Nats Lose on Late-Inning HR, 4-3

The Nats rallied from a 3-0 deficit with a picket fence in the middle innings, but lost to the Cards on a HR in the 8th, 4-3.

Tanner Roark got the start but was not sharp, allowing the aforementioned three runs on five hits and two walks over four innings. Shawn Kelly wore the loss, giving up a solo HR to start the 8th [insert midseason form joke here] and three hard-hit balls total before St. Louis ran itself out of the inning.

Victor Robles and Jose Marmolejos once again started in center field and at first base, respectively. Robles grounded to third in the 2nd and drove in the first Washington run on a sac fly in the 5th while Marmolejos grounded out twice to the right side of the infield.

Four Watchlist players came off the bench:
   ●   Rafael Bautista subbed for Robles again in CF and drew a pair of walks, but was thrown out trying to steal in the 7th.
   ●   Carter Kieboom took over SS from Trea Turner and reached base on an error in the 7th and struck out to end the game.
   ●   Andrew Stevenson was the second left fielder and drew a walk with one out in the 7th but was erased on an inning-ending DP.
   ●   Drew Ward pinch-hit for DH Howe Kendrick and whiffed for the third out in the 8th.

The Nats fall to 7-8-2 in Grapefruit League play. Edwin Jackson is slated to start against the Tigers in Lakeland. The game will be broadcast on and MLB audio (Detroit feed for both).

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

7 thoughts on “Nats Lose on Late-Inning HR, 4-3”

  1. Rizzo said yesterday that they told Marmolejos that his future would be determined by how well he learned to play the OF. I don’t see the logic in that. The Nats are set at 1B for the next 2 years with Zim and they are loaded with OFs. I don’t know his skill set, but I might have tried him at 3B, in case they move Rendon back to 2B after Murphy leaves.

    1. Marmolejos throws left-handed, so he won’t be playing 3B. He hasn’t shown enough power to be an everyday 1B at the major-league level, at least for a contender, plus there is currently a market glut of cheap 1B power right now. His only real hope to make The Show is to turn himself into a versatile bench bat, which these days generally requires 1B/LF flexibility. He’s always been fringy as a “prospect,” but he’s managed to keep advancing by way of good contact/OBP and good gap power.

      As for 3B, the Nats already have a couple of guys advancing in Ward and Gutierrez, neither of whom is anywhere close to a sure thing. Also, Rendon’s contract is up before Zimmerman’s, after the 2019 season. My semi-educated guess is that they hope Carter Kieboom can be ready to replace Rendon if he leaves, but that would require basically perfect progress by Kieboom over these next two season.

  2. One bit of news from the MASN broadcast yesterday about which I was unaware is that Solis still has an option. It almost defies logic that someone drafted in 2010, and who didn’t have a rapid rise to the majors (Bryce), still has an option, but he does.

    I know it may sound nuts considering his injury history, but considering the lack of starters the Nats have in the upper minors, I’d consider sending Solis to Syracuse and stretching him out. Relievers almost never revert back to starting, though.

    1. I know it may sound nuts considering his injury history

      I heard that too and not coincidentally, I’m about 90% sure his injuries are the reason why the Nats were awarded a fourth option.

  3. Jeff – hellooo from ABQ
    Spring training is looking like an organization-wide American Idol for new manager Dave to form impressions.

    Pleasant pitching surprises and Boom.

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