The Nats coughed up a one-run lead in the top of the 9th but got it back in the bottom half for a 7-6 win over the Cards – their first of the 2021 Spring Training. Washington committed an error to start the inning while St. Louis returned the favor to end it.
Max Scherzer was uneven in his ST debut, walking two, striking out two over 1⅔ IP while throwing 38 pitches. He was charged with two runs when the first man out of the ‘pen, Luis Avilán, surrendered a two-out double.
The two runs ate into a three-run lead provided by journeyman Alex Avila with an Earl Weaver special after a Starlin Castro single with one out and a two-out walk by Josh Bell. Avila was the first regular to check out, replaced by Jakson Reetz in the 5th.
Reetz went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and was himself replaced by Israel Pineda in the top of the 9th. Pineda did not bat in the bottom of the 9th.
Here’s how the rest of “our guys” did coming off the bench:
- Drew Mendoza took over 1B from Bell in the 7th and was 0-for-1, committing the aforementioned error in the 9th
- Cody Wilson was trotted out to CF in the 8th and flew out in the 9th
- Luis García came in on defense at 2B in the 6th, drew a two-out walk in the 9th, and scored the winning run
- Jackson Cluff subbed for Trea Turner at SS in the 6th and struck out in the 7th
- Steven Fuentes got the dreaded blown-save-win with an unearned run in the 9th. He walked none and struck out one.
The Nats return to action this afternoon against the Marlins in Jupiter, FL with Patrick Corbin facing off against Sandy Alcantara. The game can be heard on MLB Radio (do you have to ask? Fine. Marlins feed.)