Sunday at Nationals Park was the last game for the Nationals before the All Star Break. The Nationals and the Rockies had the series tied at one game a piece, but the Nationals would lose today to give the Rockies the series win. It was a game that was not so much won by the Rockies as it was lost by the Nationals, but the team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.
Jordan Zimmermann took the hill for the Nationals hoping to pick up a 3rd consecutive win and make the Nationals winners going into the All Star break. Zimmermann was solid, pitching 7 innings and allowing only one run. The run for the Rockies came when Tyler Colvin singled, Todd Helton Walked, and Jordan Pacheco singled to load the bases with no outs. After getting Jonathan Herrera to pop up to Ryan Zimmerman in foul territory, former National Wil Nieves scored Colvin on a sacrifice fly. Fortunately, that would be all the Rockies would muster off Jordan Zimmermann.
Jeremy Guthrie was on the hill for the Rockies and he pitched a decent game against the Nationals. Guthrie went 6 innings and allowed 2 runs to the Nationals before being removed after the 6th inning. The 2 runs against Guthrie came when Ian Desmond launched his 17th home run of the year and put the Nationals up 2-1. With the way Jordan Zimmermann was pitching, the game seemed to be going the Nationals way. In the bottom of the 7th inning, Steve Lombardozzi picked up a base hit that scored Roger Bernadina. Lombardozzi was caught in a rundown and at times looked as if he was going to find a way out of it, but he was tagged out at 1st base. Regardless, Lombardozzi had done the job and gotten an insurance run to put the Nationals up 3-1.
Sean Burnett came on in relief of Jordan Zimmermann in the 8th inning. Sean Burnett has been one of the Nationals best relievers, but did not appear to have his best stuff going Sunday. Sean Burnett came in and allowed a home run to Eric Young. The home run was Young’s first of the year. Back to back singles to Dexter Fowler and Marco Scutaro put runners at the corners. Davey Johnson then put Michael Gonzalez in to replace Burnett, who was not able to get an out. With Carlos Gonzalez batting for the Rockies, a wild pitch by Gonzalez allowed Dexter Fowler to score and tie the game at 3-3. Gonzalez then struck out the side to keep it a tie ballgame.
The Nationals bats were quiet through the bottom of the 8th inning, the only baserunner for the Nationals being a single from Michael Morse. The Nationals would send Tyler Clippard to the mound in the top of the 9th to keep the game tied or close. Jordan Pacheco lead off the inning with a double, then went to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt from Jonathan Herrera. With Jason Giambi at bat, Tyler Clippard threw a wild pitch that allowed Pacheco to score and make it a 4-3 game in favor of the Rockies.
Clippard was able to get through the remainder of the inning without allowing any more runs to score, but the Nationals were still trailing. Davey Johnson would throw just about everything but the kitchen sink at the Rockies to try and take the game back. Ian Desmond lead off with a single, then Danny Espinosa sacrificed him to second. Tyler Moore came on to pinch hit, but struck out swinging. Afterward, Roger Bernadina was able to draw a walk to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Davey Johnson put Jesus Flores in to pinch hit, during the at bat, Desmond and Roger Bernadina were able to advance on a double steal. The pressure was on the Rockies, the Nationals were not going down without a fight. Unfortunately, the Flores struck out swinging to end the game. The loss makes the Nationals 49-34 on the season, 15 games over .500. Now, the Nationals are on a short break during the All Star game.