Errors costly for the Nationals again, lose 4-2 to the Phillies

WP – C. Hamels (4-11) LP – T. Jordan (0-2)

S – A. Bastardo (2)

Cole Hammels came into the game a loser of eleven games and the Washington Nationals hitter made him look like a Cy Young candidate.  He pitched eight solid innings, giving up one run on six hits, a walk while striking out four.  He gave up a solo homerun to Jayson Werth in the second inning and the Nationals didn’t threaten to score again until the eighth, where Ryan Zimmerman and Werth both failed to capitalize on a bases loaded opportunity. 

The Nationals scored off the closer in the ninth inning for the second night in a row but it was too little too late.  Wilson Ramos drove in Anthony Rendon with a pinch hit double giving him nine RBIs in the four games since his return.

Taylor Jordan pitched an excellent game again, only to see a second consecutive good start go to waste due to errors.  In the fourth inning, Kurt Suzuki was charged with an error when he dropped a perfect throw from Werth at the plate allowing Chase Utley to score.   Replay showed that Utley failed to touch the plate but Suzuki never applied a tag as he attempted to throw Domonic Brown out at second base.

In the sixth inning, Jordan got Utley to ground into what should have been an easy double play to Adam Laroche, but Laroche threw the ball off of Jimmy Rollins back, allowing the ball to go into centerfield.  Ben Revere scored on the errant throw, while Rollins advanced to third base.  Michael Young then doubled to centerfield, scoring Rollins and Utley.  This was all the Phillies would need to beat the Nationals for the second evening in a row.

The Nationals continued to struggle against left-handed pitching.  They came in batting a woeful .215, tonight they continued this trend, batting .218 against Hamels and Bastardo.  The coaching staff has got to figure something out, getting batters to adjust their stance against lefties as they are consistently unable to reach the outside strikes that these pitchers are feeding them. If they do not find an answer for this issue in the second half of the season then it will be difficult to reach the postseason.

The Nationals fall to 46-44, and 5-33 in games they fail to score at least three runs.

Additional: Scott Hairston had a fairly successful debut with the Nationals going 2-for-5 leading off, playing leftfield.

Robert Peterson lives in the Washington DC Metro area and has been covering the Nationals since the team moved to the area in 2005

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