The Nats made it interesting in the bottom of the tenth when Elijah Dukes led off with a ground-rule double to deep left, but it's not a traditional ground-rule double that hops over the fence. Instead, this ball gets stuck in the padding of the left field wall. Talk about hitting a ball hard!
Unfortunately, the Nats couldn't get him home after Josh Willingham flied out to right, Jesus Flores struck out looking, and Alberto Gonzalez struck out swinging. With a guy on second, no outs, and trailing by one run, shouldn't Willingham be bunting in that situation? I guess it's a question for
Here's how Chico Harlan, the Nats' beat writer at the Washington Post, summed up the game:
Bizarro day ended prematurely. The string of unexpected, pleasant developments dissolved just before the Washington Nationals could afford it. For nine innings last night, they had ceased operations as usual: The manager who never gets angry got angry, the team's principally non-quality rotation submitted a quality start, and a bullpen with little experience protecting slight leads got the chance to protect a slight lead.Here's the entire write-up: Pleasant Shifts, But Another Loss
And that's where the good fortune of a seemingly charmed night met its limitation. Starting in the ninth inning, with a clean victory needing just some quick initials, the Nationals found a way to lose in the most disquieting way possible, falling 3-2 to the Marlins in 10 innings. Closer Joel Hanrahan, in his first save situation of the year, gave up a game-tying home run. In the 10th, Saúl Rivera surrendered three hits and a run -- all avoidable had a close outside pitch to Dan Uggla been called strike three instead of ball three.