meneses scored on the play.  But Corey Dickerson ran into an out at home on the throw from LA right fielder Jason Heyward to catcher Will Smith.

Dodgers 2B Miguel Vargas hit a routine grounder to Nats shortstop Abrams.  But CJ booted the ball as he got his feet tangled up.  Heyward advanced to third base on the error.  Instead of two outs and nobody on, LA had runners on first and third with nobody out. One pitch later Heyward scored on a sac fly.  Then Freddie Freeman nailed a two-out-two-RBI double down the right field line to increase the LA lead to 3-0.

Time of game: 2:10.

Game 2: DODGERS 9, Nationals 3

Jake Irvin experienced another rough outing.  Irvin lasted five innings and gave up four runs on eight hits.  He allowed one walk and one homer and struck out three.

Lane Thomas kept alive his 15-game hitting streak.

Jeimer Candelario was hit by a pitch for his team leading fifth time that loaded the bases in the third with one out.  Joey Meneses followed with a run-soring single to tie the game at one.  But Dominic Smith and Corey Dickerson each flied out to end the threat.

In the bottom of the third, Meneses got a bad read on a liner that bounced in front of him for a base hit and the Dodgers had two aboard with none out.  It led to a three-run rally for LA, and it was 4-1 Dodgers after three innings.  It stayed that way until the seventh inning as the Dodgers made a couple of very nifty plays in the field. 

The Nats pulled within a run at 4-3 in their half of the seventh.  Keibert Ruiz homered for the first time as a right-handed batter.  Luis Garcia drove in Thomas to make it 4-3.  As Nats TV personality Kevin Frandsen gleefully stated, Thomas is now 12 for 15 versus lefty hurlers on the first pitch.

But two Nats relievers (Andres Machado-2 runs and Mason Thompson-1 run) were not able to shut down the Dodgers in their combined three innings.  Los Angeles answered right back with two runs of their own to get the lead back to three runs.

Time of game: 2:19.

GAME 3: NATIONALS 10, Dodgers 6

The Nats outhomered the Dodgers, 5-4.  All the Nats home runs came with two outs.

The Nats fell behind quickly 3-0.  Patrick Corbin started for the Nats and gave up a leadoff home run to Mookie Betts.  Corbin gave up another homer, his eleventh HR allowed of the year, in the first inning to Will Smith. It seemed like the route was on, but Washington eventually battled back.

Keibert Ruiz got the comeback party started with a solo blast to center field.  CJ Abrams cranked a back-to-back dinger shrinking the deficit to 3-2.  Patrick Corbin shut down the Dodgers in the bottom of the second inning in 1-2-3 fashion.

An RBI single by Jeimer Candelario (2-3, 2 BB, 3 RBI, R, SB) tied the game at three in the top of the third.  But Corbin walked in a go-ahead run in the bottom of the frame.  After an error by Nats 2B Luis Garcia, Corbin very effectively pitched out of a bases-loaded-no-out jam.

Joey .300

The Nats re-took the lead 5-4 on a two-run home run by Candelario in the top of the fifth inning.  Joey Meneses (3-5, 2 R) was on second base via his 14th double of the season.  Meneses is batting an even .300 through the first 56 games of the season.  In case you’re wondering, Meneses batted .324 in a similar number of games in 2022.

In the seventh, the Dodgers tied the game at five against Kyle Finnegan, who issued a pitch-clock walk that scored after a stolen base and single.  Finnegan rebounded by striking out the side.

Garcia (2-5, 3 RBI) more than atoned for his fielding error and jacked a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning that put the Nats in front 8-5.  Betts’ second long ball of the game pulled LA within 8-6 in the bottom of the eighth. 

But Ruiz (3-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI) struck again with a two-run home run in the top of the ninth to provide the final score of 10-6.  Ruiz hit three home runs in the series against his former team.

Lane Thomas snapped his 15-game hitting streak and 26-game on-base streak by going 0 for 5 with a strikeout. 

Corbin lasted five innings and gave up four runs (3 earned).  He allowed seven hits, two home runs, and walked four.  Carl Edwards Jr. earned his 12th hold in a scoreless sixth inning.  Edwards escaped with no damage thanks to two strikeouts around two walks and a hit.

Kyle Finnegan (2-2) blew his third save but earned his second win of the season. Hunter Harvey recorded his third save with two innings of scoreless relief.  Harvey allowed one hit and struck out two.

Unearned Runs Hurting Nats

After one third of the MLB season, the Nats are fifth in MLB in hitting at .264 -22 points higher than the Dodgers (.242).  Nevertheless, the teams are at opposite ends of the NL standings.  If you think the difference lies within pitching, you’d be wrong.  The teams have identical ERA’s (4.46), good for the bottom third of the major leagues.   But the Nationals have given up almost twice as many unearned runs as the Dodgers (25-13) and Los Angeles has hit more home runs than Washington (96 to 44).

Time of game: 2:49.

The Nats finished the six-game road trip 3-3.
The Nationals overall record improved to 24-32.

Next Up for the DC9:  After an off day on Thursday, the Fightin’ Phillies (25-30) come to town for a three-game series.  Entering Thursday’s action, the fourth place Phils are 1.5 games ahead of the Nats.  Philly is 4-6 in their last 10 games and have lost the first two games of a three-game series in New York against the Mets.

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Dominic Toto

Blogging about the Nats since 2022. Nats nut since 2004. Once hit a batting practice ball that cleared the infield dirt at Nationals Park. On a fly.

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