On Sunday afternoon and Tuesday night the Nationals entered the ninth inning down by one run and exited down by multiple runs. In both instances fans wondered why Drew Storen wasn't used. On Monday the answer was almost given when the Nationals had a save situation with Drew Storen warming in the bottom of the eighth but Ian Desmond hit a two run home run to turn a three run lead into a five run lead. With Drew Storen already warmed up and essentially used he was brought in to pitch.
If Matt Williams knew that the following game would be a big win or a big loss he'd probably use Drew Storen, but he doesn't know that. Entering the top of the ninth the Nationals win expectancy was just 14.7%. Drew Storen is far more likely to hold the game at a one run deficit, but the Nationals had a 14.7% win expectancy. Why burn Drew Storen and have him unavailable for the following game when the win expectancy is that low? What would the reaction be if Storen were used, the Nats lose by one run, and then Casey Janssen blows the save in the ninth in the next game?
One of the under appreciated jobs of a manager is managing for the season. In October of last year Matt Williams treated an elimination game like it was a mid-July tilt and that was a problem. It would also be a problem if he treated every mid-July game like an elimination game. The Nationals are dealing with enough injuries as it is. They certainly don't need the manager burning up pitchers in a game they have a 14.7% chance of winning. And this is why the Nationals need so desperately to trade for relievers. Drew Storen can't be used every day in every inning and yet he's the only reliable reliever the Nationals have.