The key moment in the Washington Nationals' shocking 10-9 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night happened in the sixth inning. The Nationals entered the inning with an 8-0 lead, but soon, it became clear that the Cubs had figured out Livan Hernandez. But because of the way the bullpen was overworked, manager Davey Johnson left Hernandez in, and he promptly gave up a three-run homer to Blake DeWitt that cut the Nationals' lead to 8-6.
Afterwards, Johnson admitted that he stuck with Hernandez too long.
"My bullpen was a bit beat up, and I had confidence that Livo could get me six," Johnson said. "I take full blame. I looked at the pinch hitters, and I said, ‘Oh, I'm just going to stay with Livo. Livo will get me an out,' and boy he left one right over the plate to DeWitt. That was the big blow, as far as I'm concerned, that was the momentum shifter."
None of that would have mattered if Sean Burnett could have held a lead, but it was still a key moment where the game went astray.
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