Zimmermann felt stuff was good enough to go longer than six innings

The Nationals certainly had opportunities in their 4-3 12-inning loss to the Padres on Thursday. It ended on a hard-hit ball by catcher Jose Lobaton that doubled Bryce Harper off of second base. That play was another example of the many missed scoring chances the Nationals had.

"That is the game," Lobaton said. "I was trying to do something better after that error. I was trying to get at least a base hit, move the runner. It was a pretty good line drive, he made a nice play, and that was it."

The Nationals went 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position. The team generated 16 hits. They left 14 men on base.

Second baseman Danny Espinosa crushed a solo homer. He said it was tough to explain why they could not get anyone home from second base all night.

"It could be some bad luck there, same time they could make pitches," Espinosa said. "I don't know. Every guy has a different approach there. You can't tell what everyone is doing. But no one is trying to get out. Everyone is trying to do the best in that situation. It happened."

So as the innings go by and you leave men on base, do you start to squeeze the bat a little tighter?

"It is easy to press," Espinosa said. "You want to come through for your team. It can definitely be an easy thing to press."

But 16 different opportunities to score and the Nationals were unable to get any of those runners home. Lobaton said sometimes you don't realize how many chances you did have offensively until the dust settles on the final tally.

"Sometimes, inning by inning, you don't know what happened," Lobaton said. "You just know the situation in the moment. Now it is over. I know everybody want to get a hit, everybody want to hit homers. We just got to keep working."

Lobaton offered a suggestion as to why the Nationals could not generate more than three runs Thursday.

"I think we are trying too hard," Lobaton said. "You just got to relax and let the ball drive. It is going to happen. I know we have a pretty good team. We can do better and better.

"We want to win, we are there to win. I think everybody want to. We are trying to do the best. I can see everybody in the dugout want to. I know the offense is going to be better and better. Everybody is working for that. We need to pass this day and get ready for tomorrow."

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann crusied early on, allowing a leadoff hit to Everth Cabrera before retiring nine straight hitters.

"I thought it went OK," Zimmermann said of his start. "The stuff I had tonight I should have been in there a little bit longer. I had really good stuff and everything was working. It is unacceptable to go six innings with the stuff I had."

The Padres scored a run in fourth on a base hit by Seth Smith. In the sixth, Yasmani Grandal connected on a two-run double. Zimmermann said those two mistakes changed his night.

"It's just frustrating. You throw 90 some pitches and two of them aren't where you want them to be and it kind of sums up your night right there, giving up three runs," Zimmermann said. "I had good stuff and just two mistakes kind of cost me.

"I made some bad pitches to Smith and walked him. I had two strikes on him and I tried to throw a fastball down and away and kept running on me. I was flying open a little bit. And then 3-2 to (Grandal), I thought I'd get a curveball on the outside corner and I got him, but I left it over the middle, and it was a hanger, and you saw what happened, base hit."

Zimmermann did have a hope that those quick early innings would help him go long in this game. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way because of the game situation. He left with his team down 3-1.

"Any time you have quick innings early in the game you kind of expect yourself to go a little deeper - seven, eight, nine innings," Zimmermann said. "Tonight was one of those nights I had really, really good stuff. I felt I should have gone seven, eight, nine innings. That is the way baseball is and made a few mistakes and they made me pay."

The Nationals certainly had opportunities in their 4-3, 12-inning loss to the Padres on Thursday. It ended on a hard hit ball by catcher Jose Lobaton that doubled Bryce Harper off of second base. That play was another example of the many missed scoring chances the Nationals had.

"That is the game," Lobaton said. "I was trying to do something better after that error. I was trying to get at least a base hit, move the runner. It was a pretty good line drive, he made a nice play, and that was it."

The Nationals went 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position. The team generated 16 hits. They left 14 men on base.

Second baseman Danny Espinosa crushed a solo homer. He said it was tough to explain why they could not get anyone home from second base all night.

"It could be some bad luck there, same time they could make pitches," Espinosa said. "I don't know. Every guy has a different approach there. You can't tell what everyone is doing. But no one is trying to get out. Everyone is trying to do the best in that situation. It happened."

So as the innings go by and you leave men on base, do you start to squeeze the bat a little tighter?

"It is easy to press," Espinosa said. "You want to come through for your team. It can definitely be an easy thing to press."

But 16 different opportunities to score and the Nationals were unable to get any of those runners home. Lobaton said sometimes you don't realize how many chances you did have offensively until the dust settles on the final tally.

"Sometimes inning by inning you don't know what happened," Lobaton said. "You just know the situation in the moment. Now it is over. I know everybody want to get a hit, everybody want to hit homers. We just got to keep working."

Lobaton offered a suggestion as to why the Nationals could not generate more than three runs Thursday.

"I think we are trying too hard," Lobaton said. "You just got to relax and let the ball drive. It is going to happen. I know we have a pretty good team. We can do better and better.

"We want to win, we are there to win. I think everybody want to. We are trying to do the best. I can see everybody in the dugout want to. I know the offense is going to be better and better. Everybody is working for that. We need to pass this day and get ready for tomorrow."

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann was certainly there to win and he crusied early on, allowing a leadoff hit to Everth Cabrera but then he retired nine straight hitters.

"I thought it went OK," Zimmermann said of his start. "The stuff I had tonight I should have been in there a little bit longer. I had really good stuff and everything was working. It is unacceptable to go six innings with the stuff I had.

The Padres scored a run in fourth on a base hit by Seth Smith. In the sixth, Grandal connected on a two-run double. Zimmermann said those two acute mistakes changed his night.

"It just frustrating, you throw 90 some pitches and two of them aren't where you want them to be and it kind of sums up your night right there, giving up three runs," Zimmermann said. "I had good stuff and just two mistakes kind of cost me.

"I made some bad pitches to Smith and walked him. I had two strikes on him and I tried to throw a fastball down and away and kept running on me. I was flying open a little bit. And then 3-2 to (Grandal), I thought I get a curveball on the outside corner and I got him but I left it over the middle, and it was a hanger, and you saw what happened, base hit."

Zimmermann did have a hope that those quick early innings would help him go long in this game.

"Any time you have quick innings early in the game you kind of expect yourself to go a little deeper, seven, eight, nine innings," Zimmermann said. "Tonight was one of those nights I had really, really good stuff. I felt I should have gone seven, eight, nine innings. That is the way baseball is and made a few mistakes and they made me pay."

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