There's this great old graphic they used to put up in the Metrodome during Twins games. It's a picture of a ghost with a quote bubble that simply says, "Walks will haunt."
It's been a consistent problem for the Nationals all season -- they came into today's game having walked 44 batters, second-worst in the National League. And after a game they've fought through all day, they might lose because of walks.
Philadelphia scored three in the top of the sixth, building the inning off four walks (one intentional), and leads 4-1.
Scott Olsen gave the Nationals their second-best performance by a starting pitcher this season. He kept them in a game where the Nationals' offense, handed six walks of their own by J.A. Happ, could do little. But he might take the loss now because he couldn't get out of the sixth inning.
Olsen gave up a leadoff single to Placido Polanco in the sixth and walked the bases loaded before Juan Castro punched a two-out single past a sliding Cristian Guzman at second base. He'd walked just one batter all day before the sixth, but lost control of his fastball in the inning.
Then, Tyler Clippard walked in a run. Now the Nationals have given the Phillies a chance to get their better relievers in the game for the final innings, and could be staring at a sweep.