Jon Jay stepped to the plate in the top of the fourth with one runner on and with hit team up 3-0 on the Nats. He hit what should have been a routine grounder to shortstop Ian Desmond. Desmond’s throw, however, was in the dirt and bounced away from first basemen Adam LaRoche. Desmond slumped down in disappointment and placed his hands on his knees as if his shoulders weighed 1000 pounds.
Desmond’s body language told the story of tonight’s game as well as the National’s luck so far this season against quality baseball teams: a tale of disappointment and underachievement. If you need one stat to summarize this game think about this: the Nationals had two more errors than hits. Desmond himself had a rough game, committing two of the team’s four errors, both of which led to runs. The Nationals’ fielding has been suspect so far. The team leads the league with 20 errors in 16 games this season.
Once again, the Nats dug themselves into a hole early. The Cardinals scored three runs in the top of the first off of Taylor Jordan and did not look back from there. In response, the Nationals only managed two hits, one of which was an infield single by Desmond, off of starter Adam Wainwright, who threw a complete game gem.
The Nationals need a bounce-back win badly Friday evening as they take on the Cardinals for game two of the four-game series. They need to prove that they can, at the very least, hang with a team that is expected to contend. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to beat the teams you are supposed to beat (Marlins, Mets, etc.), but if you cannot perform at all against the teams you could face in the playoffs, like the Braves and the Cardinals, you are not going to go anywhere.
-The ‘transfer rule’ became a topic of debate during tonight’s game. During the fourth inning, Adam Wainwright rolled a double play ball to Ian Desmond who threw the ball to Danny Espinosa at second. As Espinosa went to transfer the ball, John Jay slid in hard and Espinosa dropped the ball. It appeared to reach his throwing hand, which is the new rule in the MLB, but Matt Williams neglected to challenge it. This rule needs to be reexamined.
-Adam Wainwright is a beast. He not only two hit the Nats, but he also went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run at the plate.
-The Cardinals have now beaten the Nationals eight times in a row