Washington Nationals Rewind: Nats Lose In Extras; Rafael Soriano, Davey Johnson And Bryce Harper Comment

Jason O. Watson

A two-out, two-strike RBI triple in the bottom of the ninth last night allowed the San Francisco Giants to tie the second game of three in AT&T, which they eventually won 4-2 on a walk-off home run by Pablo Sandoval. After the loss, the Nats talked about what went wrong...

Though Bryce Harper would admit just a few minutes later that running into the wall was definitely a concern as he attempted to track down Gregor Blanco's two-out, game-tying triple in the ninth inning of last night's game in AT&T Park, Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson wasn't sure it was an issue for his 20-year-old outfielder though even he noted it might have been in his head. "He's playing back for doubles and preventing doubles," Johnson said, "and the ball was hit well. I mean, he could have had another one of those deals where he ran into the wall... but..."

"I though he went after it hard," Johnson said, "and got close and then jumped for it, but the ball was hit well, so..."

Harper told reporters it was definitely in his mind as he tracked Blanco's hard hit ball toward center:

Blanco's triple, on a 1-2 slider up in the zone, scored Buster Posey's pinch runner, Andres Torres, all the way from first two outs after the Giants' catcher reached on an infield single that bounced off Nats' closer Rafael Soriano's glove and died in the grass to the side of the mound. "When you got two outs when you play away," Soriano told reporters, "you're supposed to, you know, a guy hit a ball, it's got to be in front of you, not like what happened tonight." USA Today's Jorge L. Ortiz quoted Soriano explaining further in Spanish what he thought of that particular play:

"'With two outs and the tying run at first, you have to play the outfield so the ball doesn't go over your head,'' Soriano said in Spanish.

"It may not have been a catch-able ball, but if we're positioned the right way, there might have been a different outcome. With two outs, I could tell my four-year-old son, 'You know where you need to play,' and he would go to the right spot to make the play. It's not an excuse, and I'm not speaking badly about anybody, but I think that's how you play the game.''

• Blanco's Game-Tying Triple:


Of course, as Davey Johnson explained, the Nationals shouldn't have been in the position they were with a one-run lead. There were plenty of opportunities for the Nats' offense to give the team some breathing room. With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, Kurt Suzuki grounded into a force at home in front of starter Stephen Strasburg to waste an opportunity to add to Washington's 2-1 lead. Denard Span doubled to start the eighth, took third on a sac bunt by Harper and was stranded there two outs later.

"We didn't get the hits when we needed to," Johnson told reporters, "when we had the table set and had the right guys up there. We just didn't get it done and then we didn't hold them. Stras had a rough start and threw a lot of pitches early, but gave us a good strong seven innings and we were in a position to win that and we didn't win it. It's tough."

The Nationals' manager explained that if Strasburg's early inning issues hadn't cropped up again, raising his pitch count up to 108 pitches after seven, he might have been able to go deeper. "If he hadn't struggled the first couple of innings, I mean, I think he had over 40 pitches or something after two. I probably would have even gone further with him, but he pitched a great game, set up for our pen and our pen just didn't hold it."

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker