The Rockies prevented the Nationals from going two games above .500 for the first time since 2005 thanks to a 10-4 defeat at Nationals Park Tuesday night. Scott Olsen lasted only two innings plus four batters and the Rockies scored 8 runs in the third to put the game out of reach early.
Some Good, some Bad
One of the bright spots was the play of 2B Cristian Guzman who had four consecutive hits after striking out in his first plate appearance. Guzman singled three times and then doubled in the eighth, finishing 4-5 with a run scored and an RBI. It was his 6th multi-hit game in 9 starts and he raised his batting average to .362.
Guzman said afterwards he is happy to get the opportunity to play, although he still doesn’t feel completely set defensively at second base.
“Not 100 percent comfortable. A little bit.” He says he is “trying to” get more comfortable every day.
Manager Jim Riggleman was certainly impressed by Guzzie’s play all-around:
“He has been outstanding. All three of those middle infielders (Guzman, Ian Desmond and Adam Kennedy) are playing great. But Guzman is really swinging the bat well, sticking some hits out there. He is playing with a lot of energy. I am just really proud of the way he is going about it.”
If Guzman continues to hit like this, you can rest assured that we will see more of Ian Desmond and Guzman in that 6-4 combination on defense. Kennedy and Desmond are both in the .255 range and are getting timely hits, so that is a good all around sign for an area that needed drastic improvement for the Nats to be successful. Or maybe some Guzman again in right field? You have to have his bat in the lineup if he hits like this.
It hasn’t been what Adam Dunn would want at the plate to begin the season. Last night, Dunn struck out twice after walking in the first inning and did not record a hit.
Riggleman was asked if he would consider sitting Adam Dunn after an 0-4, with average now at .163:
“I am not really thinking that way. I am looking at it that tomorrow will be the day that he breaks out. He is working with Rick Eckstein every day. He is just going to have to battle his way out of it.”
If you arrived late, you missed the fireworks, again
Nationals have been down 10-0 and 10-1 in the 3rd inning in 2 of the last 3 games
After all those great starts this season, Nats have now been outscored 37-34 in the first 3 innings.
Or to look at it another way, take away the game against the Brewers Sunday and the Rockies Tuesday, and the Nats have outscored their opponents 33-17 in the first 3 innings. Of course, you can’t do that. I asked.
It has been a rare occurrence, especially during their recent outstanding play, to see the Nats give up the big inning and all of them have been at home. 5 in 1st game vs. Phillies, 10 vs. Brewers Sunday in the 1st inning and then an 8 run 3rd inning for the Rockies Tuesday night.
The Nats forced Jorge de la Rosa to throw 118 pitches to get a win. That is a little surprising considering he was staked to a 10-0 lead and the Rockies had to use four other relievers to finally put away the Nats. That could be something that will help in this four game set that runs through Thursday.