Doug Fister was brilliant for eight innings. He allowed three hits, one run, and threw 99 pitches. Mariners led 5-1 going into bottom of 9th.
If the Mariners win and Rangers lose they are tied for first. Perhaps Fister could have pitched the ninth, but Brandon League needed some work even if it were not a save situation.
But it was not the fault of League as to what happened, not all of it.
The leadoff batter, Jayson Werth got to second on a Smoak error. Bernadina then walked. But the Nationals feared slugger Ryan Zimmerman hit into a pitchers best friend, the 6-4-3 double play, Werth taking third. A big sigh of relief from Mariner fans.
Hairston singled to shallow center, Werth scored, but still 5-2 with two outs. Then Mike Morse, former Mariner, and possible All-star rep for the Nationals lined a shot off League’s leg putting runners at first and second.
They let League throw some pitches and though he looked fine, he had thrown 25 pitches and not wanting to risk losing Brandon, they brought in Dave Pauley whose ERA was barely over 1.00.
He was 4-0 on the season and had never saved a game. He still hasn’t as Espinosa singled in a run to make it 5-3. Then Wilson Ramos hit a ball so hard and so far it ended up in Chesapeake Bay, a three run walk off homer in a 6-5 Nats win.
It took all of four pitches for Pauley to lose the game. Four pitches, two hits and one loss. Three of the runs were unearned which makes it an even tougher loss.
This is the kind of game that potentially can demoralize a team. I don’t think it will happen, but they need a couple wins in the next two days to take the sting away. This one hurt. The sting will be worse if League is out for any time.
The good ship Mariner has been torpedoed. All hands on deck to retune fire. Sink the Bismarck!