The Washington Nationals have very good starting pitchers and very bad relief pitchers. That has been on display in the first two games of their series against the Padres.
On Friday night the Padres hung through Max Scherzer and got a win against the relievers. On Saturday afternoon they hung through San Diego native Stephen Strasburg and then went bonkers on the bullpen in an 8-3 extra-innings win at Nationals Park.
Strasburg only gave up two runs, both on a 2-run homer by Hunter Renfroe in the 2nd inning. Padres starter Eric Lauer also allowed just two runs, on a 2-run shot by Juan Soto in the 6th inning.
So it went to the 10th tied 2-2 and that's when the nuttiness started. Former San Diego State star Ty France led off with a pinch-hit single off Wander Suero, his 2nd straight pinch-hit knock. Francisco Mejia followed with a double that moved France to 3rd. Valhalla High School alum Greg Garcia brought home France with a sacrifice fly to put the Padres up 3-2. They were hoping that would be enough to win.
But they got a whole lot more anyway.
Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers walked to load the bases so Justin Miller was brought in to replace Suero. Miller immediately hit Machado with a pitch to bring in Mejia and gave up a single to Manuel Margot to plate Tatis and Myers and increase the lead to 6-2.
Matt Grace replaced Justin Miller and proceeded to walk Eric Hosmer then allow a sacrifice fly to Renfroe to score Machado ... but Margot also came home when the throw from centerfielder Victor Robles rolled to the dugout and out of play. France was finally retired on a strikeout to end a 6-run 10th inning.
After all that Nationals starters now have an earned run average of 3.99. Their relievers have an ERA of 7.34.
San Diego lefty Robbie Erlin allowed a solo home run to Howie Kendrick for the last run of the game. The Padres record is now 16-11. They go for the sweep in D.C. on Sunday when Joey Lucchesi takes the mound against Jeremy Hellickson.