You know this was a winnable game until the Dodgers brought in the middle relievers in the fifth inning again. The game was at least within reach but when you’re forced to use a parade of middle relievers starting with Ross Stripling in the fifth inning then you get what you get. And what the Dodgers got wasn’t good in their pathetic 7-1 loss to the Nationals on ESPN Sunday night baseball. Ryan Zimmerman’s two home runs were the difference in the game as the Nationals overcame a 1-0 deficit by scoring seven runs in the final four frames of the game.
The results weren’t surprising. I’m just annoyed that I actually have to waste an hour of my life recapping this crappy game. I wish I could just write Ross Stripling sucks, Walker Buehler green, Josh Ravin sucks, offense bad, Stephen Strasburg really good, Washington middle relievers also good. That wouldn’t tell the tale about this game, so I’ll actually go into my spiel.
Dodgers 1 5 0
Nationals 7 8 1
The big news before the game was Strasburg’s 34 consecutive scoreless innings streak that he carried into the game was on the line. He was not going to break Orel Hershiser’s record, but man he’s been dominating. In the five starts since returning from the DL Strasburg has posted a 0.41 ERA with 41 strikeouts against 4 walks. I mean my word.
His mound opponent Hyun-jin Ryu tried his best to keep up with him, and he showed pretty good stuff. But of course by the fifth inning he had made nearly 100 pitches and was removed with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
But back to Strasburg for a minute, because he was dominant. Strasburg tossed six innings allowing just one run, three hits and striking out eight. Ryu allowed just three hits too, but couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning. At-bats from Matt Wieters and Strasburg (of all people) ran his pitch count up. He struck out five and walked two.
The Dodgers used speed on the base paths to help them score a run and break Strasburg’s scoreless streak. The boys in blue stole three bases (Curtis Granderson, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner) off of Strasburg. The Dodgers scored their lone run in the second inning. Puig singled, stole second base and then came around to score on Logan Forsythe’s RBI double. The Dodgers wouldn’t score again.
After back-to-back walks in the fifth inning Ryu came out with two outs. Ross Stripling relieved him and got Jayson Werth to fly out to center to end the inning. He wasn’t so fortunate in the next frame. After a walk to Anthony Rendon and a single to Daniel Murphy, Zimmerman’s first home run of the game to left center field put Washington ahead 3-1. You could say the Nats made chicken strips out of Stripling.
Walker Buehler gave up an RBI double to Rendon in the seventh inning and Josh Ravin gave up Zimmerman’s second home run of the game in the bottom of the eighth. That put Washington up 7-1. The Dodger bats did nothing after that second inning. They had just four base runners from the fifth inning on. Five hits against the Nationals simply won’t cut it.
So the Dodgers fall to 96-53 and their lead in the NL West remains at 9.5 games over Arizona. The Snakes lost to the Giants in San Francisco so the Dodger’s magic number to clinch the NL West is down to just 4.
The Dodgers will travel into Philadelphia for a four game series starting on Monday evening. In the series opener Clayton Kershaw will draw Nick Pavetta with first pitch scheduled for 4:05 PM PST.