Time was, the Nationals were in pretty good shape against the Rays, just like they were last night. They took an early 2-0 lead and Jordan Zimmermann, despite an escalating pitch count, was effective in shutting Tampa Bay’s offense down for five innings.
But then the sixth inning hit, and Jason Bergmann imploded.
Bergmann pitched to five batters, giving up a hit and a push bunt single to the first two. But after Carlos Pena put runners on first and second with that bit of chicanery, Ben Zobrist crushed a first-pitch fastball to right for a three-run homer. Then came a five-pitch walk to Pat Burrell, and another homer to Gabe Gross. Bergmann was done there, having pitched to five batters, given up five runs on four hits (two homers), walked one and retired none.
Just to be safe, the Rays scored a couple runs off Jesus Colome, too.
Meanwhile the Nats’ offense, after a couple of early runs, has gone quiet like it did last night. Washington hasn’t had a hit since the third inning, when Cristian Guzman drove in Anderson Hernandez.
So that’s where we sit. Instead of a 2-1 lead after six, the Nats now trail 8-2.