If Daniel Murphy hadn’t botched that potential double play ball in the sixth, which set Miami up with an opportunity they cashed in with a two-run single by Marlins’ shortstop JT Riddle that put the Fish up by two, or missed the liner (off his glove) on the hit that followed.
If Juan Soto, normally a patient hitter, hadn’t grounded into a double play on the first pitch he saw from reliever Adam Conley with two on and one out after Washington tied it up at 4-4 in the seventh.
If Riddle hadn’t homered off Justin Miller in the top of the ninth, for his third hit of the day and his fifth hit in the first two games of the series in the nation’s capital, after a 3 for 31 (.097 AVG) start to August in the previous 14 games.
If Koda Glover hadn’t fallen behind 2-0 on Isaac Galloway then left a cutter up, and if Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez hadn’t walked Riddle to load the bases in front of Galloway, whose two-run single to center off Glover ended up being the difference.
If Woody had gone straight to the police... this would have never happened.
On a night when the second-place Philadelphia Phillies (0.5-game back) and the first-place Atlanta Braves both lost, the NL’s third-place Nationals dropped a game to the Marlins, who were winless in their last six overall, and in the last 12 on the road, with just three wins in 12 games against the Nats in 2018.
Murphy lamented the two plays that he failed to make after the Marlins’ 7-5 win in extras in the nation’s capital, telling reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, he blamed it on himself when the Nationals lost.
“I make an error right there, put us behind schedule, and then I misplay a line drive,” Murphy said. “It was a direct hand in us losing this ballgame.”
Soto first-pitch swinging and grounding into an inning-ending double play?
“That was kind of unusual,” Martinez said.
“He’s a pretty patient hitter, but you know what, he’s dangerous with a bat in his hand, so he felt like he thought he had a chance to hit the ball so he swung.”
As for walking Riddle to get to Galloway before what ended up being the game-winning hit.
Was Riddle really a hitter to avoid? Did he look that locked in in his previous at bats?
“Not just tonight, yesterday too,” Martinez said. “I mean, he’s swinging the bat really well. He’s dangerous right now, you know, and like I said, I liked the matchup with Glover and Galloway right there.”
“It’s almost like they’re challenging you,” Galloway said, as quoted by Miami Herald writer Clark Spencer, when asked about the decision to walk Riddle in front of him.
Glover got the first out of the tenth, then gave up back-to-back singles by Bryan Holaday and Starlin Castro, though he didn’t think anything was particularly well-struck.
“Three broken bats, infield singles. I mean, that’s tough,” Glover told reporters. “Honestly, I would rather give it up some other way than three broken bats in the infield.”
“He threw a good pitch to Holaday,” Martinez explained, “... hit off the end of the bat, snuck in for a hit. I want to see him throw more fastballs, that’s for sure. He threw a lot of cutters and curveballs, so but he was unfortunate. Gave up a hit to Galloway, which I thought was a better matchup than Riddle. Fell behind, threw a high cutter again, and he was able to hit it.”
“I mean, it’s very frustrating,” Glover said. “It’s like you punch somebody, and then you get punched twice.”