The Nats struggled to get in the hit column early against Jake Peavy in Friday's 3-2 loss, but the bats came on late. While they showed the tenacity that they've shown all season long after falling behind 3-0, they just couldn't come up with the big hit in the end. We'll start by answering the question in the title of today's post before moving on to some analysis of a few key situations in the game.
What does losing Game 1 mean?
It's pretty simple really. It means two things.
- The Nationals can't sweep this series
- The Nationals will need to win three out of the four (possible) remaining games in this series to advance
- The Giants had six outs to try and build on their lead. If Williams had saved Zimmerman in the 7th inning so that he could use him with 2 out and nobody on in the 9th inning and the Giants had pushed across another run to make it 4-2, we'd be asking why he didn't bat in the 7th when it was a one run game.
- The Nats could have plated a run (or more) before the pitcher's spot came up again and Zimmerman could have ended up batting in a lower leverage situation with the lead.
- The spot could have never come back around, meaning Williams could either pinch hit Zimmerman for one of his starting position players (where he wouldn't have gained as much of an edge) or not at all. They did need two runners to reach base for the spot to come up. While that's only two baserunners, the Giants were about to use their two (three if you want to count Affeldt) relief aces.