After comeback, Nats fall in 10 to snap streak

Herrera gives up walk-off hit; Nationals don't lose ground in NL East

July 29th, 2018

MIAMI -- It has been two months since the Nationals last won four consecutive games. Back then, they were in the midst of a season-best six-game winning streak from May 25-30 and were in first place in the National League East by the end of it. Now, the Nats are in need of another winning streak to catapult themselves back into the division race.
The Nationals entered Saturday's game winners of three in a row and hoped to get on such a roll but instead were dealt a tough-luck loss to the Marlins, 2-1, in 10 innings when J.T. Realmuto's bloop single against dropped into right field at Marlins Park.
"If that guy was on our side, it wouldn't have happened," said, referring to the trade rumors connecting the Nats to Realmuto.

The Marlins rallied to load the bases in the 10th against Herrera even though they did not make any hard contact. After a bunt single by opened the inning, reached after was called for catcher's interference for running into Rojas while attempting to field his bunt in front of home plate. Nationals manager Dave Martinez came out to argue with home-plate umpire Tim Timmons, but to no avail.
A pair of bloop singles later, the last of which Realmuto lofted to right field to beat a five-man infield, and the Nationals lost the game.
"He screwed up. Plain and simple," Martinez said of Timmons. "I'm not going to sit here and argue about it, but that's not what the rule states. If anything, the defensive team has the right of way to go field the ball. He just went on Rojas' finger-pointing that he obstructed him to run. I don't even think he really was going to run. That was just a bad call, period."
Timmons offered an explanation to a pool reporter: "I had obstruction because the ball was not in the immediate area of the plate. The runner was obstructed. It wasn't clear whether Herrera was going to field the ball, or the catcher. The catcher can field the ball, but he can't obstruct the runner and clear the runner out of the way."

The loss snapped the Nationals' three-game winning streak and spoiled their game-tying rally in the ninth inning on 's run-scoring single against closer . It was also a missed opportunity for the Nats to gain ground on both the Phillies and Braves -- the two teams ahead of them in the NL East -- who each lost Saturday. Washington trails Philadelphia by six games.
"Every single game you go in to play, you want to be able to win ballgames, especially when other teams in your division are losing," Harper said. "Definitely thought we could've had a chance to win that game. It just didn't happen for us."

With his single in the ninth, tied Tim Wallach for the most hits in franchise history (1,694).

"Progress. It's definitely, moving forward, it's definitely good progress. Still working on little things, but it's progress, definitely something positive." , on his seven innings of one-run ball

"When he tells me he's done arguing. What do you want me to do? I'm not going to sit there … We're trying to win the game, I'm trying to stay in the game. But clearly I know the rules. And that wasn't it. When I came back in and I saw it on replay, I understand now that he had no chance of making it to first. Zero chance to make it to first base." -- Martinez, on why he did protest more after the catcher's interference
"I think [Kieboom] did his job. Tried to get the ball as quick as he can. I don't know what was going on there. I think he was doing his job." -- Herrera, on the obstruction call
The Nationals wrap up the four-game series with Sunday's finale at 1:10 p.m. ET. will take the mound, which has usually meant a win for the Nats, who have won eight of his last 11 starts. will also be activated from the paternity list, although he may not join the team until they return to D.C. Miami counters with right-hander .