With a league worst team batting average of .211 after the sixth inning, the Nats 4-2 deficit entering the bottom of the sixth looked like a bleak situation.
However a bases loaded walk to Ryan Zimmerman provided the final burst on to the scoreboard the Nats had been building up all game, if not all season. With the Anderson Hernandez run the floodgates officially open as waves of Nationals crossed the bases for a huge fifth inning that saw five runs for the Red White and Blue.
The Nats had taken the lead…and damnet they were going to keep it.
Joel Hanrahan and Garret Mock, once condemned, came in and slammed the door on the Astros, completing the 9-4 victory at home.
Ryan Zimmerman extended his hit steak to 22 games by going 4-4 tonight with three runs, two doubles, a walk, and two RBI. It was arguably the hot corners best game of his young career, during one of his hottest streaks.
He wasn’t alone, Elijah Dukes contributed three hits as Cristian Guzman, Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn all contributed two. In fact, everyone in the line up contributed with at least one hit, aside from Nick , who still walked twice.
This wasn’t the result of one bad outing from an Astros pitcher either. In a game that saw 9 Nationals earned runs, no Houston pitcher allowed more than three earned runs. Across the board the Nats hit-hit-hit. They hit Moehler, they hit Wright, Paulino and Fulchino.
-Ronnie Belliard made 2 outs in the sixth inning on a double pinch-hit appearance.
John Lannan’s struggles continued Monday as he was fortunate enough to get a win off a lousy performance. Through six innings he allowed 9 hits, two walks, no strikeouts and three earned runs. His control problems continued as he threw only 49/92 pitches for strikes, horrendous.
The reason for Lannan’s struggles so far this season are unclear. Maybe last year was a fluke? Maybe his strong offseason conditioning regiment left little time to work on mechanics and fundamentals, or maybe he’s just too strong for his pitching style. Whatever the reason is, one thing is for sure, the Nationals season revolves around Lannan’s ability to get a win once every five games, and with him pitching like this, they’re in trouble.
After Lannan pitched six, he was relieved by former closer Joel Hanrahan. Hanrahan pitched a scoreless frame with a strikeout and turned it over to Mock to finish off the final two innings. The two outcasts combined for three shut out innings and two strikeouts.