In a marathon game of 12 innings - four hours and 14 minutes of baseball - the Nationals ended up taking their 11th loss of the season at the hands of a former teammate. The Padres have had major troubles scoring runs this season, but they broke through on a Xavier Nady RBI single in the top of the 12th.
In order for Nady to knock in the run, however, he would need some help from the Nationals. Once again, as has become a trend this year, the Nats made a costly defensive error that helped expedite their defeat.
This time it was a throwing mistake by catcher Jose Lobaton that allowed the go-ahead run - Jedd Gyorko - to advance from second to third. Gyorko attempted to steal second with two outs and was gifted third base as Lobaton's throw sailed into center field. Relief pitcher Craig Stammen would then allow a single to Nady up the middle to give the Padres a 4-3 lead.
Lobaton - who has seven hits and a home run in his last four games - explained the error after the loss:
"I just got a bad throw. I got the ball pretty good, and as soon as I threw the ball, I was like, ah, that what a bad throw. And then they got a base hit. Nothing I can do right now. Just get ready for tomorrow."
Though it gave Gyorko an easier trip to home, manager Matt Williams believes he would have scored from second anyways. Gyorko isn't a speedster with three stolen bases in 148 career MLB games, but the ball was not hardly hit. Center fielder Denard Span would have needed to make a very good throw to home to prevent the run.
"Xavier got a hit and he came through for his team in that situation," Williams said. "It would have been the same thing if the man had been on second. There wouldn’t have been a chance to throw him out anyway."
Stammen was pitching his third inning as the Nats and Padres moved through extras. His first two frames were perfect and he recorded an out before Gyorko singled.
Stammen expressed frustration with the way it ended.
"I didn’t have a chance [to field Nady's hit]. Unless I was Wilt Chamberlin, I might have got it. It was frustrating. I guess you’d rather be beat on homers or doubles or something like that. Slow death I guess it went tonight."
The Nationals lead the major leagues with 25 errors in 23 games.