The Washington Nationals are no strangers to defeat in 2011, but it always seems the Nationals know how to put just the right amount of pain and despair in their losses to break the hearts of Natstown faithful. The Nationals did it again Sunday afternoon dropping a close one to the San Diego Padres 5-4 and losing in the final inning of the game.
With the score tied 4-4, usually reliable reliever Drew Storen served up a slider to the Padres' Ryan Ludwick (went 3-for-4) who smacked an RBI single to score Jorge Cantu in the top of the ninth and take the game and the series at Nationals Park. It was disheartening after the Nationals battled back from a 4-2 disadvantage. Center fielder Roger Bernadina racked up a RBI double in the fifth-inning and first baseman Michael Morse hit into a fielders choice that scored right fielder Jayson Werth in the sixth to tie the game. Unfortunately it was all for naught.
The first outing in 2011 for Nationals starter Yunesky Maya showed some promise, but ultimately his season debut is one he will probably want to forget as he gave up four runs off six hits in only four-innings of work. He walked two and struck out three.
The San Diego Padres came into Washington struggling, but they leave with something positive under their belts. If the Nats had this much trouble handling the Padres, then it might turn nightmarish when the visiting NL East rivals the Philadelphia Phillies come hording into Nationals Park on Monday.
The Nationals hit 30-losses on the year with a record of 22-30.