On Monday night, the Washington Nationals (18-15) got off to a hot start and stayed the course in a lopsided 11-1 defeat over the Arizona Diamondbacks (14-17). Scoring 10 runs over the game’s first two innings, the Nationals collected 15 hits, including three extra base hits. This backed another dominant effort from Max Scherzer, who stifled his former team. Continue reading…
Sweep. Oh how sweet it sounds. With the way the season started Washington Nationals fans thought they might never be able to use that particular word and sound cheerful about it again. But with the impressive run of wins the Nats have put together lately, their first of the season was bound to come eventually. The wait ended Sunday when Washington (17-15) closed out an impressive homestand against the Atlanta Braves (14-17) with a tough 5-4 win.
The beginning of May means that it is time for the Federal Reserve to hand out the hardware to the best Washington Nationals prospects in April. As with last year, the first Federal Reserve post of each month this season will look back at the previous month’s best performances.
Races in both fields were competitive, as April was highlighted by several strong performances among the four-full season minor league affiliates. In the end, Hitter of the Month went to a prospect who has carried over his momentum from last season, while Pitcher of the Month was given to a hurler who has been quietly showing promise. Continue reading…
The Washington Nationals (15-15) are now winners of eight of their last 10 games and are starting to resemble the world beaters they were predicted to be at the onset of the season. Behind a resurgent Gio Gonzalez, who once again resembles the Gio of 2012 when he placed third in the National League Cy Young voting, the Nationals blew out the Atlanta Braves (14-15), 9-2. Continue reading…
The Washington Nationals (14-15) came into a rare Wednesday day game against the Miami Marlins (13-15) hoping to win the rubber match for their third straight series win after a somewhat disastrous start to their season. Manager Matt Williams turned the ball over to the $210-million-dollar man Max Scherzer to get the job done, but by the end of the day his thunder would be stolen by 22-year-old phenom Bryce Harper. Continue reading…
Despite several opportunities, the Washington Nationals (13-15) never overcame an early deficit in their 2-1 loss to the Miami Marlins (13-14) on Tuesday. Though the defeat itself was frustrating, the most concerning point for the Nationals was the early exit of Stephen Strasburg. Continue reading…
It wasn’t easy, but the Washington Nationals (13-14) continued their recent success with a 6-4 victory over the Miami Marlins (12-14) on Monday. With one clutch hit rounding out a stellar game, the Nationals prevailed in a back-and-forth contest. Continue reading…
For the second time in two days the Washington Nationals (12-14) won a game by scoring only one run. For the first time in team history the Nats managed to win 1-0 in back-to-back games. This time it was Doug Fister who blanked the New York Mets (16-10) for 6 1/3 innings to preserve the win. Continue reading…
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 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.