The morning after
I was only able to catch the extra innings last night, so I'm not going to pretend to have any compelling analysis or biting commentary as to why we lost. I'm sure the bloggers linked on my sidebar will do a fine job of that.
I do know that this was bad. We're one loss from a sweep at the hands of the third-worst team in the National League. Our next ten games are against three of the best five teams in the National League. This afternoon's game is one of the biggest the Nats have faced so far this season, if purely for mental reasons. A sweep at the hands of the Reds is a low note to end on before going to St. Louis.
-You might think I'd be nursing an ankle sprain suffered while jumping off the Ryan Church bandwagon. Patches finally got the start against the lefty pitcher last night, but he struck out twice, stranding five runners before being lifted for a pinch hitter. Well, I'm glad he got a chance, and I hope he gets another. But we all look pretty stupid after clamoring for him to start.
-Luis Ayala pitched very well in the 12th and 13th innings. But sending him out to start the 14th was, admittedly in hindsight, a big mistake. Last night was his 26th appearance of the year, and he only had gone 2 full innings four times before last night. Heading in to last night, Ayala gave up four of his eight earned runs allowed in those four 2-inning appearances, never throwing more than 27 pitches. Last night, his first outing over 2 innings, he threw 30 pitches and gave up the winning run.
Admittedly, the winning hit only snuck through due to the drawn-in infield. And maybe only two pitches were hit pretty hard in the 14th. It was probably a close call over whether to send him back out for the 14th. Looking at the numbers though, Ayala hasn't done too well in 2 inning appearances, and at the very least, Rauch should have been up and ready to go.
Ugh, I hate losing. We've got the get this one this afternoon.