Washington Nationals news & notes: Nats drop 3 of 4 to Cardinals with sloppy loss in finale..

Notes and quotes on the Nationals’ series finale with the Cardinals in D.C

Mitchell Parker has some more PFPs in his future. Parker, 24, made mistakes on two softly-hit balls in the top of the third on Monday afternoon, in the finale of the four-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals in Nationals Park, and his manager, Davey Martinez, who got the lefty on the field for some PFPs when he made errors earlier this season said the southpaw is going to be back on the field tomorrow for more work on his fundamentals on the mound.

Parker was late getting to first on a leadoff single to the right side first baseman Juan Yepez fielded, allowing the batter, Nolan Gorman, to reach base, and he and Yepez chased after a bunt in the next at-bat but neither was able to field it to make a play in time, but he got the first out on a called strike three, and got what should/could have been an inning-ending double play in the next at-bat, but after taking a throw from third baseman Trey Lipscomb, CJ Abrams bounced a throw by Yepez at first, allowing a run to score for a 1-0 Cards’ lead.

The second run Parker allowed in the outing came on a 3-1 fastball belt high and over the middle of the plate to Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth, which the slugger hit 415 ft. to left-center for his 12th of the season and a 2-0 advantage in what ended up a being a sloppy, 6-0 loss in the nation’s capital.

“Not good,” Davey Martinez said of the defense in the series finale, which saw two errors by Abrams in addition to Parker’s mental mistakes. “You saw the game. It’s not good.

“We’ve got to clean that up. We can’t beat ourselves, and today we beat ourselves a little bit.”

Martinez didn’t pull any punches while discussing Parker’s latest fielding/coverage issues.

“Parker’s got to get the ball. He’s got to go to the base, get the ball. He struggles with that,” Martinez explained, “because we know he falls off the mound to the right side, but he’s got to get there.

“He’s got to get there on the bunts. We could have got — they had to call for the ball. But Parker has got to get to the ball.”

Why does he struggle to get to the balls on the right side? As Martinez said, he falls off to the right side.

“Once he throws the ball, he’s got to understand his obligation now is to become another fielder on the field. So when the ball is hit to the first base side, he’s got to tell himself he’s got to get to that base.”

Parker took the blame when he spoke after the game.

“Bottom line, I just have to get that,” Parker said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

“Between the half-step when I’m not covering first and getting that ground ball, I just can’t let it happen.”

Overall, Parker’s seven-inning, 91-pitch outing was a solid one, with just six hits, two runs (one earned), and one walk allowed in a 6-K start. He picked up 11 swinging strikes, six of them on his slider, and 14 called strikes, seven on his four-seamer.

“Once again, Parker was really good. Gave us seven strong innings there, we just couldn’t capitalize on some of the innings we got guys on base.”

Of course, he didn’t get any run support either, so the effort resulted in a loss, with the club going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and seven left on base in what was a close 2-0 game through seven, until the Cardinals added two in the eighth and two in the ninth.

Martinez wants to see his club, which just went through a long stretch with a lot of games in a hot and humid couple weeks, finish up strong going into the All-Star break.

“Look, this is the time of year where it’s tiring,” he said. “We know the break is coming up.

“So we’ve got to push a little bit. Everybody’s tired. The Cardinals are tired. We’re tired.

“We’re going to go play the Mets [in Citi Field]; they’re going to be tired. We’ve got to find a way. And the best way to do it is to focus on the little things. We’ve got to start focusing on the little things, and not beat ourselves.”

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Title: Washington Nationals news & notes: Nats drop 3 of 4 to Cardinals with sloppy loss in finale..
Author: Patrick Reddington

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