Dodgers Vs. Nationals Recap: Dan Haren Struggles Early In 3-2 Loss
After yet another rain delay, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals took the field roughly an hour and half past the original scheduled start time. The delay may have affected both Dan Haren and Stephen Strasburg, who each had a rough first inning. The Dodgers hit four consecutive one-out singles, capped by RBI hits from Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Gonzalez’s at-bat was particularly impressive, as he fouled off multiple pitches to stay alive against Strasburg before putting one in play on the 10th pitch. The Nationals responded with a lead-off single from Denard Span, a Jayson Werth double and a two-RBI single from Adam LaRoche to tie the game. Haren loaded the bases with one out but was able to get out of the jam.
The second and third innings were much easier for both pitchers, as the game had 12 hitters retired in order. Andre Ethier broke the streak with a one-out single in the fourth, but was erased on a Juan Uribe double play. Kevin Frandsen hit a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth and he was left stranded as Strasburg grounded out to end the inning. Span reached on his second lead-off single of the game, advanced to third on a Werth single, and later scored on a Wilson Ramos RBI sacrifice fly that gave the Nationals a 3-2 lead through five.
Carl Crawford singled in the sixth, which turned into runners on first and second after Yasiel Puig drew a two-out walk. With an opportunity to tie the game or put the Dodgrs ahead, Ethier grounded out to end the inning. Haren struck out Danny Espinosa for the second time in the game in the sixth and retired the next two hitters. Strasburg picked up his sixth strikeout in the seventh by getting by getting Justin Turner swinging, who pinch-hit for Haren.
Chris Withrow pitched the bottom of the seventh for the Dodgers and sat the Nationals down in order. Strasburg stayed on in the eighth, despite a pitch count north of 100 pitches. Dee Gordon began the inning by reaching safely on a perfectly placed bunt out of Strasburg’s reach. After Crawford lined out, Gordon stole second and Hanley Ramirez was put on base via a walk. Strasburg’s day was then over as Jerry Blevins took over for the Nationals. Gonzalez worked another 10-pitch at-bat, though he wasn’t successful the second time around, fouling out. With Puig due up, Blevins day was over and he was replaced by Tyler Clippard. Puig hit it hard, but right to Span in center field and the Dodger threat was over.
Brian Wilson relieved Withrow in the bottom of the eighth and found himself in a bit of a jam after starting out the inning on the right foot. Frandsen stepped in with runners on the corners and two away, but was unable to get the Nationals an insurance run as he grounded into a fielder’s choice. Rafael Soriano entered the game and earned the save, sitting the Dodgers down in order and getting the Nationals the 3-2 win.
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