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Rays 5, Nationals 3: More Washington Errors Lead To Victory

A key error by Bryce Harper, again, leads to a Rays victory.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is a strange game. One night you can get beat down 16-4. A group of five relievers can throw a two-hit shutout the next. The third day can see your ace pitcher, who happens to be one of the top five starters in baseball, struggle to make it through five innings. Weird stuff, man.

Chris Archer wasn't his usual sharp self tonight. The young north-paw had gone at least seven innings in his last four starts, but failed to make it to the sixth tonight. That was partly due to Archer batting ninth since they're playing in a National League park. He was pinch hit for in the top of the sixth inning with a man on third and two outs, even though the Rays were leading by two and had two outs. He was at 89 pitches and had struggled to get this far, but I'd have liked to see him go at least one more inning considering the team used five relievers the night before.

He walked two, which is double his total from the previous four games, and allowed eight hits. That's a lot. The Nats got to him for two runs in the first inning, helped my an infield single from Bryce Harper that deflected off the leg of Archer. Had the ball gone through unimpeded it would have been an easy double play and the Nats would be held scoreless. A two out bloop single from former Ray Yunel Escobar scored a run in the second inning. It would have been two runs had Steven Souza not thrown out Denard Span at the plate. By that point Archer had thrown 53 pitches and he wasn't long for the rest of the game.

The bullpen locked it down the rest of the way, with Brandon Gomes, Kevin Jepsen, Jake McGee, and Brad Boxberger leading the way. It was nice to see Boxberger throw an impressive inning since his past few were anything but impressive.

I still don't believe totally in Joey Butler, but it sure is fun to watch him right now. He added a home run to right field tonight, his fifth, to get them within one. Evan Longoria and Logan Forsythe followed with singles. After a force out from Souza, Asdrubal Cabrera singled to right field. Bryce Harper came up throwing but injured himself on the play, chucking the ball into the Rays dugout in the process, scoring Forsythe and Souza and allowing Cabrera to move to third. David DeJesus added a booming triple as a pinch hitter, scoring Cabrera. Good inning, lucky inning, needed inning.

The Rays are now eight games over .500. Patchwork-ing their way to first place is an amazing thing. Hopefully it lasts.

Roll Call Info
Total comments 232
Total commenters 29
Commenter list AndrewTorrez, Ben Tumbling, Brickhaus, CSG BBR, DFAHowell, Darby Robinson, Edged, EvenLongoria, Grimesy22, Ian Malinowski, Landlord, MrWizzle21, Noles95', Rays Fan in NC, Rays1118, Rays15, RazeTheRoof, essenpee, faceforst, kapaafire, lizzieray, magicrays, nomo.red.evil, npolackw, sirthomas813, tampagator, the dobber, turntwo21, witty
Story URLs
# Recs Commenter Comment Link
9 magicrays please leave
7 nomo.red.evil Hey, now, let's not get carried away! It's just a ball game!
6 Ian Malinowski This game is ridiculous.
6 Rays Fan in NC dammit I hope Harper is ok
6 essenpee the word "am"
5 MrWizzle21 All you do is criticize the team.
5 npolackw Don't jinx us.
5 AndrewTorrez you know, dude, they make this pill you might want to look into
4 lizzieray Our new extra 2% will be "signing guys Kevin Cash knew in the minors who everyone else overlooked"
4 essenpee I don't usually care, but I really like Harper
3 nomo.red.evil You should record that and post it on YouTube
3 Ben Tumbling 6 years, baby!
3 RazeTheRoof RAYS WIN
2 essenpee Fun is cool, but I thought your comment sucked.
2 Brickhaus Another insurance run would be nice
2 Ian Malinowski Arch is going to pull it together.
2 sirthomas813 why does everyone keep winning in the AL east
1 nomo.red.evil he's like a sternfan in training
1 essenpee We're all negative.
1 witty VICTORY! Bring me all the VICTORY GIFs!
1 magicrays every game seems to be frustrating to you
1 MrWizzle21 Oh my god
1 Rays1118 take one of these
1 nomo.red.evil dosage is too low
1 nomo.red.evil Archie looked like Charlie Brown there
1 AndrewTorrez I'm number 1??!?
1 essenpee Fuck Joe
1 MrWizzle21 "We"? "our"?
1 nomo.red.evil Let the regression of Joey Buts begin
1 Rays1118 im about to fight club myself if things like that keep happening
1 nomo.red.evil I think MrWizzle's point is that Mr1118 doesn't really seem to like the team all that much to be using words like "we"