The Nationals sure gave themselves chances.
They notched 16 hits, walked twice, and had two stolen bases. The opportunities were there, but the knocks in big situations weren’t.
The Nats went 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position in tonight’s 4-3 loss to the Padres, and left 14 men on base. Jordan Zimmermann went six solid innings and the bullpen was impressive, but the Nats dropped the opener of this four-game set with San Diego.
Here’s manager Matt Williams after the loss:
On if the lack of production with runners is due to bad luck or something else: “I mean, the last play of the game, Desi’s ball to right with two out, second and third, we hit some balls hard and right at people. Just keep doing that. Just keep doing it and if we give ourselves that many opportunities, we’re going to score runs. Didn’t happen tonight.”
On if he liked his hitters’ approach in run-scoring situations: “Well, (Tim) Stauffer, strikeout pitcher. Really good changeup, curveball. Didn’t throw a whole lot of fastballs for strikes. Used his off-speed stuff. In the inning before, we had the same situation we had in the last inning. So it’s like, opportunities are there. It didn’t happen. Just keep providing ourselves those opportunities, it will happen for us.”
On the lack of productive outs in those spots: “Yeah. Man on second, nobody out. Certainly want to advance him to third. So, again, it’s part of the game and it is the game. We’ll take our chances with that many guys out there all night. And that’s kind of been the case for us. We’ve had a lot of opportunities. So we’ll take our chances with that.”
On if he thinks his hitters were pressing as the total of runners stranded rose: “I don’t think so. I don’t think they’ll think about that. They’ll think about, ‘Boy, we had an opportunity. It didn’t happen.’ But we’ll just keep giving ourselves that chance.”
On if he considered bunting the runner to third in the 10th or 12th innings: “Yeah. Zach (Walters is) up there looking for a ground ball to second base. And he ended up striking out the side, so it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, moving him over. And in the last inning, against their closer, he’s kinda the same guy, too. Real good changeup. And Loby (Jose Lobaton) put a nice at-bat on him. Just happened to be right at him. So there was opportunity.”
On winning his first replay challenge: “It’d be better if we won the game. But it was kind of ... there was some question from Buddy (Black) about whether (a Padres batter) had been in the box and they’d put the game back in play. But I got out there as soon as we could determine that it was an out call. Yeah, it’s nice to have one go our way.”
On Lobaton’s throwing error in the top of the 12th: “Yeah, again, it’s ... two outs, man on third base is no different than two outs, man on second base, with the exception of some wild pitch or something like that. Xavier (Nady) got a hit and he came through for his team in that situation. It would have been the same thing if the man had been on second. There wouldn’t have been a chance to throw him out anyway.”