“Normally it’s a good idea in that case to maybe walk him or at least consider it, but they gave me the opportunity to pitch to him,” Perez said through team translator Octavio Martinez. “In that case, it’s my job to know the situation. With that, I tried to make a difficult pitch for the hitter . . . it was my mistake.”
Whoever takes the blame, whoever actually deserves it — if blame ever belongs to one person after six hours of baseball — those 18 innings added up to one game, not more. The Nationals won their 18th series in 30 tries and are 19 games over .500, comfortably atop the National League East. After a day off Monday, Baker will have a refreshed team to face the Dodgers behind rookie Reynaldo Lopez in his major league debut Tuesday night. He will have a fresh lineup card to go with it.