Say it aint so.
The Nats again received an excellent performance from a starting pitcher only to have their lead squandered in the late innings. Regaining the lead going into the top of the 9th, it seemed all but destiny that the Nats had to win, if only for redemption.
The two previous nights the Nationals had a 9th inning lead after a well played ball game. However both nights would see the same fate, a ninth inning collapse by Nats closer Joel Hanrahan and an eventual extra innings loss.
Unfortunately for the Nats it was the same old song.
In the top of the 9th Sunday afternoon Saul Rivera, not Joel Hanrahan came in to close it out for D.C. Whether this was a result of the Nats closer pitching two consecutive nights, or a sign of him losing his job, was not clear. Regardless it was Rivera’s turn to show what he could do when the heat was on. The righty responded by immediately walking arguably the fastest player in the Majors.
Rivera then allowed a double to the gap allowing the speedy Bonifacio to score from first to tie it up. Rivera then struck out the dangerous Hanley Ramirez, intentionally walked Ross Gload, and struck out the power hitting Uggla. Then with two outs the wheels fell off. The spot starter walked last nights hero Jeremy Hermida to load the bases, and then surrendered a double to Friday’s hero Cody Ross, clearing the bases. After a scoreless bottom of the 9th, the Marlins won 7-4.
The win gave the Marlins the sweep, their third consecutive come from behind victory, and their third consecutive win when trailing going into the ninth inning. At this point you have to wonder, do the Marlins feel good about themselves? Or bad for us?