October 23, 2017

Washington Nationals week in review: August 27-Sept. 2

Nationals.

The last week for the Nationals was a big one, for no reason more so than the return of three crucial pieces to the team from the disabled list: Max Scherzer, Trea Turner and Jayson Werth. In the win-loss columns, this week was a good one for the Nationals as the team posted a 5-3 record.

Sunday, August 27 — Nationals fall to Mets 6-5

The week started off with a Sunday doubleheader against the New York Mets. In the first game, Erick Fedde got the start for the Nationals. Fedde allowed a three run home run in the first inning, and a two run home run in the third inning, putting the Nats in a 5-0 hole. Starting in the fifth inning, the Nationals’ offense finally responded as Wilmer Difo drove in Rafael Bautista on a single to left. In the sixth the Nationals cut the deficit to two as Alejandro De Aza drove in Michael A. Taylor on a double, and De Aza would later score on a Howie Kendrick sacrifice fly. The Nationals tied the game up at five in the seventh as they tacked on two more runs. But just as the Nationals had come all the way back, Mets shortstop Amed Rosario hit a solo home run to center, giving the Mets the lead back in the top of the eight. The Nationals got runners in scoring position in the eighth, but were unable to capitalize. In the ninth, Edwin Jackson (pinch running for Adam Lind) was thrown out at home trying to score on a Daniel Murphy double for the final out of the game. Despite out hitting the Mets 14-9, the Nationals lost the game 6-5.

Sunday, August 27 — Nationals beat Mets 5-4

In the nightcap, the Nationals looked to rebound. Tanner Roark was the starter, and he would throw six strong innings, allowing three runs while striking out nine. Adam Lind led the offense with two RBIs, one coming on a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and the other on a solo home run in the eighth. The Nationals took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on Lind’s sacrifice and an Anthony Rendon RBI single. The Mets stole the lead with a three run seventh, but the Nats bats took it right back in the bottom of the frame as the Mets walked two straight Nationals batters with the bases loaded. The Nationals led 4-3 at the end of the sixth. Lind’s solo home run provided a key insurance run, as the Mets would score one in the top of the ninth. However, Sean Doolittle held on the preserve the win, and pick up his 16th save.

Monday, August 28 — Nationals beat Marlins 11-2

The Nationals series opener against the Marlins was a huge day for the Nationals, and not just because of the offensive explosion that would take place in the game. The Nationals got both Scherzer and Werth back for this game, and both were in the Nats’ starting lineup. The Nationals took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Rendon RBI single, and the Nationals tackled on another in the third via as Taylor scored on a Ryan Zimmerman ground ball to the shortstop. The Marlins cut the Nationals lead in half in the fourth with a Christian Yelich solo home run. In the bottom of the fourth, the just-returned Werth stepped up to the plate with Matt Wieters on first. Werth belted the sixth pitch of the at bat deep over the left field wall, almost all the way to the concourse, giving the Nationals a 4-1 lead. It was capped off by a pretty sweet bat flip.

The Nationals offense really took off with a six run sixth inning, increasing the lead all the way up to 10-1. Each team would score one more run, bringing the final score to 11-2. Scherzer was brilliant in his return to the Nats, allowing one run on five hits while striking out 10 over seven innings, two of those strikeouts came against Marlins red-hot slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

Tuesday, August 29 — Nationals win 8-3 over Marlins

While the Nationals got Werth and Scherzer back on Monday, the Nats got its star shortstop Trea Turner back on Tuesday. It did not take long for Turner to have an impact, as the shortstop made a spectacular diving catch on a Tomas Telis line drive in the top of the first. However, the Nationals still found themselves in a 1-0 hole before even stepping up to the plate, as Stanton homered off of Nats starter Edwin Jackson in the top of the first. Daniel Murphy gave the Nationals the lead in the third with a two RBI double, and the Nats would not look back from there. Ryan Zimmerman picked up and RBI, and Rendon totalled four RBIs in the Nationals win. But the most thrilling moment of the game came in the seventh inning when Matt Albers relieved Oliver Perez. Albers entered the game with one out and the bases loaded and his team leading 5-3. This appeared to be the typical bullpen blows a lead situation that Nationals fans had known all year. However, Albers struck out Marcell Ozuna looking on four pitches, and got J.T. Realmuto to ground out to Turner, getting the Nats out of the jam, pumping his fist as he walked off the field. Anthony Rendon drove in three more with a double in the seventh while the bases were loaded, and the Nationals won 8-3.

Wednesday, August 30 — Nationals sweep series with Marlins, win 4-0

Welcome to the Stephen Strasburg show. Strasburg truly did it all as the Nationals completed a three game sweep of the Marlins. Both teams were scoreless until the fifth inning. Leading off the fifth was none other than Strasburg. Strasburg crushed the first pitch of the at bat over the wall in right center for a solo home run, his second of the season. Difo, the third batter of the inning, hit a solo home run of his own to the give the Nationals a 2-0 lead. Rendon drove in Turner with a double, and De Aza scored on passed ball. But this game was all about Strasburg. Really, all that the Nats starting pitcher needed was his own solo shot, as Strasburg went on to toss a complete game shutout, striking out eight batters. It was the second complete game shutout of Strasburg’s career, and an overall incredible game given his stellar pitching and hitting.

Thursday, August 31 — Nationals drop series opener to Brewers, 6-3

The Nats went into their four game weekend series against the Brewers with four game win streak, but it came to a halt in the first game at Miller Park. Gio Gonzalez, who ERA stands among the top five best in baseball, is in the midst of a career year, but he didn’t have his best stuff in this game. At the end of three innings, the Nationals led 2-1 on a Turner RBI double and a Werth sacrifice. But this was the last the Nationals would see of the lead, as the Brewers outscored the Nats five to one over the remainder of the game. Brewers starter Zach Davies picked up his MLB leading 16th win as the Nationals lost 6-3.

Friday, Sept. 1: Nationals fall 1-0 to Brewers

The Nationals offense put up a pretty pitiful performance in the second game of the series, scoring no runs, and having just three hits. A Neil Walker solo home run in the first inning was the only offense in the game, and it was all that the Brewers needed. Nationals starter Tanner Roark pitched well, striking out 10 over seven innings and allowing just the one solo home run. However, But Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson was better. Nelson struck out 11 Nats over seven innings and allowed just three hits. All in all, Brewers pitchers struck out 17 Nationals batters in this game.

Saturday, Sept. 2 — Nationals beat Brewers 3-2

The Nationals looked to rebound from being shutout a night before as they sent Scherzer to the bump on Saturday night. The Nationals broke through first in this game as Ryan Zimmerman drove in Howie Kendrick with an RBI single. The Brewers tied the game in the fourth, and took the lead in the sixth. But eh Nationals came back in eighth, tying the game on a Taylor solo home run and taking the lead on a Trea Turner RBI double. The dominant back end of the bullpen, Ryan Madson, Brandon Kintzler and Doolittle preserved the lead and the Nats won 3-2. Scherzer exited the game in the fifth, citing when he was hit by a line drive in the first inning as the reason. Scherzer, obviously, was able to keep pitching after being hit, but in the fifth he was unable to keep going. Scherzer is not expected to miss any time.

This Week

The Nationals start the week with the series finale against the Brewers before heading to Miami for four games against the Marlins. The week is closed out with a series against the Phillies in D.C.

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