Baker’s bullpen gave up two in the eighth, and three in the ninth on a go-ahead home run by Tyler Flowers that turner a 9-8 lead into an 11-9 deficit.
Trea Turner hit the Nationals’ third home run of the night in the bottom of the ninth, but that was as close as the Nats got to their NL East rivals, as the current division-leaders dropped their fourth straight game overall, matching their previous season high for consecutive losses.
After scoring six runs total over the weekend as they got swept by the Texas Rangers, the Nationals’ offense woke up, with six players, including Daniel Murphy, putting up multi-hit games.
“I think we just came off a series where we didn’t swing the bats well,” Murphy told reporters when asked what the Nationals could do to keep from getting frustrated at the fact that they scored ten runs and still lost.
“The pitching staff, especially the starting pitching, has really done a great job for us, so this is the ebbs and flows of the season. I guess to answer your question, I think the best medicine would be to come out tomorrow and try to score more runs than the Braves. I would be pretty excited about that.”
That sounds like a winning plan.
As for the bullpen, which continues to be an issue for the defending NL East champs, Baker seemed at a loss when he was asked what the Nationals do next after the 11th blown save of the season last night.
“There’s no answers right now. I was saying, ‘Let’s score more runs,’ but we scored more runs,” he said.
“We’re in a bad streak, you just got to fight. We just got to keep on fighting.”
HERE’S THE LINEUP THAT WILL FIGHT THE BRAVES TONIGHT:
[ed. note - “Oh, by the way, Zim is back in!”]