WASHINGTON — The Nationals held a 9-8 lead over the Braves heading into the top of the ninth inning Monday night.
Matt Albers, who’d already pitched one-third of an inning, walked two of the first three batters to open the ninth before giving up the go-ahead three-run homer to Tyler Flowers. Bryce Harper, who would fly out with a runner on to end the game, outlet his frustration over their fourth straight loss in the Nationals dugout.
Nats GM Mike Rizzo was asked about Harper’s blowup during his weekly radio appearance with The Sports Junkies on Wednesday.
“He mirrored what I was doing in the GM box,” Rizzo said in response to the Burke & Herbert Bank Fan Question of the Week. “So I’m good with it.”
“It’s tough for everybody on the roster, it really is,” he went on to say. “But it’s the same way where the bullpen doesn’t point fingers when you miss a fly ball in the outfield and cost a game, or you strike out with the bases loaded and you don’t win the game.
“Like football, you have the offense, defense, special teams. This roster’s cut up into different spots — rotation, bullpen, regulars and bench. These guys are all on the same page. I’ll tell you, guys like Zim and Werth and Scherzer, they’re not going to let it happen. They’ve been through it too often.”
Rizzo went on to cite his experience with blown saves on the grandest stage of them all — when, as a front office executive in Arizona, his Diamondbacks, leading the Yankees 2-0 in the World Series, blew three consecutive games on the road in New York.
“So I’ve seen blown saves before,” he said. “And bullpen implosions, if you will. But there was never a finger pointed, there was never an excuse made. It’s like ‘let’s go’ and ‘get it done.’ I think that’s the mindset of this ball club.”
“I love this team,” he went on to say. “I would not trade this ball club, this team, this organization, this franchise — where we’re at — for any team in baseball, any organization in baseball.
“I think that’s how good it is, that’s how good we are present, and long term, and I’m excited and honored to be the guy who runs it.”