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Gio Shines as Nats Shut Out Mets

While horses raced, the Washington Nationals (11-14) played a pretty good baseball game. For the second time in three nights, they defeated the New York Mets (16-9) at Citi Field, this time winning by a final of 1-0.

In this game one run proved to be enough. Led by a strong start from Gio Gonzalez, the Nationals had an excellent night on the mound.

Gonzalez Strikes Out Nine

Entering tonight, Gonzalez had produced mixed results in 2015, with a 5.01 ERA and a 4.2 BB/9 rate among his worst numbers. Tonight marked a reversal of fortune, as he stifled the Mets over seven innings, allowing six hits while walking two and striking out nine. That strikeout total is the left-hander’s highest of the season.

The most encouraging aspect of Gonzalez’s performance was his efficiency. After throwing 94 pitches over five frames in his last start, he managed to fit 111 into his workload tonight, hurling 74 strikes.

With his start, Gonzalez also set the tone for the Nationals’ relief corps. The trio of Aaron Barrett, Matt Grace, and Drew Storen combined for two perfect innings to end the game, with Storen earning the save.

Desmond Snaps His Skid, Sparks Rally

In a stretch that dated back to April 25, Ian Desmond was 0-for-27 over his last seven games. He finally snapped his slump tonight and wound up scoring the game’s decisive run. With one out in the top of the second, Desmond hit a single that deflected off the glove of second baseman Dilson Herrera. That was followed by a Danny Espinosa single, before Gonzalez’s sacrifice bunt set up an RBI single by Michael Taylor.

Desmond finished the night 2-for-4, making him one of three Nationals to compile multiple hits. Considering that he had been hitting well before he fell into his slump, hopefully tonight can spark a turnaround.

The Relay

The victory might not have been possible without a crucial defensive play in the bottom of the first. With Juan Lagares on first with one out, Lucas Duda hit a ball over left fielder Jayson Werth’s head and into the corner.

Lagares was running all the way and looked as if he would score, but Werth got to the ball quickly and fired a perfect strike to Desmond, his relay man. Without hesitation, Desmond fired the ball to catcher Wilson Ramos and nabbed Lagares by a good distance.

For all the defensive struggles the Nationals had in April, they have been playing cleaner games of late. Over their first three games in New York, the Nationals have not committed an error.

While there is no point in making too much of one play, it has been clear that the Nationals need to play better defense if they are to play their way into contention. Tonight’s play was a positive sign, not only for its execution, but for the fact that it ultimately saved the game.

The Nationals will go for a series victory tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 pm. Doug Fister is slated to take the ball for the Nationals, while the Mets will counter with Dillon Gee.

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Nationals Maintain Offensive Outburst In Win Over Mets

Following their remarkable series in Atlanta, the Washington Nationals (10-13) continued their momentum on Thursday night, defeating the New York Mets (15-8) by a final of 8-2. Though the Mets took an early lead in this matchup at Citi Field, the Nationals built off a middle-inning rally to take control of the game. Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: Profiling Most Recent Nats Call-Up Sammy Solis

The Washington Nationals’ early-season trend of dipping into the minors for bullpen help continued on Wednesday, when left-hander Sammy Solis was recalled from Double-A Harrisburg. Much like the other pitchers that have debuted this season, Solis has shown vast potential at various points in his career but has also dealt with his fair share of ups and downs. Continue reading…

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Nats Roll Over Braves With Second 13-Run Win In A Row

Just 24 hours after completing an astonishing comeback win, the Washington Nationals (9-13) beat the Atlanta Braves (10-11) again to win their first road series of the season and keep fans’ hopes of a turnaround alive.

The frustrating, offense-deficient losing streak was pushed a little further into history with the Nats’ booming 13-4 win. The Nationals never trailed by more than a run, and once they took the lead they just kept piling on. Continue reading…

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Nats Break Losing Streak With Biggest Comeback In Team History

After six straight losses, the longest such streak for the Washington Nationals (8-13) since July 2013, it was only fitting that the beleaguered organization would grind out the win to break that streak with a franchise record comeback. Down by as many as eight runs, the offense finally came to life and pulled out a 13-12 win against the Atlanta Braves (10-10). Continue reading…

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Nats’ Losing Streak Reaches Six With Loss In Atlanta

Though they played the Atlanta Braves (10-9) close in the early goings, things fell apart quickly for the Washington Nationals (7-13) in their 8-4 loss on Monday. With the score tied 1-1, the Braves managed to take the lead in the bottom of the fourth and pulled ahead with a scoring spree over their final three innings at the plate. The result was the Nationals’ sixth straight loss, their longest losing streak since July 2013. Continue reading…

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Nats Drop Fifth Straight as Marlins Sweep

In a performance for the ages, the Washington Wizards dismantled the Toronto Raptors in Game 4 of their series to complete the sweep, winning 125-94 and advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

What’s that? Wrong sport?

In other news, the Washington Nationals (7-12) lost their fifth consecutive game, as the Miami Marlins (8-11) completed a sweep of their own. Another defensive miscue handed the Marlins three runs as the Nationals continued their early-season stumble.

Continue reading…

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More Bullpen Woes as Nats fall to Marlins

The Washington Nationals came into tonight’s contest in Miami against the Marlins as losers of two straight against the hated St. Louis Cardinals. Hoping to put the series loss in their rear-view mirror the Nationals turned to veteran righty Jordan Zimmermann against Alexandria native Mat Latos. However, the story turned into a familiar one when Zimmermann kept the ballclub in the game through six strong innings before the bullpen once again gave away the lead. Impotent offense combined with unseasoned relievers led the Nationals to their third straight loss, a 3-2 decision at Marlins Park.

Continue reading…

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Scherzer Strong, But Nats Fall To Cardinals

Despite a few chances, the Washington Nationals (7-9) never cut their deficit during a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals (10-4) on Thursday. Even as starter Max Scherzer turned in another solid performance, the Nationals’ inability to get the big hit became one of the game’s deciding factors. Continue reading…