Dusty Baker said after last night’s game that he didn’t want to blame the Nationals’ 8-0 loss on a letdown after Washington clinched the NL East on Sunday afternoon.
Baker’s Nationals didn’t look sharp, but the veteran skipper, who became one of seven managers to lead teams to at least nine postseason appearances, joining Bobby Cox (16), Joe Torre (15), Tony La Russa (14), Casey Stengel (10), John McGraw (9), and Joe McCarthy (9), on a relatively short list, said it wasn’t all about the Nats being flat, though he was hoping to avoid that.
“I was hoping not,” Baker said, “because we had a day off in-between, but I don’t know if it was a letdown or [Julio] Teheran — he was sharp, that’s as sharp as we’ve seen him this year, he’s thrown some pretty good games against us, but he was really sharp, so I’d like to not take credit away from him. We had some opportunities to score, we just couldn’t get that big hit, especially with two outs there.”
The Nationals had opportunities, but went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and five left on base in the loss.
Teheran is now up to 19-straight scoreless innings on the mound against the Nationals, who’ve hit the right-hander hard in the past.
Tonight in the nation’s capital, the 2017 NL East champs face left-hander Luiz Gohara, the Braves’ hard-throwing rookie, who’ll make his second major league start, another challenge, since the Nationals haven’t seen him before tonight. Gohara brings a 96-98 mph fastball, an 89-90 mph changeup, and a high-80s slider to the mound...
Of course, Max Scherzer is starting for the Nationals in the second game of the three-game set with the Braves. Game on.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 2ND OF 3 WITH THE BRAVES:
LINEUP NOTES: Jayson Werth is back in after dealing with a shoulder issue in the last few games which was the result of a HBP during his rehab stint in the minors. He’s in there tonight though. And Wilmer Difo gets the start at second, we’re sure Daniel Murphy is fine and just getting a day off, but we’re also sure that the beat writers on the scene in the nation’s capital today will ask Dusty Baker and if there’s any reason for an update we’ll include it here. Also: Moar Robles pleze.
Murphy has a stiff neck. Played through it last night. Dusty wants to get him right, so he rests today.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 13, 2017