The game was far from over when Strasburg left, as noted by Adam Kilgore who made it clear that the Dodger's had just 2 hits through 5, while ending with 13... Ouch.
On a day that more closely resembled a Little League game (everybody plays!) than a MLB game, there were two decisions that really frustrated me as a writer and as a fan.
Bottom 9. Two outs. Bases Loaded. 7-3 Game. Your two best hitters have just struck out looking. Sounds like the perfect situation to put in a kid making his MLB-debut, right? Well, only if you are absolutely insane. Nope, that's exactly what Davey Johnson decided to do. .235-in-AAA hitter Corey Brown entered as a pinch hitter, making his MLB-debut with the game on the line and all of the pressure on his shoulders. Brown did a decent job fighting off Guerra's gas, but eventually hit a lazy fly to left to end the game; all this while Pudge, Flores, Cora, and Nix all sat on the bench.
It was reported before the game that Brad Peacock would not enter a game mid-inning, because it doesn't make sense to have a starter appear in the game mid-inning. Flash-forward to the end of the 5th inning, Strasburg has done his thing, the Nats have a 3-0 lead, enter Peacock, right? Wrong. Enter Doug Slaten in just his 2nd appearance post-DL. Two hits later and Davey calls for Peacock. Once again, we have a player making his MLB-debut. So, in his first career appearance he has to come in with two runners on against Matt Kemp, the NL leader in WAR and front-runner for NL MVP. Well, by now you know what happened - coming in mid-inning, having to pitch out of the stretch, against the NL's best hitter - Peacock blinked and the game was tied. As if he didn't have enough adversity to overcome just to make the big-leagues, you know - being a 41st round pick and all.
I'm not the only one who was frustrated by this last decision by Davey Johnson. Here is what the Natsosphere had to say...
Adam Kilgore - "Tie game. Doug Slaten started the mess. Davey let Brad Peacock, a prospect and starter, begin his career from the stretch against Matt Kemp."
Ben Goessling - "A guy with 12 career relief appearances started his major league career from the stretch. That's a mess"
Mark Zuckerman - "Davey said he wouldn't bring in Peacock in middle of inning. So naturally he brings him in to face Matt Kemp with 2 on and 1 out in 6th."
- "This game is tied 3-3 and Strasburg can't get the win. Can't blame Peacock. He's a starter. Why was he making MLB debut in this spot?"
I spent my college years training to be a teacher and one of the most important lessons I learned is that no matter what you do, you have to set your students up for success. Now, I know that Davey Johnson is out there trying to win ballgames, and if that is the case then why is he putting kids making their MLB-debuts in such pressure-packed situations.
It is clear by this point that the Nats aren't a playoff team, or even a .500 team. It seems to me like the organizational philosophy this September has been to see what the young kids can do (See: Livo shutdown, Marrero everyday). And if that is the case then why are we setting up these kids to fail by putting them in situations that are heavily stacked against them. It just doesn't make much sense.
What do you think, CapBallers? Did last night frustrate you as much as it did me? Sound off in the comments!