The Nationals are the worst team in the majors and have ended streaks of four wins in a row to start the second half and eight in a row overall by the (formerly) best team in the majors after a 4-1 victory tonight over the Dodgers.
Oddly enough, it being the Nationals makes a lot of sense for the 2022 Dodgers.
Paolo Espino started for the Nationals against a red-hot Dodgers lineup and he continued to produce quality results, honestly. He retired the first eight batters in a row before giving up a wall-scraping homer to left from Trayce Thompson, his third of the year.
The battery of him and Jake Lamb are not just filling in but excelling and powering a lot of this streak.
But the homer and a stranded double to lead-off the 4th was all he gave up to that point and it was just 1-0.
Unfortunately, that gave the luck bug enough time to bite Tony Gonsolin. He actually looked great for the most part, giving up just a couple of walks and a stolen base in four no-hit innings. However, the 5th started off with a Yadiel Hernandez homer to left to tie the game at 1-1.
Still, Gonsolin looked to settle back in with a pair of harmless outs. However, that’s when the mess started, as he gave up a bloop single to center, a solidly hit ground-ball single up the middle, another bloop single that plopped just fair down the line in left, and then a ground-ball triple that chopped over Freddie Freeman‘s head. That led to a trio of runs that put the Nats in front 4-1.
After an intentional walk, Gonsolin got out of the 5th and actually remained in the 6th, but the damage was done even if it wasn’t much in his control: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 90 Pitches.
Going back to Espino and the Dodger bats, they seemed to break through the 5th with back-to-back singles from Max Muncy and Gavin Lux. That knocked him out of the game, and after a strikeout for the pen, Trayce drew a walk to load the bases with one out. It was a prime scoring chance with the top of the order up, but Mookie Betts confusingly took a 2-2 strike right down the middle and Trea Turner lined out to right to kill the rally.
For the Dodgers pen, they were tasked with keeping the scoreline the same, and they did that … even if it was adventurous. David Price started off by giving up two singles before getting through the 7th, and Reyes Moronta did … well, this:
Unfortunately, that showing didn’t matter much, as the bats couldn’t capitalize on their chances. They got just an error in the 6th and an infield single in the 7th, but stranded two singles in the 8th and then a single in the 9th that advanced on defensive indifference to complete an 0-for-9 day with RISP.
The Dodgers fall to 64-31 on the year and remain 11.5 games up on the Padres in the NL West.