NEW YORK - Is it possible for the Nationals to feel disappointed with an inning where they just tied today's game with the Mets, even though they'd only had one hit before the eighth inning? If it is, there's a chance they should.
They got some unlikely offense from the bottom of their lineup when Ivan Rodriguez dropped in a double to right that Lucas Duda misplayed, and Matt Stairs walked with one out. Ian Desmond hit a fly ball that just died in front of center fielder Angel Pagan, who was playing back on the shortstop, to pull the Nationals within one, and they tied the game on Rick Ankiel's groundout to second.
But their best hitters couldn't bring Desmond home to give the Nationals the lead. Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche walked, which isn't a bad thing, but the Nationals still needed a hit, and facing a pitcher (D.J. Carrasco) who'd just walked the last two hitters, Michael Morse swung at three breaking balls to end the inning.
So the Nationals got just two runs in an inning where they put five men on base, and with Danny Espinosa, Rodriguez and Jerry Hairston Jr. due up in the ninth, you have to figure they need to keep the game tied with Tyler Clippard on the mound in the eighth.