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The Nationals are blowing their chance at the playoffs

Wednesday's Say Hey, Baseball finds the Nationals blowing it against the Mets, what those yelling at Matt Harvey are missing and Blake Swihart's role on the 2016 Red Sox. Subscribe for your daily Say Hey!

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

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The Nationals began the week just four games back of the NL East-leading Mets, with a three-game series against New York beginning on Monday. The third of those contests will be played on Wednesday, and now, the Nats are just hoping they don't get swept. They aren't just losing to the Mets, either, as both of these games have been embarrassing for Washington.

On Monday, the focus was on Bryce Harper's postgame comments about the fans instead of the game itself. On Tuesday, the Nats managed to score seven runs off of Matt Harvey, knocking him out of the game in the sixth inning, but then failed to hold on and lost 8-7. The decision that will stand out here, the one that helped the Nationals fall to six games back in the East, was manager Matt Williams' decision to have Anthony Rendon bunt in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Rendon had a 3-1 count with Jayson Werth on first and the Nats down by just one run. Williams kept the bunt on in spite of the count, despite the "bad" and injured version of Rendon from 2015 still being a league-average hitter and despite the obvious opportunity to get assumed NL MVP Bryce Harper up with a runner in scoring position and no outs. That in turn would have likely loaded the bases so the Mets could avoid facing Harper, and the Nats would have been able to tie it up on something as simple as a sac fly or a well-placed grounder. Instead, the Nats are down six games, and their postseason hopes are fading.