Last night’s loss was the Washington Nationals’ 20th in 31 one-run games this season, and their 36th in the last 62 games. It hurt more than most because of the way it happened. It doesn’t get much worse than a walk-off grand slam that turns a 3-0 lead into a brutal, 4-3 loss when your team is desperate for wins to remain relevant in the division race.
Now it’s four games with the St. Louis Cardinals, who’ve won five straight, seven of eight and eight of their last ten.
“We’ve got an important series beginning in St. Louis tomorrow,” Max Scherzer said, as quoted by MLB.com’s Jamal Collier, after last night’s loss.
“We’ve got to come ready to play. We really need a win tomorrow to get momentum back on our side, cause tonight sucks.”
Hopefully getting Anthony Rendon back in the lineup after two days off will help the Nats’ offense, after they managed just one run through seven innings against left-hander Cole Hamels last night, with 18-straight batters set down after they scored a run in the second and before they added two insurances runs in the top of the ninth.
Rendon was 12 for 38 (.316/.300/.447) in August before he was hit in the hand during the series opener with the Cubs on Friday night.
As the Nationals noted in yesterday’s pregame notes, since June 15th, Rendon has put up a .322/.360/.574 line with 14 doubles and 10 home runs in 200 plate appearances in that time.
On the season, the 28-year-old has a .289/.345/.506 line with 28 doubles and 16 home runs in 400 plate appearances, over which he’s been worth 3.5 fWAR, 4th-best among National League third basemen this season.
Rendon is back in there for the opener with the Cards.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE OPENER WITH THE CARDINALS:
#Nats at #Cards 1 of 4 in Busch Stadium: pic.twitter.com/beI59uNPUc— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) August 13, 2018