Through four innings on Saturday night, the Nationals looked to be in good shape. They had ridden through Craig Stammen’s shaky second inning, come back on Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez and taken a 5-3 lead on San Francisco.
Even into the seventh inning, the Nationals were still in control, leading 5-4. But then the bottom came out.
A game the Nationals were planning to ice away with their best relievers - Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen and Matt Capps - turned into a lopsided loss. Clippard gave up four runs in one-third of an inning, walking two and allowing two hits, as the Nationals fell 10-5. The loss cost them a chance at wrapping up a series win and lining up a shot at a sweep tomorrow. Instead, they’ll turn to Livan Hernandez to try and win the series.
I’ll have more in a while. But in the meantime, I’ll be on Nats Talk Live with Craig Heist tonight, talking about the game, the first half and taking your phone calls. You can tune in on 1500-AM in the District and surrounding areas.