The Washington Nationals entered play on Wednesday looking to do something they’ve never done: sweep a six-game road trip. Extended winning streaks in baseball are already hard to come by due to the nature of a 162-game season, but the Nats would have none of that. They beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2.. Now 38-23, the Nats have the best record in franchise history through 61 games, according to Wednesday’s MASN broadcast.
Stephen Strasburg had yet another elite start through six innings. He threw an astronomical number of pitches through the first two innings (41), but he finished with two runs on five hits, eight strikeouts, and just one walk. He just threw 89 pitches, but he may have been on a short leash following his 119 pitch outing in Boston. Although his fastball was between 93 and 95 mph through the game, his changeup was among the most devastating it’s ever been. That’s significant accomplishment. Despite Gio Gonzalez’s great season, this guy is the ace of the rotation for a reason.
Tyler Moore had by far the best day of his rookie career, even outshining Bryce Harper for just a moment. He went three-for-four with two homers and five RBI. It was a dominating performance from the young first baseman and outfielder and one that showed the pop that the Nats hoped they’d get from him. You’d love to see Moore in the lineup more often after this performance, but it may be a matter of finding someplace to put him. Adam LaRoche isn’t likely to get two consecutive days off if he’s healthy.
It’s probably time you prepare yourself for a season of firsts with the 2012 Nationals. This isn’t likely to be the last time this year where the set a franchise record or some more “firsts ever.”
- Only Steve Lombardozzi and Jesus Flores went hitless against the Blue Jays on Wednesday. Now, Kyle Drabek isn’t the Jays most elite pitcher. He has a 4.67 ERA and he’s walked as many as he’s struck out this season. But this offense is clicking in a real way, which is going to be huge going into series against the first-place New York Yankees and the AL-best Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff.
- These two series were against relatively mediocre pitching staffs. In the upcoming series, the Rays and the Yankees both have top 5 pitching staffs in the AL. This is in no way discounting the incredible road trip, but it will be a real test for the Nats over the next week or so. Nationals Park should be pretty raucous this week.