Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 11/18/14

The Washington Nationals fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the bottom of the ninth last night on a Rod Barajas walk-off home run. With the loss they are now 18-11 on the season, and are in a virtual tie with the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League East.

The last half hour of last night's contest was a roller coaster ride, ending in a violent, tragic crash. The Nationals gave the Pirates the lead in the bottom of the eighth after an error by Ian Desmond extended the inning and put Nate McClouth in scoring position. Washington then came roaring back in the top of the ninth with a clutch two run home run by Adam LaRoche to give the Nats the 4-3 lead. Then with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, closer Henry Rodriguez gave up a two-run walk off home run to the Pirates' No. 8 hitter.

What a night. What a way to lose.

The loss left fans on Twitter clamoring for the return of closer Drew Storen, who has yet to make an appearance this season due to elbow surgery this Spring. Despite a strong start of the season, the blown save was Rodriguez's second of the year, and also his second in his last three attempts. In his 14 appearances, he has allowed one hit or more just four times. He has losses in three of those four instances.

Some Thoughts:

- Henry Rodriguez could not locate his pitches at an MLB level again last night. This has always been the book on the 25-year-old, but Washington had hoped that they could harness his control problems to leverage his unbelievable stuff. The problem is that when he's put in high leverage situations, his flaws bubble to the surface. Prior to the home run he allowed to Barajas, Rodriguez had thrown two wild pitches, which allowed Alex Presley (who Rodriguez walked) to advance from first to third. I have no doubt that the fear of throwing yet another wild pitch played a factor in the Nats closer grooving a fastball down mainstreet to Barajas. So while his wild pitches technically had no outcome on the game, no runs scored directly from them, it had to be on his mind when he hung that fastball on the last pitch of the night.

- Edwin Jackson was two bad pitches away from an outstanding outing, and likely his second win of the season. He allowed only three hits in seven innings of work, while striking out five batters and walking just one. The only problem was that the two hits he gave up were both solo home runs. A big problem for the 29-year-old throughout his career has been inconsistency in his fastball. When it is on, like it was against the Astros when he pitched a nine-inning two hitter, it has good sink and induces ground balls. When its off, like it has been his last two starts, it is flat as a board.

- The Nationals struck out 10 times against A.J. Burnett, the very same pitcher that allowed 12 runs in 2.2 innings pitched against the St. Louis Cardinals in his last start.

- Washington was able to come back in the top of the ninth against their own former closer, Joel Hanrahan. In 2009 Hanrahan had five blown saves in 10 attempts while posting a 7.71 ERA. Last year for Pittsburgh, however, he posted 40 saves with a 1.83 ERA.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

PHOTO: Auburn coaches, players wear ribbons for Mason

Dustin Penner apologizes after sending rape joke on Twitter

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

Could the Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

AEG: Inglewood stadium would be a terrorism target

Former Knick Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Report: Blackhawks, Caps discussed Patrick Sharp trade

Giancarlo Stanton was 'angered' over $325 million offer

Colts, Cardinals, Cowboys interested in Adrian Peterson?

How much will Rousey and Zingano make for their fight?

Alabama recruits aim to bring the dynasty back

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

Kentucky raffling off Wildcats-themed motorcycle

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell throws down monster alley-oop

WATCH: Tyler Hansbrough, Festus Ezeli ejected for fight

WATCH: Russell Westbrook literally gets dent in his face

WATCH: Knicks' Alexey Shved tosses wild pass into stands

Ten players ready to make the leap in 2015

WATCH: Reggie Bush says he won't quit football

PHOTO: ECHL team will wear Dr. Seuss jerseys

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

Earl Lloyd and basketball’s cruel February

WATCH: Barkley rips analytics again

A-Rod: A con man returns to baseball

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.