The Washington Nationals dropped Tuesday night's game against the Florida Marlins 3-2 in heartbreaking ninth inning walk-off style and ended their hopes of finishing with a winning record for the first time since baseball returned to Washington D.C. in 2005.
With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning, it was up to reliever Doug Slaten to get the outs to put the game into extra innings. He got the first two outs. He would not get a chance to make a third. With two outs Bryan Petersen took a Slaten first pitch fastball and deposited it into the Sun Life Stadium seats for a Marlins 3-2 walk-off win. It was yet another poor showing for Slaten who is 0-2 with a 4.41 ERA.
Nationals outfielder Michael Morse hit his 31st home run of the season and shortstop Ian Desmond collected a RBI single in the loss. Nationals starter John Lannan's final start of 2011 ended with him pitching six innings and giving up two runs on six hits, three walks and four strike outs. Lannan finishes the season 10-13 with a 3.73 ERA.
The Nationals are now 79-81 with one game left to play. Due to bad weather and cancellations, Washington is playing only 161 games this year, the best they can finish now is 80-81.