The Brewers just could not get out of their own way on Friday night in Washington, and what would have been their fifth straight win became an extra-innings loss.
Yuniesky Betancourt, who has generally not been the disaster at short that many anticipated, today lived up to his reputation. He had ample time to throw out Jason Werth on a grounder in the tenth, but managed to pull Prince Fielder off the bag at first. Werth took second on the costly error, where he was promptly forgotten by Zach Braddock and easily stole third. Despite converting Ryan Braun to a fifth infielder, the Brewers were unable to stop Werth from scoring on an Adam LaRoche grounder to end the game.
Chris Narveson followed two exceptional starts with a stinker. After putting the Nationals down 1-2-3 in the first, Narveson got into trouble early in the second, walking LaRoche and then allowing consecutive singles to Wilson Ramos and Michael Morse to load the bases. Two consecutive walks and a sacrifice fly later, the Nationals were up, 3-0. Narveson allowed two more hits to LaRoche and Ramos in the third, but worked out of it and did not allow another baserunner until Morse hit a ground-rule double in the 6th.
Narveson’s final line:
Despite the loss, there were positives. Sergio Mitre pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless ball and has not allowed a run in four appearances this year. Jonathan Lucroy, who singled in the seventh, ended the eighth inning with an absolute strike to Betancourt to catch Ramos stealing second. Casey McGehee also flashed his defensive skills, charging a slow roller and throwing out Ramos at first in the sixth.
But ultimately, a few good plays were not enough to overcome all the walks and Betancourt’s costly tenth-inning error. The Brewers drop game one to the Nationals, 4-3. They now stand at 7-6, one game behind the Cincinnati Reds for first place in the Central.
Washington is supposed to have bad weather tomorrow; we’ll see if game two happens. If not, it will be the second canceled game in as many series; the Brewers will make up their series opener with the Pirates as part of a doubleheader on August 22.