In the middle of the sixth inning last night, a shooting outside the Third Base Gate brought things to a halt, with the gunfire audible inside Nationals Park. Fans, reacting to the sounds, fled the ballpark, or sought cover. Though they eventually realized it was outside, the game was suspended and they picked up where they left off this afternoon.
Before the resumption of play, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez talked to reporters about getting back to work after the chaos, and whether or not fans, workers, and everyone in D.C. should feel safe coming back to the park:
Here's #Nats' skipper Davey Martinez responding to a question about whether fans, workers, everyone who's going to #Nationals Park should feel safe there after last night's shooting outside the ballpark: pic.twitter.com/CrV6t32jPp— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) July 18, 2021
Corbin vs the Padres: Patrick Corbin tossed six strong in San Diego last week, giving up just seven hits, two walks, and two earned runs in a 106-pitch effort in a 15-5 win over the Padres in Petco Park.
“His pitch count was a little high, but he gave us six innings and that’s what we needed,” manager Davey Martinez said of Corbin’s work against the Friars.
That outing left the Nats’ lefty with a 5.40 ERA, 31 walks, 73 Ks, and a .275/.334/.473 line against in 17 starts and 93 1⁄3 IP on the season in the third year of Corbin’s 6-year/$140M deal in D.C.
Start No. 18 of 2021 for the veteran left-hander began with a leadoff walk, and back-to-back bloop singles, with Tommy Pham taking the walk, taking second on a Fernando Tatis, Jr. hit to right, and scoring on a sliced single to left field by Jake Cronenworth, 1-0, and 2-0 when Tatis, Jr. scored on a pop down the line in left that Trea Turner caught, before throwing it to the plate, a beat too late to get the runner.
Three straight two-out hits, by Padres’ starter Blake Snell, Pham, and Tatis, Jr. pushed one more run across in the top of the second, after the Nationals cut the lead in half during a rally in the bottom of the first, 3-1.
Manny Machado doubled on a fly to left that Josh Harrison tracked to the wall but could not catch, took third on a Wil Myers single to center, on which Victor Robles made an ill-advised throw home that allowed Myers to take second, and scored when Ha-Seong Kim drove both runners in with a line drive double to left field off Corbin, 5-1.
It was 5-4 Padres when Corbin came back out for the fourth, and worked around a leadoff walk to Pham, a check-swing, hustle double by Tatis, and a catcher’s interference call, with Pham caught stealing and a 3-6-1 DP off of Machado’s bat helping the starter through an 18-pitch frame which left him at 73 total.
Corbin gave up his third leadoff walk in five innings in the top of the fifth, but got a 4-6-3 DP and a groundout to third to end a quick, 10-pitch frame.
A leadoff single in the sixth warranted a mound visit, but he got one out before manager Davey Martinez went to the bullpen...
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 89 P, 54 S, 6/0 GO/FO.
Snell vs the Nationals: Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays last December, Blake Snell, 28, had a 5.29 ERA, 40 walks, 90 Ks, and a .242/.346/.431 line against in 17 starts and 66 1⁄3 IP before he landed on the IL with an illness (gastroenteritis).
It was not a COVID-related according to reports out of San Diego, with The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee noting that Snell was fully vaccinated and tested negative.
Before tonight, Snell had started just once since June 22nd, throwing four scoreless on July 4th, but coming out of the break, he returned to the Padres’ rotation.
Going up against the Nationals tonight, Snell took the mound with a 2-0 lead, but gave one back in the bottom of the first, with Trea Turner and Ryan Zimmerman taking one- and two-out walks, respectively, before Josh Harrison drove Turner in with a single to center field, 2-1.
Turner singled and Juan Soto walked on four pitches in front of Zimmerman in the home-half of the third, and Zimmerman smoked the 1-1 changeup Snell threw him and hit a 419-foot blast to straight-center to make it a one-run game with one swing, 5-4. Zimmerman’s 10th of 2021.
Snell held it there through four, which he finished on 74 pitches, but the Padres went to the bullpen in the bottom of the fifth...
Blake Snell’s Line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 74 P, 42 S, 5/0 GO/FO.
#TKCHZ!!: Going into tonight’s game, Ryan Zimmerman was just 3 for 31 in his previous 17 games (five starts) and 32 plate appearances, over which he had hit his ninth home run of the season, but not much else. But Padres’ starter Blake Snell left a 1-1 changeup up in the zone for the veteran slugger, who hit one onto the batter’s eye grass in center field for his 10th home run of the season.
Ryan Zimmerman still stuffing the career stat sheet...— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 18, 2021
Career H No. 1⃣8⃣2⃣2⃣
Career HR No. 2⃣8⃣0⃣
Career RBI No. 1⃣0⃣4⃣0⃣
Career RBI No. 1⃣0⃣4⃣1⃣
Career RBI No. 1⃣0⃣4⃣2⃣
Career R No. 9⃣5⃣3⃣#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/xBnZiyFghG
Bullpen Action: Craig Stammen took over for the Padres in a 5-4 game in the visitor’s favor in the fifth, and tossed a scoreless, 14-pitch frame.
Kyle Finnegan took over for the Nationals with a runner on and one out in the sixth, and the right-hander gave up a single to right by Tommy Pham that put two on in front of Fernando Tatis, Jr., who lined an RBI single (he thought was a home run) off the left field wall, 6-4, and 7-4 on a Jake Cronenworth single, and 8-4 on a Manny Machado single. Make it stop.
As the top of the sixth ended, there was gunfire outside Nationals Park. Fans raced for the exits in the immediate aftermath of the sounds coming into the park, but it was eventually clear that a shooting took place outside the Third Base Gate. Play was suspended as they cleared the ballpark, and they picked things up in the bottom of the sixth this afternoon...
Pierce Johnson worked around a one-out single in a scoreless bottom of the sixth.
Sam Clay retired the first two batters he faced in the top of the seventh, but a two-out hit by Webster Rivas kept the inning alive, and a walk to Eric Hosmer put two on in front of Tommy Pham, who hit a fly to short right field which brought in one run, then an error on the throw in from right by Juan Soto allowed Hosmer to score from first as well, 10-4.
Padres’ lefty Tim Hill retired the Nationals in order in a 10-pitch bottom of the seventh.
Andres Machado worked around a one-out single by Manny Machado for a scoreless top of the eighth.
Former Nats’ reliever Austin Adams struck out the side in a 22-pitch bottom of the eighth.
Ryne Harper needed 13 pitches to complete a scoreless top of the ninth, working around a leadoff single.
Padres’ righty Miguel Diaz came on to wrap this one up, and gave up back-to-back singles by Josh Bell and Alcides Escobar to start the frame, but both runners were stranded three outs later.
Final Score: 10-4 Padres
Nationals now 42-49