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The Frustration of the Nationals

At least once a week the Washington Nationals play a game like they did last evening against the Braves. At least once a week they find themselves in a close, nip and tuck pitcher's duel where whichever teams makes the first mistake is going to lose, and far too often the Nationals are the team that makes that mistake. ​

In the ninth inning of last evening's contest the Nats became the team to make that mistake. With runners second and third and no outs all the Nats needed was for one of the next two batters to put the ball in play with authority. The main issue with this is that they were facing Craig Kimbrel who strikes out 50% of the batters he faces. Ian Desmond gave it a good show at the plate working the count, but then fell victim to a slider that nicked the outside corner and fooled him badly. That is fine and should be expected against Kimbrel. The problem wasn't Desmond it was the men following him.

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