The Washington Nationals were looking for a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. The Nats fought back to send the game to extra innings for the third time in four games, but ultimately fell short in the 11th inning.
After falling behind 4-0 in the first inning on questionable calls that ultimately led to a grand slam, they found themselves chipping away all game to come back from a 5-0 deficit and force extra innings, where they fell short and lost 8-5.
Ross Detwiler was able to put the grand slam behind him and settle down after the first inning. He allowed only one earned run on the day but five runs overall. Detwiler has certainly done the job filling in for Chien-Ming Wang in the fifth spot of the rotation.
The Nats were victims of mediocre umpiring on Sunday from the first pitch to the last. Ryan Zimmerman had words for home plate umpire Laz Diaz after a low strike was called on him in the 10th inning. On the following pitch, he swung and missed to strikeout and responded by smashing his helmet into the ground.
Zimmerman did not let the strikeout get to him as he made a stellar diving catch on a bunt in the top of the 11th. The Nationals allowed a couple of broken-bat singles however, and Joey Votto finished them off with a two-RBI double to left field.
The Nats bullpen has been nothing short of impressive this season, but Tyler Clippard faltered on Sunday. Coming into the game, the bullpen had only allowed six earned runs in 27.1 innings while striking out 33 batters.
On Sunday, the bullpen was solid until the 11th when Clippard allowed three earned runs and took the loss.
With the loss, the Nats are now 7-3 on the season but are still on top of the division.
Washington will try to get back on track when they welcome the Houston Astros to D.C. for four games. The Nats send Stephen Strasburg to the mound Monday at 7:05.
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