The Good with the Bad: NYM Series Takeaways

The Good With the Bad is a segment in which Alyssa Wolice and Citizens of Natstown contributor Luigi (Ouij) de Guzman (@ouij) break down the negatives and positives for each series, respectively. You, the reader, can then decide to see the glass half empty - or full - with each series wrap.

The Nationals won two of three against the New York Mets, who now trail Washington by three games in the National League East. The wins did not come without a price, however, as Yunel Escobar's health remains in question following an early injury in Wednesday's contest.

THE BAD:

Nats Medical Staff: Witch Doctors or Spin Doctors? Yunel Escobar was struck down as if by a bolt from the blue Wednesday. He left the game in considerable pain, clutching his left wrist. The Nats immediately got their best medical minds on the case and X-rayed Escobar. Everything is going to be just fine, everybody. The X-rays came back "negative." #Yescobar is just day-to-day.

Let's review what happens when the Nats medical staff say "the X-rays came back negative."May 16, 2015. "After the game, manager Matt Williams told the media that Werth’s X-Rays were negative, which is a very good sign." Jayson Werths' wrist was actually broken. he has not yet returned to the Nats. And remember April 2, 2014?: Wilson Ramos takes a foul tip on the wrist on Opening Day, "Preliminary X-rays were negative," Williams told reporters. "But he's going to see our hand specialist tomorrow." Result: broken hamate bone.

There are two things to take away from this: First, wrist injuries are tricky, since there are a lot of very small bones involved. Second: Never believe the initial "X-Rays were negative" report out of the Nats organization. They maintain Stalinist control of their medical information (no injury updates in-game!), and when they do report injuries, they've under-reported their severity.

The Nationals are essentially the Syracuse Chiefs at bat right now, and can ill afford to lose Escobar for any extended period of time.

Leave no 12 men behind. If it weren’t for Michael Taylor’s eighth-inning double Wednesday, the Nats’ would have tallied yet another loss against their division rivals largely due to their inability to knock in base runners. The Nats stranded 12 and went just 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position, mostly against starter Noah Syndergaard and reliever Hansel Robles.

Tanner Roark got rocked. Matt Williams called on Tanner Roark in the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s matchup, and the likelihood of a Nationals’ comeback win quickly vanished. Roark gave up a single to Kevin Plawecki before walking Michael Cuddyer. He managed to strike out Juan Lagares, but allowed RBI singles to Curtis Granderson and Ruben Tejada, to essentially gift-wrap four additional insurance runs for the Mets.

THE GOOD

Everyone can thank Michael Taylor for the Nats’ three-game lead in the NL East. The Nationals were on the verge of dropping their second game in a row to the New York Mets. That is, until Michael Taylor’s eight-inning two-run double off Bobby Parnell tied the game Wednesday afternoon. Taylor went on to score the game-winning run on Danny Espinosa’s single to left. The two victories over New York gave the Nats some needed breathing room in the NL East Standings, as they now sit three games above the second-place Mets.

Defense for the win. The Nationals played for the highlight reel in Monday’s 7-2 win over the New York Mets. Escobar’s sliding grab in the first inning prevented the Mets from scoring, and Michael Taylor’s fifth-inning running catch at the wall robbed Eric Campbell of an extra-base hit. But, it wasn’t just the Top-10-worthy plays that made the difference. Bryce Harper also came up big with a sliding catch in the eighth and, shortly after, Jose Lobaton robbed a fan of a foul ball souvenir just beyond the home plate protective netting near the visitors’ dugout.

A little rest goes a long way. Following 10 days’ rest, Gio Gonzalez made it for the long haul, throwing 107 pitches to pick up his seventh win. Granted, those 107 pitches carried him just six innings, but he still held the Mets to just two runs on six hits and three walks.

Tip a cap to Ian Desmond. Nats fans have not had many opportunities to applaud Ian Desmond’s offense this season, but the .213 batter socked his eighth homer of the season Monday against the Mets, knocking in two of the Nats’ seven runs on the night. Over the three-game set, he raised his average by 9 points, thanks in part to his 2-for-2 afternoon Wednesday during which he also drew two walks.


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