Baserunning error costs Nats in sixth (Nats walk off with 4-3 win)

The Nationals have left runners on base a host of ways tonight, and trail 3-2 as we go to the seventh.

Jayson Werth grounded into a 6-4-3 double play in the first inning, ending the inning and stranding two runners.

Rick Ankiel was caught stealing in the second inning, ending the frame.

In the third, Werth struck out with the bases loaded to blow that chance.

The Nats then had runners at the corners in the fourth, but Stephen Strasburg struck out and Ian Desmond lined out to spoil an opportunity to tie the game.

Then, a baserunning error in the sixth cost the Nats badly, as what would have been a bases-loaded opportunity turned into a frustrating inning-ending mistake.

With runners on first and second and two outs, Desmond hit a ball into the hole at short. Ankiel, who was on second, made a turn around third but went too wide, and Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins made a heads-up play, throwing behind Ankiel. He was tagged out by third baseman Placido Polanco, and that was the end of that chance.

Ankiel immediately walked up to third base coach Bo Porter to discuss the play, which leads me to believe Porter failed to indicate that the ball hadn’t gotten through the infield and Ankiel should hang close to the bag.

It’s on Porter to point at the bag and make Ankiel aware that he needs to stay on the base. I didn’t see if Porter did so or not.

Regardless, the Nationals have now left 10 runners on base today, and are failing to capitalize on the nine hits they’ve registered.

Update: Have there been some close calls in this game, or what?

The latest one came in the bottom of the eighth, after Jesus Flores had tied the game 3-3 with an RBI double past a diving John Mayberry in left. The Phillies intentionally walked Xavier Nady to load the bases, a seemingly ridiculous move that paid off when Ian Desmond grounded a ball to short. Jimmy Rollins fired home just in time to nab Ankiel trying to score, at least according to home plate umpire Rob Drake. Steve Lombardozzi then grounded out to second to end the threat.

The game is tied, but yet again, the Nats keep blowing chances to put additional runs on the board.

Update II: We’ve got bonus baseball, and it’s almost fitting considering how entertaining this game has been.

For the sixth time this year, the Nats are heading to extra innings. Bryce Harper struck out swinging leading off the bottom of the ninth after getting a standing ovation as he came to the plate, and Shane Victorino followed by robbing Chad Tracy of an extra-base hit with a running grab against the scoreboard in right-center. That grab ended the ninth and sent us to extras.

The Nats are 3-2 in extra-inning games this season, while the Phillies are 0-2.

Tyler Clippard retired the Phillies in order in the 10th.

Update III: How about another walk-off win?

Wilson Ramos’ RBI single to left-center with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 11th won it for the Nationals and sent the bulk of the 34,377 at Nationals Park home happy.

This is the Nats’ second walk-off win in three days and makes them 17-9 on the season.

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