Olsen's Pitching Not Enough

Despite seven strong innings from Scott, Nats pen does it again

The great thing about baseball is that you never know. A day after some dunderhead implied impending doom for Nats pitcher Scott Olsen, the Marlboro Man pitched a gem, shutting down the Marlins (more or less) for seven innings.

Still, this being the Nats, it wasn't enough, and the bullpen would blow the game late, in a 4-2 loss.

Olsen was fantastic. In his seven innings, he had seven strikeouts and didn't walk a single batter. The walks and strikeout totals were season lows and highs, respectively. 

He had command, for once, spotting his fastball more or less where he wanted. And his breaking pitches had a bit of a bite, which they definitely didn't before his DL stay.

While he didn't throw 92 like the team was claiming he was, his fastball was in the 89-90 range, perhaps a tick or two higher than it was when the tendinitis was flaring.

It's never a good thing to make too much out of one outing, but there were signs. Given Olsen's track record over the last two seasons, there's still reason for Nats fans to hold their breath. But at least he showed what he's capable of when everything is clicking.

As for the result, the key was the eighth inning. After Emiliano Bonifacio -- the Nats former second baseman of the future -- gave the Marlins the lead with a sac fly, Julian Tavarez relieved Ron Villone, giving up a hard double, and three straight walks -- the last with the bases loaded.  And that was it.

The bullpen might be a lost cause, but Olsen gave Nats fans the tiny little glimmer of hope that keeps 'em coming back for more.

Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment.  He should've hit the delete key yesterday.

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