clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Dusty Baker on Washington Nationals’ 14th blown save: “We know we’re going to get our bullpen fixed.”

New, comments

Michael A. Taylor put the Washington Nationals ahead 2-0 in the eighth, but the Nats had to win it in the bottom of the ninth after another blown save...

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

Michael A. Taylor’s two-run, opposite field home run in the bottom of the eighth put the Nationals up 2-0 on the New York Mets in the series opener in Washington, D.C.

Taylor hit a 91 mph fastball outside from Jerry Blevins over the W.B. Mason sign in right field for his 12th home run of the season, after Ryan Raburn walked to put a runner on in front of the Nationals’ outfielder.

In the top of the ninth, Dusty Baker sent Sammy Solis out for the save opportunity in his second appearance in the majors since mid-April.

Solis, who came off the DL this weekend, gave up a one-out single to left by T.J. Rivera, but caught Lucas Duda looking with a 3-2 fastball for out No. 2.

Baker then turned to Matt Albers...

Mets’ skipper Terry Collins brought pinch hitter Curtis Granderson, who’d been dealing with a hip issue, on for Travis d’Arnaud, and the outfielder hit an 0-2 fastball out over the plate to right field for a game-tying, two-out, two-strike, two-run home run, and the Nationals’ 14th blown save of the season.

The Nationals rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning, and won it on a walk-off single to left by Ryan Raburn, but it was a somewhat muted celebration for a fan base that’s seen this happen way too often this season.

“It was a great game until Granderson,” Baker told reporters after the 3-2 win, “... and you know he was up there for one thing, to try to hit the ball out of the ballpark, and we had him 0-2, and that kind of deflated the crowd and us for a little bit.

“But then you’ve got to get over that and try to figure out how to win the game, which we did.”

Baker was asked about the long-term impact of all the blown saves on his team.

“The biggest downer in baseball is a blown save late,” Baker said.

“I don’t want to [belabor] the fact, but the opposition knows as well, and so that just goes to show you that our guys keep fighting and keep playing.”

“We know we’re going to get our bullpen fixed,” Baker added.

“[Joe] Blanton came in tonight, did a great job. Sammy Solis came in and did a great job.

“We didn’t let [Solis] face d’Arnaud cause he’s hitting like .190 against right-handers and hitting .382 against left-handers, so that wasn’t a good matchup, and Granderson, according to our reports, was hurt.

“We didn’t know if they were going to use Granderson or not, that’s why I said, he was in there for one thing, to hit the ball out of the ballpark, and he did.”

Will the Nationals be able to fix their bullpen? When will they make a trade?

Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told ESPN’s Buster Olney on Monday that he’s looking at his options and trying to find the right deal.

“Right now we’re just kind of testing the market,” Rizzo said.

“I’ve talked to a lot of my fellow general managers and just kind of to see where the market is right now. It’s no secret that we’re going to be looking for upgrades in the bullpen, and with that said, people aren’t going to want to help us out of the goodness of their heart.

“So we’re going to have to see what deal makes sense for us in the long-term and short-term and see if we can do our part, do my part to improve the ballclub.”